The Dark Is Rising

These are a couple poems from Susan Coopers: The Dark Is Rising series.

The story is one of my favorites & these poems have inspired the way I am using poetry in the book I have under pen (see The Vision Of The Dragon King).

She seems to employ the poetry to add both mystique & a sense of history & ancientness to the story she is telling along with adding the whole prophecy bit to outline what is meant to happen…


The 1st is like an old wives tale. A folk song told to kids at bedtime…

“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.”


The 2nd is more like a prophecy…

“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.”


Unlike the terrible disaster of a film, this book series is both haunting & captivating. Very cleverly written & Susan uses both welsh & Arthurian legend well to conjure up a tale that you would probably find on JK Rowlings bookshelf…


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