Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came

Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came painted by Thomas Moran in 1859.

"Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" is a poem by English author Robert Browning, written in 1855 and first published that same year in the collection titled Men and Women.[1]

Inspiration

The title, "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came", which forms the last words of the poem, is a line from William Shakespeare's play King Lear (ca. 1607). In the play, Gloucester's son, Edgar, lends credence to his disguise as Tom o' Bedlam by talking nonsense, of which this is a part:

Child Rowland to the dark tower came,
His word was still 'Fie, foh, and fum
I smell the blood of a British man.
King Lear, Act 3, scene 4

Shakespeare took inspiration from the fairy tale "Childe Rowland".[clarification needed] Browning claimed that the poem came to him in a dream.[2]