The House on the Hill by Edwin Arlington Robinson | Poets.org

  • Wed Dec 25th, 2013 11:00pm
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The House on the Hill

by Edwin Arlington Robinson

They are all gone away,

The House is shut and still,

There is nothing more to say.

 

Through broken walls and gray

The winds blow bleak and shrill:

They are all gone away.

 

Nor is there one to-day

To speak them good or ill:

There is nothing more to say.

 

Why is it then we stray

Around the sunken sill?

They are all gone away,

 

And our poor fancy-play

For them is wasted skill:

There is nothing more to say.

 

There is ruin and decay

In the House on the Hill:

They are all gone away,

There is nothing more to say.

 

About This Poem

This poem was included in Edwin Arlington Robinson’s first volume of poetry, The Torrent and the Night Before, which was published in 1896 at his own expense. The collection was extensively revised and published in 1897 as The Children of the Night. Today is the 144th anniversary of Robinson’s birth.

Edwin Arlington Robinson was born on December 22, 1869, in Maine. Unable to make a living by writing, he got a job as an inspector for the New York City subway system. Robinson’s first major success was The Man Against the Sky (1916). He then composed a trilogy based on Arthurian legends: Merlin (1917), Lancelot (1920), and Tristram (1927), which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1928. Robinson was also awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his Collected Poems (1921) and The Man Who Died Twice (1924). For the last twenty-five years of his life, Robinson spent his summers at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire. He died in New York City in 1935.