The Dark Tower

The Dark Tower

My lady , Roland will not come today :
Turn from your turret window — gaze no more
Down through the twilight to that path unknown
Winding from nameless woods of doubt and dread :
Thin on the wind your prayer for him is blown
To those dim regions where his soul is fled :
Believe his body stretched where the salt spray
Showers mournfully along some rocky shore ;
His hair is matted now , his lips are grey —
Fling yourself headlong on the ice-cold floor ,
Sweep with your silken hair the dusty stone .
Press close to chill the fever of your head :
You are alone . I say , you are alone ;
The twisted staircase echoes not his tread .
Only the wind that bears your prayer away
Rattles the latchet of your chamber door .

My lady , hoofbeats thunder on the road —
Roland is dead — now nearer, and now here :
Mailed feet ring on the cobbles — he is dead ,
Roland is dead — they clatter on the stair ,
The latchet moves — and Roland’s ams are spread
To gather up a fainting , precious load :
“I have braved fire and flood for you , most dear ,
For you fought griffin , whale and unicorn —
Nay , cheerly , sweeting , weep not — I have bled
To reach a dark tower and to find you there :
Dear love , I see no cause for tears , ” he said .

11th September 1952