I loved the Sea. Whether in calm it glassed the gracious day. With all its light, the night with all its fires. Whether in storm it lashed its sullen spray. Wild as the heart when passionate youth expires. Or lay, as now, a torture to my mind. In yonder land-locked bay, unwrinkled by the wind. ~ Richard Henry Stoddard
That make the meadows green; and, poured round all. Old Ocean's gray and melancholy waste, are but the solemn decorations all. Of the great tomb of man. ~ William Cullen Bryant
I have loved thee, Ocean! And my joy. Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be. Borne, like thy bubbles, onward; from a boy. I wanton'd with thy breakers, and laid my hand upon thy mane, as I do here. ~ Lord Byron
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean—roll! Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain. Man marks the earth with ruin—his control. Stops with the shore. ~ Lord Byron
Once more upon the waters! yet once more! And the waves bound beneath me as a steed. That knows his rider. ~ Lord Byron

Oceans are major bodies of saline water, and the principal component of the hydrosphere. Approximately 71% of the Earth's surface (~3.6×108 km2) is covered by ocean, a continuous body of water that is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas.


  • That make the meadows green; and, poured round all,
    Old Ocean's gray and melancholy waste,—
    Are but the solemn decorations all
    Of the great tomb of man.
  • Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean—roll!
    Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
    Man marks the earth with ruin—his control
    Stops with the shore.
  • Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow,
    Such as Creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now.
  • The image of Eternity—the throne
    Of the Invisible; even from out thy slime
    The monsters of the deep are made; each zone
    Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.
  • And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy
    Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be
    Borne, like thy bubbles, onward; from a boy
    I wanton'd with thy breakers.
    * * * * * *
    And laid my hand upon thy mane—as I do here.
  • There's not a sea the passenger e'er pukes in,
    Turns up more dangerous breakers than the Euxine.
  • The breaking waves dashed high
    On a stern and rock-bound coast,
    And the woods against a stormy sky,
    Their giant branches toss'd.
    • Felicia Hemans, The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers in New England (1826).
  • Praise the sea, but keep on land.
  • Rich and various gems inlay
    The unadorned bosom of the deep.
  • He laid his hand upon "the Ocean's mane,"
    And played familiar with his hoary locks.
  • "I thought you understood," he said. "The world is your teacher. It will be all around you. The ocean and the wind and the stars and the moon will all teach you many things."
    • Jane Roberts, Emir's Education In The Proper Use of Magical Powers (1979) p. 10.
  • I have seen
    A curious child, who dwelt upon a tract
    Of inland ground, applying to his ear
    The convolutions of a smooth-lipped shell;
    To which, in silence hushed, his very soul
    Listened intensely; and his countenance soon
    Brightened with joy; for from within were heard
    Murmurings, whereby the monitor expressed
    Mysterious union with its native sea.
  • Ocean into tempest wrought,
    To waft a feather, or to drown a fly.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night I, line 153.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 554-57.
  • Ye waves
    That o'er th' interminable ocean wreathe
    Your crisped smiles.
    • Æschylus, Prometheus Chained, line 95. "The multitudinous laughter of the sea." As translation. by De Quincey. "The many-twinkling smile of ocean," is used by Keble—Christian Year. 2nd Sunday After Trinity.
  • The sea heaves up, hangs loaded o'er the land,
    Breaks there, and buries its tumultuous strength.
  • What are the wild waves saying,
    Sister, the whole day long,
    That ever amid our playing
    I hear but their low, lone song?
  • I never was on the dull, tame shore,
    But I loved the great sea more and more.
  • The sea! the sea! the open sea!
    The blue, the fresh, the ever free!
    Without a mark, without a bound,
    It runneth the earth's wide regions round;
    It plays with the clouds; it mocks the skies;
    Or like a cradled creature lies.
  • Behold the Sea,
    The opaline, the plentiful and strong,
    Yet beautiful as is the rose in June,
    Fresh as the trickling rainbow of July;
    Sea full of food, the nourisher of kinds,
    Purger of earth, and medicine of men;
    Creating a sweet climate by my breath,
    Washing out harms and griefs from memory,
    And, in my mathematic ebb and flow,
    Giving a hint of that which changes not.
  • Alone I walked on the ocean strand,
    A pearly shell was in my hand;
    I stooped, and wrote upon the sand
    My name, the year, the day.
    As onward from the spot I passed,
    One lingering look behind I cast,
