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Quotations about Water
The tides are in our veins. ~Robinson Jeffers
Though inland far we be,
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither.
~William Wordsworth, Intimations of Immortality
Ocean: A body of water occupying two-thirds of a world made for man — who has no gills. ~Ambrose Bierce
I find myself at the extremity of a long beach. How gladly does the spirit leap forth, and suddenly enlarge its sense of being to the full extent of the broad, blue, sunny deep! A greeting and a homage to the Sea! I descend over its margin, and dip my hand into the wave that meets me, and bathe my brow. That far-resounding roar is the Ocean’s voice of welcome. His salt breath brings a blessing along with it. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Foot-prints on the Sea-shore"
The sea has never been friendly to man. At most it has been the accomplice of human restlessness. ~Joseph Conrad
If we tarry a little while, we shall behold a sunset on the ocean,—a sight worth traversing a kingdom to see. How finely the sands glow in the amber light, what a beautiful purple gleams on the crests of the tiny waves! The colours have changed as if by the moving of a fairy wand—a happy union of fire and its great antagonist. ~Henry James Slack (1818–1896), The Ministry of the Beautiful, "Conversation II: Footsteps on the Sand," 1850 [A little altered. Edith speaking.
Praise the sea; on shore remain. ~John Florio
The water in a vessel is sparkling; the water in the sea is dark.
The small truth has words that are clear; the great truth has great silence.
Rivers are roads which move, and which carry us whither we desire to go. ~Blaise Pascal
My connection to the earth is reinforced through the rhythm of the waves. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife
The great sea makes one a great sceptic. ~Richard Jefferies
But I do see the good side of water now. How good it is when you’re really thirsty, how it glitters and gurgles! How alive it is! ~G.K. Chesterton, The Flying Inn, 1914
"Take your shoes off," purred the ocean waves. ~Dr. SunWolf, professorsunwolf.com
In one drop of water are found all the secrets of the oceans. ~Khalil Gibran
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. ~Loren Eiseley
Boats I see upon the river;
Some, so small they look like toys!
I can, easily, imagine
They are manned by tiny boys.
Then, I see the boats that duty
Takes far off across the sea;
And I send my prayers to Heaven
That protected they will be.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "The Picture I See from my Window" (1940s)
It seems to me as though caverns told stories of the past, while the ocean speaks of the eternity which is to come. ~Henry James Slack (1818–1896), The Ministry of the Beautiful, "Conversation I: The Cavern," 1850 [Edith speaking
There is no more thrilling sensation I know of than sailing. It comes as near to flying as man has got to yet—except in dreams. The wings of the rushing wind seem to be bearing you onward, you know not where. You are no longer the slow, plodding, puny thing of clay, creeping tortuously upon the ground; you are a part of Nature! Your heart is throbbing against hers; your limbs grow light! The voices of the air are singing to you. The earth seems far away and little; and the clouds, so close above your head, are brothers, and you stretch your arms to them. ~Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), 1889
Long before we saw the sea, its spray was on our lips, and showered salt rain upon us. ~Charles Dickens, David Copperfield
And Thou, vast Ocean! on whose awful face
Time’s iron feet can print no ruin-trace,
By breezes lull’d, or by the storm-blasts driv’n,
Thy majesty uplifts the mind to heaven.
~Robert Montgomery, The Omnipresence of the Deity
Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think. ~Robert Henri
There's a tarry smell, a wanderlust smell, and whenever the wind is blowing
The perfume of the open sea comes pungent on the air...
~Edmund Leamy, "A Song of Streets," America, 1921 January 8th
Life is like sea-water; it never gets quite sweet until it is drawn up into heaven. ~J.P. Richter
My child came to me with the equinox,
The wild wind blew him to my swinging door,
With flakes of tawny foam from off the shore,
And shivering spindrift whirled across the rocks...
Therefore the sea's swift fire is in his veins,
And in his heart the glory of the sea;
Therefore the storm-wind shall his comrade be,
That strips the hills and sweeps the cowering plains.
October, shot with flashing rays and rains,
Inhabits all his pulses; he shall know
The stress and splendor of the roaring gales,
The creaking boughs shall croon him fairy tales,
And the sea's kisses set his blood aglow,
While in his ears the eternal bugles blow.
~May Gillington Byron (1861–1936), "The Storm-Child"
Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries—stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water, if water there be in all that region. Should you ever be athirst in the great American desert, try this experiment, if your caravan happen to be supplied with a metaphysical professor. Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded for ever. ~Herman Melville, Moby Dick
How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is clearly Ocean. ~Arthur C. Clarke
With maze diversified it woos the plain,
And in meanders winds its wand'ring train;
Branch'd in a thousand rills with sinuous flight;
Now lost recedes—now sparkles on the sight....
Base rill! condemn'd in solitude to stray,
And 'midst the grass in idle lab'rynths play.
Say Loit'rer! whither these vagaries tend?
These busy nothings, destitute of end?
