Childe Roland To The Dark Tower Came Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis

Rhyme Scheme: A BAACCA A DEEDDE A FGAFFG D HIIHHI D JFFJJ D KFFKKF D FFFFFF D LFFLLG K FMMFFM K KDDKND K KKKKK K OKKOOK K GFFGGF D PQQPPQ D FKKFFK D KFFKKF D KFFKKF D FRQFFQ K JKKJJK K OFFOOF K FOOFFO K OSTOOT K OKKOOK D GKKGGK D FJJFFJ D LKKLLK D FFFFFF D MKKK

IA
-
My first thought was he lied in every wordB
That hoary cripple with malicious eyeA
Askance to watch the working of his lieA
On mine and mouth scarce able to affordC
Suppression of the glee that pursed and scoredC
Its edge at one more victim gained therebyA
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IIA
-
What else should he be set for with his staffD
What save to waylay with his lies ensnareE
All travellers who might find him posted thereE
And ask the road I guessed what skull like laughD
Would break what crutch 'gin write my epitaphD
For pastime in the dusty thoroughfareE
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IIIA
-
If at his counsel I should turn asideF
Into that ominous tract which all agreeG
Hides the Dark Tower Yet acquiescinglyA
I did turn as he pointed neither prideF
Nor hope rekindling at the end descriedF
So much as gladness that some end might beG
-
IVD
-
For what with my whole world wide wanderingH
What with my search drawn out thro' years my hopeI
Dwindled into a ghost not fit to copeI
With that obstreperous joy success would bringH
I hardly tried now to rebuke the springH
My heart made finding failure in its scopeI
-
VD
-
As when a sick man very near to deathJ
Seems dead indeed and feels begin and endF
The tears and takes the farewell of each friendF
And hears one bid the other go draw breathJ
Freelier outside since all is o'er '' he saithJ
And the blow falIen no grieving can amend ''-
-
VID
-
While some discuss if near the other gravesK
Be room enough for this and when a dayF
Suits best for carrying the corpse awayF
With care about the banners scarves and stavesK
And still the man hears all and only cravesK
He may not shame such tender love and stayF
-
VIID
-
Thus I had so long suffered in this questF
Heard failure prophesied so oft been writF
So many times among The Band'' to witF
The knights who to the Dark Tower's search addressedF
Their steps that just to fail as they seemed bestF
And all the doubt was now should I be fitF
-
VIIID
-
So quiet as despair I turned from himL
That hateful cripple out of his highwayF
Into the path he pointed All the dayF
Had been a dreary one at best and dimL
Was settling to its close yet shot one grimL
Red leer to see the plain catch its estrayG
-
IXK
-
For mark no sooner was I fairly foundF
Pledged to the plain after a pace or twoM
Than pausing to throw backward a last viewM
O'er the safe road 'twas gone grey plain all roundF
Nothing but plain to the horizon's boundF
I might go on nought else remained to doM
-
XK
-
So on I went I think I never sawK
Such starved ignoble nature nothing throveD
For flowers as well expect a cedar groveD
But cockle spurge according to their lawK
Might propagate their kind with none to aweN
You'd think a burr had been a treasure troveD
-
XIK
-
No penury inertness and grimaceK
In some strange sort were the land's portion SeeK
Or shut your eyes '' said nature peevishlyK
It nothing skills I cannot help my caseK
'Tis the Last judgment's fire must cure this placeK
Calcine its clods and set my prisoners free ''-
-
XIIK
-
If there pushed any ragged thistle stalkO
Above its mates the head was chopped the bentsK
Were jealous else What made those holes and rentsK
In the dock's harsh swarth leaves bruised as to baulkO
All hope of greenness 'tis a brute must walkO
Pashing their life out with a brute's intentsK
-
XIIIK
-
As for the grass it grew as scant as hairG
In leprosy thin dry blades pricked the mudF
Which underneath looked kneaded up with bloodF
One stiff blind horse his every bone a stareG
Stood stupefied however he came thereG
Thrust out past service from the devil's studF
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XIVD
-
Alive he might be dead for aught I knowP
With that red gaunt and colloped neck a strainQ
And shut eyes underneath the rusty maneQ
