Archive

Quotes

All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full.

—Book of Ecclesiastes, c. 250 BC

The bathing was so delightful this morning, and Molly so pressing with me to enjoy myself, that I believe I stayed in rather too long, as since the middle of the day I have felt unreasonably tired. I shall be more careful another time, and shall not bathe tomorrow as I had before intended.

—Jane Austen, 1804

Ashore it’s wine, women, and song; aboard it’s rum, bum, and concertina.

—British naval saying, c. 1800

A fair complexion is unbecoming to a sailor: he ought to be swarthy from the waters of the sea and the rays of the sun.

—Ovid, c. 1 BC

Ocean. A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man—who has no gills.

—Ambrose Bierce, 1906

But look, our seas are what we make of them, full of fish or not, opaque or transparent, red or black, high or smooth, narrow or bankless—and we are ourselves sea, sand, coral, seaweed, beaches, tides, swimmers, children, waves.

—Hélène Cixous, 1976

Take back your golden fiddles, and we’ll beat to open sea.

—Rudyard Kipling, 1892

Never trust her at any time when the calm sea shows her false alluring smile.

—Lucretius, c. 60 BC

The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole sea.

—Vladimir Nabokov, 1941

As to the sea itself, love it you cannot. Why should you? I will never believe again the sea was ever loved by anyone whose life was married to it. It is the creation of omnipotence, which is not of humankind and understandable, and so the springs of its behavior are hidden.

—H. M. Tomlinson, 1912

You never enjoy the world aright, till the sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens, and crowned with the stars.

—Thomas Traherne, c. 1670

Seaward ho! Hang the treasure! It’s the glory of the sea that has turned my head.

—Robert Louis Stevenson, 1883

I’ve been bathing in the poem

Of star-infused and milky sea

Devouring the azure greens.

—Arthur Rimbaud, 1871