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In 'The House on the Hill', the bleakness issues from the sense that, now that the house in question is in 'ruin and decay' and its inhabitants are departed, any comment seems a superfluous gesture. The opening lines announce this perception:

They are all gone away,

  The House is shut and still,

There is nothing more to say.

To try to attach words to vacancy, to clothe transience and loneliness in language, is a futile gesture, the poem suggests. More remarks are added to the opening ones: but the constant repetition of the first three lines, in varying sequence, gives the impression that nothing more is really being said. Perhaps there is indeed 'nothing more to say'. Nevertheless, Robinson keeps on trying to say more. . . .