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Susan Cooper quotes (showing 1-30 of 103)

“When the Dark comes rising six shall turn it back;
Three from the circle, three from the track;
Wood, bronze, iron; Water, fire, stone;
Five will return and one go alone.

Iron for the birthday; bronze carried long;
Wood from the burning; stone out of song;
Fire in the candle ring; water from the thaw;
Six signs the circle and the grail gone before.

Fire on the mountain shall find the harp of gold
Played to wake the sleepers, oldest of old.
Power from the Green Witch, lost beneath the sea.
All shall find the Light at last, silver on the tree.”
Susan Cooper, The Dark Is Rising Sequence
“On the day of the dead, when the year too dies,
Must the youngest open the oldest hills
Through the door of the birds, where the breeze breaks.
There fire shall fly from the raven boy,
And the silver eyes that see the wind,
And the light shall have the harp of gold.

By the pleasant lake the Sleepers lie,
On Cadfan’s Way where the kestrels call;
Though grim from the Grey King shadows fall,
Yet singing the golden harp shall guide
To break their sleep and bid them ride.

When light from the lost land shall return,
Six Sleepers shall ride, six Signs shall burn,
And where the midsummer tree grows tall
By Pendragon’s sword the Dark shall fall.

Y maent yr mynyddoedd yn canu,
ac y mae’r arglwyddes yn dod.”
Susan Cooper, The Dark Is Rising Sequence
“The future cannot blame the present, just as the present cannot blame the past. The hope is always here, always alive, but only your fierce caring can fan it into a fire to warm the world.”
Susan Cooper, Silver on the Tree
“For ever and ever, we say when we are young, or in our prayers. Twice, we say it. Old One, do we not? For ever and ever ... so that a thing may be for ever, a life or a love or a quest, and yet begin again, and be for ever just as before. And any ending that may seem to come is not truly an ending, but an illusion. For Time does not die, Time has neither beginning nor end, and so nothing can end or die that has once had a place in Time.”
Susan Cooper, Silver on the Tree
“Once upon a time... a long time ago... things that happened once perhaps but have been talked about for so long that nobody really knows. And underneath all the bits that people have added the magic swords and lamps they're all about one thing - the good hero fighting the giant or the witch or the wicked uncle. Good against bad. Good against evil.”
Susan Cooper, Over Sea, Under Stone
“For remember, that it is altogether your world now. You and all the rest. We have delivered you from evil, but the evil that is inside men is at the last a matter for men to control. The responsibility and the hope and the promise are in your hands-your hands and the hands of all men on this earth. The future can not blame the present, just as the present can not blame the past. The hope is always here, always alive, but only your fierce caring can fan it into a fire to warm the world.

For Drake is no longer in his hammock, children, nor is Arthur somewhere sleeping, and you may not lie idly expecting the second coming of anybody now, because the world is yours and it is up to you. Now especially since man has the strength to destroy the world, it is the responsibility of man to keep it alive, in all its beauty and marvelous joy.

And the world will still be imperfect, because men are imperfect. Good men will still be killed by bad, or sometimes by other good men, and there will still be pain and disease and famine, anger and hate. But if you work and care and are watchful, as we have tried to be for you, then in the long run the worse will never, ever, triumph over the better. And the gifts put into some men, that shine as bright as Eirias the sword, shall light the dark corners of life for all the rest, in so brave a world.”
Susan Cooper, Silver on the Tree
“All life is theatre,' he said. 'We are all actors, you and I, in a play which nobody wrote and which nobody will see. We have no audience but ourselves....”
Susan Cooper, Silver on the Tree
“The snow lay thin and apologetic over the world. That wide grey sweep was the lawn, with the straggling trees of the orchard still dark beyond; the white squares were the roofs of the garage, the old barn, the rabbit hutches, the chicken coops. Further back there were only the flat fields of Dawson's farm, dimly white-striped. All the broad sky was grey, full of more snow that refused to fall. There was no colour anywhere.”
Susan Cooper, The Dark Is Rising
“So the Dark did a simple thing. They showed the maker of the sword his own uncertainty and fear. Fear of having done the wrong thing--fear that having done this one great thing, he would never again be able to accomplish anything of great worth--fear of age, of insufficiency, of unmet promise. All such great fears, that are the doom of people given the gift of making, and lie always somewhere in their minds.”
Susan Cooper, Silver on the Tree
“Tonight will be bad, and tomorrow will be beyond imagining.”
Susan Cooper
“For Drake is no longer in his hammock, children, nor is Arthur somewhere sleeping, and you may not lie idly expecting the second coming of anybody now, because the world is yours and it is up to you.”
Susan Cooper, Silver on the Tree
“But once in a great while he remembered that he had felt pain, a terrible ache in his heart, and he swore he would never let himself feel love for a human again.”
Susan Cooper, The Boggart
“You remember the fairy tales you were told when you were very small - 'once upon a time...' Why do you think they always began like that?"
"Because they weren't true," Simon said promptly.
Jane said, caught up in the unreality of the high remote place, "Because perhaps they were true once, but nobody could remember them.”
Susan Cooper, Over Sea, Under Stone
“Too many!' James shouted, and slammed the door behind him.”
Susan Cooper, The Dark is Rising
“It is a burden...(M)ake no mistake about that. Any great gift or power or talent is a burden and this more than any, and you will long to be free of it. But there is nothing to be done. If you were born with the gift, then you must serve it, and nothing in this world or out of it may stand in the way of that service, because that is why you were born and that is the Law."
- Susan Cooper ("Merriman" The Dark is Rising)”
Susan Cooper, The Dark Is Rising
“Will picked a single blossom from a gorse bush beside him; it shone bright yellow on his grubby hand. "People are very complicated," he said sadly.

