Long, long ago, in times now centuries old,
Action and adventure at all times held sway,
There was never a knight not described as "bold,"
Rescuing maidens back in that yesterday,
Armour-clad knights who were gallant and courteous,
Sweet distressed damsels, lovely and virtuous,
And, naturally, good would always prevail,
Since it was unthinkable that right would fail,
That was how things happened a long time ago,
According to many a popular tale:
For all we can tell, it may well have been so.
How often has King Arthur's story been told?
The legend is surely chivalry's mainstay,
As those great Round Table adventures unfold,
Dashing deeds and dainty damsels all the way;
The story is ancient and tempestuous,
With a king whose background is incestuous,
And an eternal triangle to unveil,
Nor could we ever forget the Holy Grail.
Yes, indeed, it all has a marvellous flow,
Always vividly embroidered in detail.
Adventure well-known to every household,
In which the good and the bad interplay,
Robin Hood, the right having sworn to uphold,
With his merry men many rascals waylay.
Leading his outlaws, Robin is rigorous,
There is action a-plenty and vigorous;
One can imagine Will and Alan-A-Dale,
With Robin and big Little John quaffing ale,
And maybe exchanging some stories of woe,
Or triumph with which their good friends to regale,
Each contributing tales without much ado.
Perhaps less famous, but still literary gold,
I put "The House Of Niccolo" on display,
In which Dunnett* uses her skills manifold
To bring us the actions of her protege
Nicolas, with a background incredulous,
Seeking the truth with an outlook sedulous,
His adventures might make a weaker man quail,
But Nico de Fleury stays hot on the trail,
Rising time and again from a punishing blow,
Often to far flung foreign ports setting sail,
Dorothy's talented, maverick hero.
Wherever there is an adventure foretold,
And much incredible action to portray,
Many a superhero comic is sold,
Heroes whom all rules of adventure obey:
Superman and Co. emerge victorious,
Fighting against those baddies notorious,
Sending the evildoers to rot in jail,
Their wickedness on a most scandalous scale,
As ever more action-packed adventures grow,
Each writer attempting teenage taste to nail,
So that he may bask in the wealthiest glow.
Action and adventure are going wholesale,
Look for them on each corner newsstand's rail,
No doubt there are other examples you know,
Most of them are getting beyond the pale,
Challenging and upsetting the status quo.
*Dorothy Dunnett, author of the "House Of Niccolo" series.
May 16 2020
"Action and Adventure"
Chantelle A. Cooke.
Copyright © Beth Evans | Year Posted 2020