The Quote Garden
 “I dig old books.”
 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Water:
Ocean, Beach, Sea, Lake, River, &c.

Related Quotes      Swimming      Weather      Environment      Drinking Water

The tides are in our veins. ~Robinson Jeffers

I will not worry and will think only good things. When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused. And much is so. ~Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926), letter to Clara Rilke, 1903, translated by Jane Bannard Greene and M. D. Herter Norton, 1945

The sea was an abstract painting: a band of azure sky above a swatch of indigo water above a ribbon of wet brown sand above a smear of hazel beach... It seemed like the kind of place you might encounter in dreams: too raw and wild to be real, yet somehow familiar at the same time, an ancient impression belonging to my species, imprinted in my genetic code, a knowledge deeper than memory. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018

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 (1817–1886)

A lake carries you into recesses of feeling otherwise impenetrable. ~William Wordsworth

Life is as inexorable as the sea. ~Thomas Wentworth Higginson, "A Moonglade," first published 1875–76

A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature. ~Henry David Thoreau

The sea pronounces something, over and over, in a hoarse whisper; I cannot quite make it out. ~Annie Dillard

At the far edge of my view was the ocean... I could not make sense of its size and grandeur. It was not a pond, not a lake, but a second sky, bluer and more chaotic than the one above it. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018

The true peace of God begins at any spot a thousand miles from the nearest land. ~Joseph Conrad

How suggestive the sounds of the thunder of waves upon rocks and headlands in a storm. They seem to fill the soul with the noblest of all music. I know nothing more exciting than a storm at sea. ~Henry James Slack (1818–1896), The Ministry of the Beautiful, "Conversation II: Footsteps on the Sand," 1850  [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Beauty sleeps on the calm dreamy bosom of the ocean, or lives in the dance of its wild waves. ~T.C. Henley, "Beauty," 1851

The earth requires the use of its two-thirds water to keep its face clean. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

Never a ship sails out of the bay
But carries my heart as a stowaway.
~Roselle Mercier Montgomery, The Stowaway

I know of a cure for everything:  salt water... Sweat, or tears, or the sea. ~Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen), "The Deluge at Norderney," 1933

Every time we walk along a beach some ancient urge disturbs us so that we find ourselves shedding shoes and garments or scavenging among seaweed and whitened timbers like the homesick refugees of a long war. ~Loren Eiseley

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
It's always our self we find in the sea.
~E.E. Cummings (1894–1962)

Most of us, I suppose, are a little nervous of the sea. No matter what its smiles may be, we doubt its friendship. ~H.M. Tomlinson

The only cure for seasickness is to sit on the shady side of an old brick church in the country. ~Author Unknown

These vagabonds in the sky have picked up the shifting weight of pressure heavy oceans, and hurled them down again upon the land, only to have the rivers return to the sea, and repeat once more the endless cycle. ~John Martin Scott, "Vagabonds of the Sky…The Aquarians," Arizona Highways, August 1972  #clouds

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. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

To the landlubber all seas are more or less the same, salt and wet, rough or smooth… You have to be master of yourself before you can be master of the sea... ~R. A. Dick (Josephine A. Campbell Leslie, 1898–1979), The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, 1945

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.
~Rabindranath Tagore

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

It were a quare bit o’ masonry the old lighthouse. If I shut my eyes, I can see her now, the sea sweeping over the lantern in clouds of spray. We tried to plant a bit o’ a garden under the lea, but the grasping, greedy ocean ’ud find us out, and the more earth we took out to the lighthouse rock the more it made for the sea to swallow. ~H. Somerset Bullock, "Jess: A Lighthouse Heroine," in Home Words for Heart and Hearth, 1893

"Take your shoes off," purred the ocean waves. ~Dr. SunWolf,

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 —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

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

I have a large seashell collection which I keep scattered on the beaches all over the world. Maybe you've seen it. ~Steven Wright, A Steven Wright Special, 1985,

If I melt dry ice, can I swim without getting wet? ~Steven Wright, A Steven Wright Special, 1985,

Your life is connected to the sea, no matter where you live — even if you have never smelled fresh sea air, watched a puffin feed its young, or listened to the humpback whale's beautiful song. ~Ron Hirschi, Save Our Oceans and Coasts, 1993  [a little altered —tg]

With every drop of water you drink, with every breath you take, you are connected to the sea, no matter where on Earth you live. Most of the oxygen in the atmosphere is generated by life in the sea. ~Sylvia A. Earle, The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean's Are One, 2009

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

It was as if she lived only on clear, salty air, and when the day came for her to pass away, she would probably do exactly that. Just take a step to one side. Dissolve into a north-westerly wind as it whirled around the lighthouse at North Point, then out across the sea. ~John Ajvide Lindqvist, Harbor, 2008, translated from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy, 2010  [Anna-Greta —tg]

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

ISLAND  A place where the bottom of the sea sticks up through the water. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Foolish Dictionary, Executed by Gideon Wurdz, Master of Pholly, Doctor of Loquacious Lunacy, etc., 1904

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

Driftwood always has a story to tell — born in the forest, adrift at sea, an old age sunning on the beach. ~Handcrafted America [S3, E7, 2017, Jill Wagner, Tom Gauntt's Chesapeake Pen Company]

Beach air is magical. ~Terri Guillemets

Tasting the briny sea air blowing in off the Sound... cleansed her of the grime of the past. ~Abigail Reynolds, Pemberley by the Sea: A Modern Love Story, Pride and Prejudice Style, 2008

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

"I love seamen, they are brave and free as the ocean," said the witch. ~Albert Kinross, The Fearsome Island, Being a Modern Rendering of the Narrative of One Silas Fordred, Master Mariner of Hythe, 1896

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

Dilly, Dilly-castle, n.  A name applied by boys to a small mound of sand on the sea shore, on which they stand at the influx of the tide, until they are dispossessed of it by the waves demolishing it. ~John Jamieson's Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language, 1825

He that will learn to pray, let him go to sea. ~George Herbert

The sea hath no king but God alone. ~Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The White Ship

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 (1817–1886)

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