"So they are," John Rowlands said. His voice deepened a little, louder and clearer than it had been. "But when the battles between you and your adversaries are done, Will Stanton, in the end the fate of all the world will depend on just those people, and on how many of them are good or bad, stupid or wise. And indeed it is all so complicated that I would not dare foretell what they will do with their world. Our world.”
Susan Cooper
“Still in the black hemisphere the stars blazed and slowly wheeled; beneath them, Will felt so infinitesimally small that it seemed impossible he should even exist. Immensity pressed in on him, terrifying, threatening--and then, in a swift flash of movement like a dance, like the glint of a leaping fish, came a flick of brightness in the sky from a shooting star... He heard Bran give a small chirrup of delight, a spark struck from the same bright sudden joy that filled his own being.”
Susan Cooper, The Grey King
“And at the last all shall be safe, and evil thrust out never to return. And so that the trust be kept, he said, I give it into your charge, and your sons', and your sons' sons, until the day come.”
Susan Cooper, Over Sea, Under Stone
“Funny,’ Will said, as they picked their way through. ‘Things are absolutely awful and yet people look much happier than usual. Look at them all. Bubbling.’
‘They are English,’ Merriman said.
‘Quite right,’ said Will’s father. ‘Splendid in adversity, tedious when safe. Never content, in fact. We’re an odd lot….”
Susan Cooper
“Poets find truth by writing about what they love.”
Susan Cooper, King of Shadows
“The strange white world lay stroked by silence. No birds sang. The garden was no longer there, in this forested land. Nor were the out-buildings nor the old crumbling walls. There lay only a narrow clearing round the house now, hummocked with unbroken snowdrifts, before the trees began, with a narrow path leading away.”
Susan Cooper, The Dark Is Rising
“When we are children, we have a tranquil acceptance of mystery which is driven out of us later on, by curiosity and education and experience. But it is possible to find one's way back. With affection and respect, I disagree totally with Penelope Lively's conviction about the 'absolute impossibility of recovering a child's vision.' There _are_ ways, imperfect, partial, fleeting, of looking again at a mystery through the eyes we used to have. Children are not different animals. They are us, not yet wearing our heavy jacket of time.”
Susan Cooper, Dreams and Wishes: Essays on Writing for Children
“Never dismiss anyone's value until you know him.”
Susan Cooper, Greenwitch
“Sometimes you must seem to hurt something in order to do good for it.”
Susan Cooper, Silver on the Tree
“He leaned forward suddenly, so that for an instant the strong, bearded face was clear; the voice softened, and there was an aching sadness in it. "Only the creatures of the earth take from one another, boy. All creatures, but men more than any. Life they take, and liberty and all that another man may have - sometimes through greed, sometimes through stupidity, but never by any volition but their own. Beware your own race, Bran Davies - they are the only ones who will ever harm you, in the end.”
Susan Cooper, The Grey King
“Trance is fragile.”
Susan Cooper
“They walked as old friends walk, without often speaking, sharing the kind of silence that is not so much silence as a kind of still communication.”
Susan Cooper, The Dark Is Rising
“Go away," he said. "Go away. I wish you had never come here. I wish I had never heard of the Light and the Dark, and your damned old Merriman and his rhymes. If I had your golden harp now I would throw it in the sea. I am not a part of your stupid quest anymore, I don't care what happens to it. And Cafall was never a part of it either, or a part of your pretty pattern. He was my dog, and I loved him more than anything in the world, and now he is dead. Go away.”
Susan Cooper, The Grey King
“But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else. You are like fanatics. Your masters, at any rate. Like the old Crusaders -- oh, like certain groups in every belief, though this is not a matter of religion, of course. At the centre of the Light there is a cold white flame, just as at the centre of the Dark there is a great black pit bottomless as the Universe."
His warm, deep voice ended, and there was only the roar of the engine. Will looked out over the grey-misted fields, silent.
"There was a great long speech, now," John Rowlands said awkwardly. "But I was only saying, be careful not to forget that there are people in this valley who can be hurt, even in the pursuit of good ends.”
Susan Cooper
“Wish on a star, said a tiny voice in his head from some long-departed day of early childhood: Wish on a star--the cry of pleasure and faith as ancient as the eyes of man.”
Susan Cooper, The Grey King

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Susan Cooper
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