Searching for a hero

May 21st, 2007 | By | Category: Personal Columns

There was always hope in my childhood stories. Arthur and his knights would ride out from their resting place in Cadbury Hill, Merlin would again walk our hills to stand against the power of evil, Excalibur would rise from the water to protect our people.

I love the closing words from T.H. White’s Once and Future King,

The old King felt refreshed, clear-headed, almost ready to begin again.

There would be a day– there must be a day– when he would come back to Gramarye with a new Round Table which had no corners, just as the world had none– a table without boundaries between the nations who would sit to feast there. The hope of making it would lie in culture. If people could be persuaded to read and write, not just to eat and make love, there was still a chance that they might come to reason.

But it was too late for another effort then. For that time it was his destiny to die, or, as some say, to be carried off to Avilion, where he could wait for better days. For that time it was Lancelot’s fate and Guenever’s to take the tonsure and the veil, while Mordred must be slain. The fate of this man or that man was less than a drop, although it was a sparkling one, in the great blue motion of the sunlit sea.

The cannons of his adversary were thundering in the tattered morning when the Majesty of England drew himself up to meet the future with a peaceful heart.



Heroes are as rare as visions these days.

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  1. Ian, I have not lurked for some time. I like the new look and plan to come back more often.

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