The moon again was on the wane when I Met at Cross Roads my Brontë challenger, To speed to Shinar on our hippogriffs, And break a lance in a poetic tilt, In armour such as sons of Tubal-cain Wrought for the "mighty men which were of old, Men of renown," before the Deluge came. Our censor, Leyland, with his meerschaum lit, And goblet crowned, assumed the judgment-thrown, And bade each combatant, with arms in rest, Display the legend on his shield impressed, For which he would "do battel" as true knight. Brontë's read "Azrael or Destruction's Eve"; And mine the "Demon Queen." "The challenger, Sir Patrick of the Thunder-bruit, begin The onslaught!" cried the umpire. Brontë drew (To sink the metaphor) from out his hat A manuscript, which, when his eyes beheld, He stood aghast; and turning rapidly The quivering leaves, he said; "O friends, I've made A strange mistake! This is a novel on which, Some time ago, I tried my 'prentice hand, And which, in my hot haste, I must have snatched Instead of 'Azrael' from my private drawer." "A ruse! A ruse! Pat!" Leyland thundered through A cloud of smoke, as from a cannon's mouth; "Thy spider-muse, if but the truth were known, Has not from his own meagre bowels spun A single line of his poetic web."
Under the headline 'Who wrote Wuthering Heights?' Dearden described a meeting which had taken place in the summer of 1842 between himself, Branwell and their sculptor friend Joseph Leyland at the Cross Roads Inn between Haworth and Keighley. A month earlier, the two poets had each agreed to produce a verse composition set in the mythical time before the Deluge. But when Branwell arrived at the appointed pub to show off his handiwork, he found that he had accidentally picked up the wrong manuscript. What he read out was not the antediluvian poem 'Azrael or the Eve of Destruction' he had written in answer to Dearden's challenge, but a fragment whose scene and characters 'so far as then developed' were, according to Dearden, 'the same as those in Wuthering Heights, which Charlotte Bronté [sic] confidently asserts was the production of her sister Emily'. bronteblog/wuthering-heights-at-cross-roads-inn