Seldom went such grotesqueness with such woeP
I never saw a brute I hated soP
He must be wicked to deserve such painQ
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XVD
-
I shut my eyes and turned them on my heartF
As a man calls for wine before he fightsK
I asked one draught of earlier happier sightsK
Ere fitly I could hope to play my partF
Think first fight afterwards the soldier's artF
One taste of the old time sets all to rightsK
-
XVID
-
Not it I fancied Cuthbert's reddening faceK
Beneath its garniture of curly goldF
Dear fellow till I almost felt him foldF
An arm in mine to fix me to the placeK
That way he used Alas one night's disgraceK
Out went my heart's new fire and left it coldF
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XVIID
-
Giles then the soul of honour there he standsK
Frank as ten years ago when knighted firstF
What honest man should dare he said he durstF
Good but the scene shifts faugh what hangman handsK
Pin to his breast a parchment His own bandsK
Read it Poor traitor spit upon and curstF
-
XVIIID
-
Better this present than a past like thatF
Back therefore to my darkening path againR
No sound no sight as far as eye could strainQ
Will the night send a howlet or a batF
I asked when something on the dismal flatF
Came to arrest my thoughts and change their trainQ
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XIXK
-
A sudden little river crossed my pathJ
As unexpected as a serpent comesK
No sluggish tide congenial to the gloomsK
This as it frothed by might have been a bathJ
For the fiend's glowing hoof to see the wrathJ
Of its black eddy bespate with flakes and spumesK
-
XXK
-
So petty yet so spiteful All alongO
Low scrubby alders kneeled down over itF
Drenched willows flung them headlong in a fitF
Of route despair a suicidal throngO
The river which had done them all the wrongO
Whate'er that was rolled by deterred no whitF
-
XXIK
-
Which while I forded good saints how I fearedF
To set my foot upon a dead man's cheekO
Each step or feel the spear I thrust to seekO
For hollows tangled in his hair or beardF
It may have been a water rat I spearedF
But ugh it sounded like a baby's shriekO
-
XXIIK
-
Glad was I when I reached the other bankO
Now for a better country Vain presageS
Who were the strugglers what war did they wageT
Whose savage trample thus could pad the dankO
Soil to a plash Toads in a poisoned tankO
Or wild cats in a red hot iron cageT
-
XXIIIK
-
The fight must so have seemed in that fell cirqueO
What penned them there with all the plain to chooseK
No foot print leading to that horrid mewsK
None out of it Mad brewage set to workO
Their brains no doubt like galley slaves the TurkO
Pits for his pastime Christians against JewsK
-
XXIVD
-
And more than that a furlong on why thereG
What bad use was that engine for that wheelK
Or brake not wheel that harrow fit to reelK
Men's bodies out like silk with all the airG
Of Tophet's tool on earth left unawareG
Or brought to sharpen its rusty teeth of steelK
-
XXVD
-
Then came a bit of stubbed ground once a woodF
Next a marsh it would seem and now mere earthJ
Desperate and done with so a fool finds mirthJ
Makes a thing and then mars it till his moodF
Changes and off he goes within a roodF
Bog clay and rubble sand and stark black dearthJ
-
XXVID
-
Now blotches rankling coloured gay and grimL
Now patches where some leanness of the soil'sK
Broke into moss or substances like boilsK
Then came some palsied oak a cleft in himL
Like a distorted mouth that splits its rimL
Gaping at death and dies while it recoilsK
-
XXVIID
-
And just as far as ever from the endF
Nought in the distance but the evening noughtF
To point my footstep further At the thoughtF
great black bird Apollyon's bosom friendF
Sailed past nor beat his wide wing dragon pennedF
That brushed my cap perchance the guide I soughtF
-
XXVIIID
-
For looking up aware I somehow grewM
'Spite of the dusk the plain had given placeK
All round to mountains with such name to graceK
MeK

Robert Browning



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Steve: This is incomplete. The denouement missing
 

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