Lisette and Eileen by Edwin Arlington Robinson
â€œWhen he was here alive, Eileen,
There was a word you might have said;
So never mind what I have been,
Or anything,â€”for you are dead.
â€œAnd after this when I am there
Where he is, youâ€™ll be dying still.
Your eyes are dead, and your black hair,â€”
The rest of you be what it will.
â€œâ€™Twas all to save him? Never mind,
Eileen. You saved him. You are strong.
Iâ€™d hardly wonder if your kind
Paid everything, for you live long.
â€œYou last, I mean. Thatâ€™s what I mean.
I mean you last as long as lies.
You might have said that word, Eileen,â€”
And you might have your hair and eyes.
â€œAnd what you see might be Lisette,
Instead of this that has no name.
Your silenceâ€”I can feel it yet,
Alive and in me, like a flame.
â€œWhere might I be with him to-day,
Could he have known before he heard?
But noâ€”your silence had its way,
Without a weapon or a word.
â€œBecause a word was never told,
Iâ€™m going as a worn toy goes.
And you are dead; and youâ€™ll be old;
And I forgive you, I suppose.
â€œIâ€™ll soon be changing as all do,
To something we have always been;
And youâ€™ll be old.â€¦ He liked you, too,
I might have killed you then, Eileen.
â€œI think he liked as much of you
As had a reason to be seen,â€”
As much as God made black and blue.
He liked your hair and eyes, Eileen.â€