Sunday, August 02, 2009

The Unhappy Mainer and Unwanted Son, Edwin Arlington Robinson, b. December 22, 1869 at Head Tide, Maine – d. April 6, 1935 at New York, New York, buried in Gardner, Maine

Haunted House

Here was a place where none would ever come
For shelter, save as we did from the rain.
We saw no ghost, yet once outside again
Each wondered why the other should be so dumb;
And ruin, and to our vision it was plain
Where thrift, outshivering fear, had let remain
Some chairs that were like skeletons of home.

There were no trackless footsteps on the floor
Above us, and there were no sounds elsewhere.
But there was more than sound; and there was more
Than just an axe that once was in the air
Between us and the chimney, long before
Our time. So townsmen said who found her there.
-Edwin Arlington Robinson, from Dionysus In Doubt 1925

haunt: c.1230, from O.Fr. hanter "to frequent, resort to, be familiar with" (12c.), probably from O.N. heimta "bring home," from P.Gmc. *khaimat-janan, from *khaimaz- (see home). Use in ref. to a spirit returning to the house where it had lived perhaps was in P.Gmc., but it was reinforced by Shakespeare's plays, and it is first recorded 1590 in "A Midsummer Night's Dream." The noun meaning "spirit that haunts a place, ghost" is first recorded 1843, originally in stereotypical U.S. black speech. Haunts (n.) "place or places one frequents" is c.1330, from the verb. -Online Etymology Dictionary

house: O.E. hus "dwelling, shelter, house," from P.Gmc. *khusan (cf. O.N., O.Fris. hus, Du. huis, Ger. Haus), of unknown origin, perhaps connected to the root of hide (v.). In Goth. only in gudhus "temple," lit. "god-house;" the usual word for "house" in Goth. being razn. Meaning "family, including ancestors and descendants, especially if noble" is from c.1000. The legislative sense (1541) is transferred from the building in which the body meets. Meaning "audience in a theater" is from 1921. Zodiac sense is first attested c.1391. The verb meaning "give shelter to" is O.E. husian (cognate with Ger. hausen, Du. huizen). Household is first recorded 1382; for housewife (c.1225) see hussy. To play house is from 1871; as suggestive of "have sex, shack up," 1968. House arrest first attested 1936; housewarming is from 1577; houseboat is 1790. On the house "free" is from 1889.
"And the Prophet Isaiah the sonne of Amos came to him, and saide vnto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not liue." [2 Kings xx.1, version of 1611]-Online Etymology Dictionary

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