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Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869–1935). Collected Poems. 1921.

II. The Children of the Night

22. Charles Carville’s Eyes

A MELANCHOLY face Charles Carville had,

But not so melancholy as it seemed,

When once you knew him, for his mouth redeemed

His insufficient eyes, forever sad:

In them there was no life-glimpse, good or bad,

Nor joy nor passion in them ever gleamed;

His mouth was all of him that ever beamed,

His eyes were sorry, but his mouth was glad.

He never was a fellow that said much,

And half of what he did say was not heard

By many of us: we were out of touch

With all his whims and all his theories

Till he was dead, so those blank eyes of his

Might speak them. Then we heard them, every word.