Believe me , my young friend , there is nothing --
absolutely nothing --
half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats .
- The Wind in the Willows
Sit in reverie and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
One ship drives east and another drives west
With the selfsame winds that flow.
'Tis the set of sails and not the gales
Which tells us the way to go.
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Less judgment than wit is more sail than ballast.
- William Penn
We were all on this ship in the sixties, our generation,
a ship going to discover the New World.
And the Beatles were in the crow's nest of that ship.
- John Lenon
A few quotes by the one eyed English Naval Officer Horatio Nelson (1758-1805) . He was quite a character by all accounts and fought the French winning many victories including Trafalgar in 1805 ---
I have always been a quarter of an hour before my time, and it has made a man of me.
I have only one eye, I have a right to be blind sometimes.
When I came to explain to them the 'Nelson Touch',
it was like an electric shock.
Some shed tears, all approved -
'It was new - it was singular - it was simple!'.
Something must be left to chance; nothing is sure in a sea fight beyond all others.
No captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy.
A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are built for.
Grace Murray Hopper
No dust have I to cover me,
My grave no man can see;
My tomb is this unending sea,
And I lie far below.
My fate, Oh stranger, was to drown,
And where it was the ship went down
Is what the sea-birds know.
A great ship asks deep water.
Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board.
Zora Neale Hurston
To the ships of our seas ,
And the women of our land ....
May the former be well Captained
And the latter well manned .
Here's to tall ships
Here's to small ships
Here's to all the ships on the sea
But the best ships are friendships ..
Here's to you and me .
Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth;
Whenever it is damp, drizzly November in my soul;
Whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing
before coffin warehouse,
And bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet;
And especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me
that it requires a strong moral principal to prevent me
from deliberately stepping into the street,
and methodically knocking people's hats off - then,
I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can
Herman Melville, Moby Dick
Being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of drowning.
How long have you been a sailor ?
All my bloomin' life.
Me mother was a mermaid.
Me father was King Neptune.
I was born on the crest of a wave
And rock the cradle of the deep.
Seaweed and barnacles are me clothes,
The hair on me head is hemp,
Every bone in me body's a spar,
And when I spit, I spit tar.
I'se hard, I is, I am, I are.
--- an old answer to an old question
All poems , quotes and shanties listed here are believed to be Public Domain . Credit is given where known .
If you know any maritime songs , shanties , quotes, letters, or poems and would like to see them published here please drop me an email
This page was last updated on 23rd July 2000