Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came

From Academic Kids

"Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" is a poem by Robert Browning (1812 - 1889), first published in 1855 in the collection entitled Men and Women. Browning said the poem had come to him in a dream, and said of it, "When I wrote this, God and Browning knew what it meant. Now God only knows."

The name Roland, references to his horn, general medieval setting and the title childe (a medieval term not for a child but for an untested knight) suggest that the protagonist is the paladin of The Song of Roland, the 11th-century anonymous French chanson de geste. However, The Song of Roland does not feature a tower or a solitary quest by Roland, and is not clearly related to the Browning poem.

There does appear to be a connection to an old Scottish ballad and fairy tale called "Childe Roland and Burd Ellen". The connection is indirect: Browning acknowledged that the last line and title of the poem is a line in Shakespeare's King Lear (Act III, Scene 4). That line, part of a nonsense stanza recited by Edgar, is thought to have been a reference to the ballad.

"Childe Roland" has served as inspiration to a number of popular works of fiction, including:

External links

  • text of poem (http://www.web-books.com/Classics/Poetry/Anthology/Browning_R/Childe.htm)
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