Famous Quotes About Rivers

Rivers are an endless source of inspiration. Over the centuries, poets, writers, and philosophers have used their words to express the power, beauty, and magic of rivers. Here are some quotes to inspire you.

There’s nothing… absolutely nothing… half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats.
-Kenneth Grahme, The Wind in the Willows

Who hears the rippling of rivers will not utterly despair of anything.
-Henry David Thoreau

I choose to listen to the river for a while, thinking river thoughts, before joining the night and the stars.
- Edward Abbey

Sometimes luck is with you, and sometimes not, but the important thing is to take the dare. Those who climb mountains or raft rivers understand this.
- David Brower

What would the world be, once bereft of wet and wildness? Let them be left, O let them be left, wildness and wet; Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.
- Gerard Manley Hopkins 1844-1889

The care of rivers is not a question of rivers, but of the human heart.
- Tanako Shozo

Be like a rock in the middle of a river, let all of the water flow around and past you.
- Zen Saying

Rivers flow not past, but through us; tingling, vibrating, exciting every cell and fiber in our bodies, making them sing and glide.
- John Muir

Swift or smooth, broad as the Hudson or narrow enough to scrape your gunwales, every river is a world of its own, unique in pattern and personality. Each mile on a river will take you further from home than a hundred miles on a road.
- Bob Marshall

Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.
- A. A. Milne, Pooh’s Little Instruction Book

What makes a river so restful to people is that it doesn’t have any doubt it is sure to get where it is going, and it doesn’t want to go anywhere else.
- Hal Boyle

The song of the river ends not at her banks, but in the hearts of those who have loved her.
- Buffalo Joe

Clean water is not an expenditure of Federal funds; clean water is an investment in the future of our country.
- Bob Shuster, U.S. Representative, quoted in Washington Post, 9 January 1987

I see an America whose rivers and valleys and lakes hills and streams and plains the mountains over our land and nature’s wealth deep under the earth are protected as the rightful heritage of all the people.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt

The good life on any river may…depend on the perception of its music, and the preservation of some music to perceive.
- Aldo Leopold

The first river you paddle runs through the rest of your life. It bubbles up in pools and eddies to remind you who you are.
- Lynn Noel

When you put your hand in a flowing stream, you touch the last that has gone before and the first of what is still to come.
- Leonardo DaVinci

A river seems a magic thing. A magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself.
- Laura Gilpin, from The Rio Grande, 1949

I have never seen a river that I could not love. Moving water…has a fascinating vitality. It has power and grace and associations. It has a thousand colors and a thousand shapes, yet it follows laws so definite that the tiniest streamlet is an exact replica of a great river.
- Roderick Haig Brown

I started out thinking of America as highways and state lines. As I got to know it better, I began to think of it as rivers.
- Charles Kuralt, from The Magic of Rivers

Rivers run through our history and folklore, and link us as a people. They nourish and refresh us and provide a home for dazzling varieties of fish and wildlife and trees and plants of every sort. We are a nation rich in rivers.
- Charles Kuralt

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops under the rocks are the words and some of the words are theirs.
- Norman Maclan, from A River Runs Through It

The face of the river, in time, became a wonderful book. . .which told us mind to me without reserve, delivering its most cherished secrets as clearly as if it had uttered them with a voice. And it was not a book to be read once and thrown aside, fir it had a new story to tell every day. 
-Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi

Do you have favorite quotes about rivers and clean water? If so, tell us!