But hence, begone! high Fortune is my guide,
And Ocean waits my tributary tide...
~Dorat, "The Rivulets," translated from French by Charles A. Elton, 1804
Keep your feet on the deck, your hands on the tiller, your eyes on the horizon and your beer in the fridge! ~B.E. Marshall
I hate to be near the sea, and to hear it raging and roaring like a wild beast in its den. It puts me in mind of the everlasting efforts of the human mind, struggling to be free and ending just where it began. ~William Hazlitt
Were I to name the lake anew,
I would christen it Lake Blue!
The sky into the water slipped,
And faded where the edges dipped:
The little breezes the big wind sent,
Stirred the colors to give accent!
~Jennie L. Richard, "Lake Blue," in Arizona Highways, February 1965
The sea... chants a hundred variations on its mighty theme, as it laps among the rocks, crashes against the cliffs, stirs the eternally restless shingle, or breaks in a thunderous roar on days of storm. Even the foam-bubbles dying on the shore murmur a faint, hissing little tune as their life ebbs out in a gleam of rainbow mystery. The eternal wail of the gulls is the recurrent motif of forlorn questioning in the great sea-symphony. ~Dallas Kenmare Browne Kelsey (c.1905–1970), "The Music of Nature," 1931
There is nothing so desperately monotonous as the sea, and I no longer wonder at the cruelty of pirates. ~James Russell Lowell
I spin on the circle of wave upon wave of the sea. ~Pablo Neruda
The lakes are something which you are unprepared for; they lie up so high, exposed to the light, and the forest is diminished to a fine fringe on their edges, with here and there a blue mountain, like amethyst jewels set around some jewel of the first water, — so anterior, so superior, to all the changes that are to take place on their shores, even now civil and refined, and fair as they can ever be. ~Henry David Thoreau
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Down through the valley and over the hill,
Where the bluebird calls to the whippoorwill;
Where the buttercups and the daisies grow,
And the Summer breezes, so gently, blow,
There is a tiny brook that wends its way
As it twists and it turns, where'er it may;
And over each glistening stone it brings
To us the rippling song that it sings.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "A Spot I Loved" (1940s)
The sea is as near as we come to another world. ~Anne Stevenson, "North Sea Off Carnoustie"
A person should go out on the water on a fine day to a small distance from a beautiful coast, if he would see Nature really smile. Never does she look so delightful, as when the sun is brightly reflected by the water, while the waves are gently rippling, and the prospect receives life and animation from the glancing transit of an occasional row-boat, and the quieter motion of a few small vessels. But the land must be well in sight; not only for its own sake, but because the immensity and awfulness of a mere sea-view would ill accord with the other parts of the glittering and joyous scene. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827
There is indeed, perhaps, no better way to hold communion with the sea than sitting in the sun on the veranda of a fishermen’s cafe. ~Joseph W. Beach
I have seen the sea when it is strormy and wild; when it is quiet and serene; when it is dark and moody. And in all its moods, I see myself. ~Martin D. Buxbaum (1912–1991), in Table Talk
He that will learn to pray, let him go to sea. ~George Herbert
The more simply Life is supported, and the less Stimulus we use, the better — and Happy are the Young and Healthy who are wise enough to be convinced that Water is the best drink, and Salt the best sauce. ~William Kitchiner (1775–1827), "Wine," The Art of Invigorating and Prolonging Life, by Food, Clothes, Air, Exercise, Wine, Sleep, &c. and Peptic Precepts, Pointing Out Agreeable and Effectual Methods to Prevent and Relieve Indigestion, and to Regulate and Strengthen the Action of the Stomach and Bowels, c.1821
The sea hath no king but God alone. ~Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The White Ship
Upon my soul, this water tastes quite nice. I wonder what vintage now?... It tastes just like the year 1881 tasted. ~G.K. Chesterton, The Flying Inn, 1914
Did you ever feel the tongue dry, the lips parched, and the throat feverish, and then, bringing a goblet filled with pure water to your lips, do you remember the sensation as it trickled over your tongue and gurgled down your throat? Was it not a luxury?... Here is a beverage brewed for us by our Heavenly Father—brewed, too, in beautiful places.... He brews pure water, far away on the mountain top, whose granite peak glitters like gold in the sunlight; away again, on the wide wild sea, where the hurricane howls its mournful melody, and the storm sends back the chorus, sweeping the march of God! ~John Bartholomew Gough, English-born U.S. temperance orator
There brews He beautiful water! And beautiful it always is! You see it glistening in the dewdrop; you hear it singing in the summer rain; you see it sparkling in the ice gem when the trees seem loaded with rich jewels!... dancing in the hailstorm, leaping, foaming, dashing...! See how it weaves a golden gauze for the setting sun, and a silvery tissue for the midnight moon! ~John Bartholomew Gough, English-born U.S. temperance orator
Water, no, come on. A warrior's thirst can only be quenched with victory. ~Greg Gallant, Son of Zorn, "A Tale of Two Zorns" [S1, E6, 2016, Zorn]