CHILDE ROLAND TO THE DARK TOWER CAME PDF

Buy Study Guide Summary This quest poem opens with narrator Childe Roland , a knight in search of the fabled Dark Tower, confronting a "hoary cripple" who he suspects is lying to him. The weird old man points Roland off the dusty road into an "ominous" plain, telling him that he will find the dark tower in that direction. Despite his suspicions, Roland heads off into the plain, convincing himself that though the quest inevitably means failure and death, he has committed to it and is thus duty-bound to see it through. Part of his justification for persevering is a perverse pride to join "the Band" who have failed before him, other knights who died as he plans to do.

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What else should he be set for, with his staff? What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare All travellers who might find him posted there, And ask the road? If at his counsel I should turn aside Into that ominous tract which, all agree, Hides the Dark Tower. Yet acquiescingly I did turn as he pointed, neither pride Now hope rekindling at the end descried, So much as gladness that some end might be.

For, what with my whole world-wide wandering, What with my search drawn out through years, my hope Dwindled into a ghost not fit to cope With that obstreperous joy success would bring, I hardly tried now to rebuke the spring My heart made, finding failure in its scope. When some discuss if near the other graves be room enough for this, and when a day Suits best for carrying the corpse away, With care about the banners, scarves and staves And still the man hears all, and only craves He may not shame such tender love and stay.

So, quiet as despair I turned from him, That hateful cripple, out of his highway Into the path he pointed. All the day Had been a dreary one at best, and dim Was settling to its close, yet shot one grim Red leer to see the plain catch its estray.

For mark! I might go on, naught else remained to do. So on I went. I think I never saw Such starved ignoble nature; nothing throve: For flowers - as well expect a cedar grove! If there pushed any ragged thistle-stalk Above its mates, the head was chopped, the bents Were jealous else.

As for the grass, it grew as scant as hair In leprosy; thin dry blades pricked the mud Which underneath looked kneaded up with blood. And shut eyes underneath the rusty mane; Seldom went such grotesqueness with such woe; I never saw a brute I hated so; He must be wicked to deserve such pain.

I shut my eyes and turned them on my heart, As a man calls for wine before he fights, I asked one draught of earlier, happier sights, Ere fitly I could hope to play my part. Not it!

Giles then, the soul of honour - there he stands Frank as ten years ago when knighted first, What honest man should dare he said he durst.

Good - but the scene shifts - faugh! His own bands Read it. Poor traitor, spit upon and curst! Better this present than a past like that: Back therefore to my darkening path again! No sound, no sight as far as eye could strain. Will the night send a howlet or a bat? I asked: when something on the dismal flat Came to arrest my thoughts and change their train.

A sudden little river crossed my path As unexpected as a serpent comes. So petty yet so spiteful! Glad was I when I reached the other bank. Now for a better country. Vain presage! Who were the strugglers, what war did they wage, Whose savage trample thus could pad the dank soil to a plash? The fight must so have seemed in that fell cirque, What penned them there, with all the plain to choose?

No footprint leading to that horrid mews, None out of it. Mad brewage set to work Their brains, no doubt, like galley-slaves the Turk Pits for his pastime, Christians against Jews. And more than that - a furlong on - why, there! Then came a bit of stubbed ground, once a wood, Next a marsh it would seem, and now mere earth Desperate and done with; so a fool finds mirth, Makes a thing and then mars it, till his mood Changes and off he goes!

And just as far as ever from the end! Naught in the distance but the evening, naught To point my footstep further! How thus they had surprised me - solve it, you! How to get from them was no clearer case. Yet half I seemed to recognise some trick Of mischief happened to me, God knows when - In a bad dream perhaps. Here ended, then Progress this way. Burningly it came on me all at once, This was the place! Dunce, Dotard, a-dozing at the very nonce, After a life spent training for the sight!

What in the midst lay but the Tower itself? Not see? Not hear? When noise was everywhere! Names in my ears Of all the lost adventurers, my peers - How such a one was strong, and such was bold, And such was fortunate, yet each of old Lost, lost! There they stood, ranged along the hillsides, met To view the last of me, a living frame For one more picture! In a sheet of flame I saw them and I knew them all.

And yet Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set, And blew. He wanders through a dark, marshy waste-land, filled with horrors and terrible noises. He thinks of home and old friends as he presses forward. Fighting discouragement and fear, he reaches the tower, where he sounds his horn, knowing as he does that his quest and his life have come to an end.

Much of the language in this poem makes a rough, even unpoetic impression: it reflects the ugly scenery and hellish journey it discusses. The barren plains symbolize the sterile, corrupted conditions of modern life. Although they are depopulated and remote, they serve as a stand-in for the city. In this way his journey speaks to the anonymity and isolation of the modern individual.

The inspiration is an empty performance, just as the quest described here is an empty adventure. Shakespeare is, of course, the patriarch of all English literature, particularly poetry; but here Browning tries to work out his own relationship to the English literary tradition. He also tries to analyze the continued importance of canonical works in a much-changed modern world.

Via his reference to Shakespeare and to medieval themes, Browning places especial emphasis on these two eras of literature. He suggests that while the Shakespearean and medieval modes still have aesthetic value, their cultural maintains a less certain relevance. Indeed, the poem laments a meaninglessness so all-pervasive that even the idea of the wasteland cannot truly describe modern life or make a statement about that life; it is this sense of meaninglessness that dominates the poem.

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What else should he be set for, with his staff? What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare All travellers who might find him posted there, And ask the road? If at his counsel I should turn aside Into that ominous tract which, all agree, Hides the Dark Tower. Yet acquiescingly I did turn as he pointed, neither pride Now hope rekindling at the end descried, So much as gladness that some end might be. For, what with my whole world-wide wandering, What with my search drawn out through years, my hope Dwindled into a ghost not fit to cope With that obstreperous joy success would bring, I hardly tried now to rebuke the spring My heart made, finding failure in its scope. When some discuss if near the other graves be room enough for this, and when a day Suits best for carrying the corpse away, With care about the banners, scarves and staves And still the man hears all, and only craves He may not shame such tender love and stay.

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Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came

Childe Roland To The Dark Tower Came - Poem by Robert Browning Autoplay next video My first thought was, he lied in every word, That hoary cripple, with malicious eye Askance to watch the working of his lie On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford Suppression of the glee, that pursed and scored Its edge, at one more victim gained thereby. What else should he be set for, with his staff? What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare All travellers who might find him posted there, And ask the road? If at his counsel I should turn aside Into that ominous tract which, all agree, Hides the Dark Tower. Yet acquiescingly I did turn as he pointed: neither pride Nor hope rekindling at the end descried, So much as gladness that some end might be. While some discuss if near the other graves Be room enough for this, and when a day Suits best for carrying the corpse away, With care about the banners, scarves and staves: And still the man hears all, and only craves He may not shame such tender love and stay. So, quiet as despair, I turned from him, That hateful cripple, out of his highway Into the path he pointed.

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Childe Roland To The Dark Tower Came - Poem by Robert Browning

The name derives from a line in King Lear, written by William Shakespeare. Browning claimed the idea for the poem came fully formed in a dream. The poem explicitly names Cuthbert even though it is stated that his hair is dark and not blond as in the poem. Text This epic poem has long since entered public domain, and so is provided below.

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Robert Browning: Poems Summary and Analysis of "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came"

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