What save to waylay with his lies

Stephen Schmidt

Senior Member
Arabic
Hi everyone,
From Robert Browning's poem Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came:
What else should he be set for, with his staff?

What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare

All travellers who might find him posted there,

And ask the road?
I guess’d what skull-like laugh
Could you, please, cut the bold text into understandable sentences?
Can we remove the underlined phrase between the commas? And say:
What ensnare all travellers who might find him posted there and ask for the road?
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare - For what reason, other than to waylay with his lies and ensnare?

    All travellers who might find him posted there - All travellers who come across him there

    And ask the road? - And ask for directions.

    Can we remove the underlined phrase between the commas?
    To "waylay with lies" and "ensnare" describe the same action, if that's what you're asking.

    And say:
    What ensnare all travellers who might find him posted there and ask for the road?
    That doesn't convey the intended meaning.
     

    DaylightDelight

    Senior Member
    Japanese - Tokyo
    My understanding is:
    What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare
    All travellers who might find him posted there,
    And ask the road?
    The first "what" is the restatement of the "what" in the previous line (What else should he be set for, ...), so:
    What (should he be set for), other than to waylay with his lies, (and to) ensnare
    all travellers who might find him standing there and ask (him) for directions?
    Can we remove the underlined phrase between the commas? And say:
    What ensnare all travellers who might find him posted there and ask for the road?
    I don't think so. "What, save ..." is important here (for what purpose, except ...).
     
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