    A wave came rolling high and fast,
    And washed my lines away.
  • Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
    The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear.
    • Thomas Gray, Elegy in a Country Churchyard, Stanza 14. Original found in a poem by Cardinal Barberini.
  • There is many a rich stone laid up in the bowells of the earth, many a fair pearle in the bosome of the sea, that never was seene nor never shall bee.
    • Bishop Hall, Contemplations, Veil of Moses, I, VI, p. 872. See Quarterly Review, No, XXII, p. 314.
  • The hollow sea-shell, which for years hath stood
    On dusty shelves, when held against the ear
    Proclaims its stormy parent, and we hear
    The faint, far murmur of the breaking flood.
    We hear the sea. The Sea? It is the blood
    In our own veins, impetuous and near.
  • The sea appears all golden
    Beneath the sun-lit sky.
  • Of the loud resounding sea.
    • Homer, The Iliad, Book IX. 182.
  • Whilst breezy waves toss up their silvery spray.
  • Quoth the Ocean, "Dawn! O fairest, clearest,
    Touch me with thy golden fingers bland;
    For I have no smile till thou appearest
    For the lovely land."
  • The burden of the desert of the sea.
    • Isaiah, XXI. 1.
  • Come o'er the moonlit sea,
    The waves are brightly glowing.
  • Tut! the best thing I know between France and England is the sea.
  • Love the sea? I dote upon it—from the beach.
  • Hitherto thou shalt come, but no further; and here shall thy proud waves be stayed.
    • Job, XXXVIII. 11.
  • He maketh the deep to boil like a pot.
    • Job. XLI. 31.
  • Past are three summers since she first beheld
    The ocean; all around the child await
    Some exclamation of amazement here:
    She coldly said, her long-lasht eyes abased,
    Is this the mighty ocean? is this all?
  • But I have sinuous shells of pearly hue;
    * * * * *
    Shake one, and it awakens; then apply
    Its polished lips to your attentive ear,
    And it remembers its august abodes,
    And murmurs as the ocean murmurs there.
  • The land is dearer for the sea,
    The ocean for the shore.
  • "Would'st thou,"—so the helmsman answered,
    "Learn the secret of the sea?
    Only those who brave its dangers
    Comprehend its mystery!"
  • It is a pleasure for to sit at ease
    Upon the land, and safely for to see
    How other folks are tossed on the seas
    That with the blustering winds turmoiled be.
    • Lucretius, translated from Amyot's Introduction to Plutarch, by Sir Thomas North. (1579).
  • Distinct as the billows, yet one as the sea.
  • And Thou, vast Ocean! on whose awful face
    Time's iron feet can print no ruin trace.
  • Deep calleth unto deep.
    • Psalms. XLII. 7.
  • If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea.
    • Psalms. CXXXIX. 9.
  • Why does the sea moan evermore?
    Shut out from heaven it makes its moan,
    It frets against the boundary shore;
    All earth's full rivers cannot fill
    The sea, that drinking thirsteth still.
  • Streak of silver sea.
    • Lord Salisbury. Quoted from Col. Chesney, who also quoted it. Used by Gladstone, writing of the English Channel, in Edinburgh Review, Oct. 18, 1870.
  • The Channel is that silver strip of sea which severs merry England from the tardy realms of Europe.
    • In the Church and State Review (April 1, 1863).
  • A life on the ocean wave!
    A home on the rolling deep;
    Where the scattered waters rave,
    And the winds their revels keep!
  • The always wind-obeying deep.
  • There the sea I found
    Calm as a cradled child in dreamless slumber bound.
  • I loved the Sea.
    Whether in calm it glassed the gracious day
    With all its light, the night with all its fires;
    Whether in storm it lashed its sullen spray,
    Wild as the heart when passionate youth expires;
    Or lay, as now, a torture to my mind,
    In yonder land-locked bay, unwrinkled by the wind.
  • Thou wert before the Continents, before
    The hollow heavens, which like another sea
    Encircles them and thee, but whence thou wert,
    And when thou wast created, is not known,
    Antiquity was young when thou wast old.
  • We follow and race
    In shifting chase,
    Over the boundless ocean-space!
    Who hath beheld when the race begun?
    Who shall behold it run?
  • Break, break, break,
    On thy cold gray stones, oh sea!
    And I would that my tongue could utter
    The thoughts that arise in me.
  • Rari nantes in gurgite vasto.
    • A few swimming in the vast deep.
    • Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), I. 118.
  • Littus ama; altum alii teneant.
    • Love the shore; let others keep to the deep sea.
    • Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), V. 163–4 (adapted).
  • I send thee a shell from the ocean-beach;
    But listen thou well, for my shell hath speech.
    Hold to thine ear
    And plain thou'lt hear
    Tales of ships.
  • Rocked in the cradle of the deep,
    I lay me down in peace to sleep.
  • In chambers deep,
    Where waters sleep,
    What unknown treasures pave the floor.

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