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Nature! We are surrounded by her and locked in her clasp: powerless to leave her, and powerless to come closer to her. Unasked and unwarned she takes us up into the whirl of her dance, and hurries on with us till we are weary and fall from her arms.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

Nature never breaks her laws.

LEONARDO DA VINCI, Thoughts on Art and Life

Great is thy voice, O, Nature; in one note thou hast endless tones, each a color in harmony with the whole!


All nature is a vast symbolism: Every material fact has sheathed within it a spiritual truth.

E. H. CHAPIN, Living Words

Nature has the deep cunning which hides itself under the appearance of openness, so that simple people think they can see through her quite well, and all the while she is secretly preparing a refutation of their confident prophecies.

GEORGE ELIOT, The Mill on the Floss

All things bend to help the man
Who seeks to harmonize
His own free will with nature's plan,
And prove himself most wise.


If Nature put not forth her power
About the opening of the flower,
Who is it that could live an hour?


Nature has her language, and she is not unveracious; but we don't know all the intricacies of her syntax just yet, and in a hasty reading we may happen to extract the very opposite of her real meaning.


Nature would be scarcely worth a puff of the empty wind if it were not that all Nature is but a temple, of which God is the brightness and the glory.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Search out the wisdom of Nature, there is depth in all her doings.

MARTIN FARQUHAR TUPPER, Proverbial Philosophy

Go and walk with Nature; thou wilt find
Full many a gem in her enchanted cup.


The student of nature is like one who goes with a candle into some immense cavern. Presently a little circle becomes clear, the shadows vanish before him, and undefined forms grow distinct. He thinks he is near the end, when, lo! what seemed a solid boundary of rock dissolves and floats away into a depth of darkness, the path opens into an immense void, new shapes of mystery start out, and he learns this much that he did not know before, that instead of being near the end he is only upon the threshold.

E. H. CHAPIN, Living Words

The inexorable ticking of the clock is like the throb of pain to sensations made keen by sickening fear. And so it is with the great clockwork of nature. Daisies and buttercups give way to the brown waving grasses, tinged with the warm red sorrel; the waving grasses are swept away, and the meadows lie like emeralds set in the bushy hedgerows; the tawny-tipped corn begins to bow with the weight of the full ear; the reapers are bending amongst it, and it soon stands in sheaves; then, presently the patches of yellow stubble lie side by side with streaks of dark-red earth, which the plough is turning up in preparation for the new-thrashed seed. And this passage from beauty to beauty, which to the happy is like the flow of a melody, measures for many a human heart the approach of foreseen anguish--seems hurrying on the moment when the shadow of dread will be followed up by the reality of despair.

GEORGE ELIOT, Mr. Gilfil's Love Story

Nature is nobody's ally.

HERMAN MELVILLE, "The Stone Fleet"

Nature satisfies my thirst; it feeds my hunger; it finds me clothing; it affords me shelter; it wraps me around when I sleep with beneficent and watchful care; and it takes me at last to its great bosom, where my ashes mingle with their kindred dust.

E. H. CHAPIN, Living Words

Nature seems to have neglected no opportunity for ornament. Think of the trees in winter, and the pattern of the twigs against the sky; how the naked branches spread out into the semblance of huge seaweeds in still water. To see them rimed with frost, or after a fresh fall of snow, is a new revelation of their beauty. In spring, when the branches begin to burgeon and to glow with colour, they look more than ever like seaweeds. And individual buds, when you get near enough to distinguish them, have always a character and beauty of their own.

LEWIS FOREMAN DAY, Nature and Ornament

If in studying the works and laws of Nature, we are walking with its great Author and Sustainer, then we behold this department of truth as He beholds it; we recognize the order of nature and the relations of cause and effect as He recognizes them, and the whole tendency of this must be to bring our minds into grateful harmony with His.


There is constant life in [Nature], motion and development; and yet she remains where she was. She is eternally changing, nor for a moment does she stand still. Of rest she knows nothing, and to all stagnation she has affixed her curse. She is steadfast; her step is measured, her exceptions rare, her laws immutable.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

Nature doesn't speak for you afterward, if you haven't had your say in the world. But nature, if you place your faith in it, dilutes that compulsion and other vanities. The wiggling gleam of flowing water, the romantic disk of the moon, the soothing enigma of starlight, the sight of wind-blown grass, whirling leaves, and large-crowned trees, the smell of woods soil, the extraordinary comfort, both emotional and physical, delivered by the sun, are free.


Nature is God perpetually working; and we need only look around us to see and to feel that truth of a Providence to which our deepest instincts turn.

E. H. CHAPIN, Living Words

October is Nature's funeral month. Nature glories in death more than in life.... Every green thing loves to die in bright colors.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Nature appears to have been the cruel stepmother rather than the mother of many animals.

LEONARDO DA VINCI, Thoughts on Art and Life

Nature is purposeless. Nature simply is. We may find nature beautiful or terrible, but those feelings are human constructions. Such utter and complete mindlessness is hard for us to accept. We feel such a strong connection to nature. But the relationship between nature and us is one-sided. There is no reciprocity. There is no mind on the other side of the wall.

ALAN LIGHTMAN, "Our Lonely Home in Nature", The New York Times, May 2, 2014

Nature is a library of divine thoughts to the spiritualized mind.

REUEN THOMAS, Thoughts for the Thoughtful

Nature ... is uniform. There is no sign of accident or caprice, or the arbitrary, fitful interference of a superior power, but the things of nature proceed onward from age to age with a solemn, majestic movement--an august procession that strikes the contemplative beholder with awe, and expands and lifts his soul with indescribable emotions of sublimity and grandeur.


Nature talks in symbols; he who lacks imagination cannot understand her.

ABRAHAM MILLER, Unmoral Maxims

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