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Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came


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A poem by R. Browning, published in Men and Women. The title derives from a snatch of song recited by Edgar in King Lear (see above).

A knight errant crosses a nightmare landscape in search of the Dark Tower; he eventually reaches the Tower and blows his horn defiantly at its foot. The poem ends with the title phrase, and there is no indication of what happened next. Browning consistently refused to explain the poem, saying simply that it had come upon him as a dream. The intensity of the poem's language remained unsurpassed in Browning's work until the fragment known as ‘Thamuris marching’ appeared in Aristophanes' Apology.

Subjects: Literature.


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