'The Wind in the Willows' Quotes

Lines from Kenneth Grahame

The Wind in the Willows
"The Piper at the Gates of Dawn", frontispiece to a 1913 edition. Paul Bransom
Study Guide

'The Wind in the Willows' Review is a favorite tale (full of colorful animal characters), by Kenneth Grahame. Here are a few quotes from that famous work.

'The Wind in the Willows' Quotes

  • "The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-cleaning his little home. First with brooms, then with dusters; then on ladders and steps and chairs, with a brush and a pail of whitewash; till he had dust in his throat and eyes, and splashes of whitewash all over his black fur, and an aching back and weary arms. Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 1

  • "After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 1

  • "There is nothing--absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 1

  • "The Mole was bewitched, entranced, fascinated. By the side of the river he trotted as one trots, when very small, by the side of a man who holds one spell-bound by exciting stories; and when tired at last, he sat on the bank, while the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 1

  • "Weasels--and stoats--and foxes--and so on. They're all right in a way--I'm very good friends with them--pass the time of day when we meet, and all that--but they break out sometimes, there's no denying it, and then--well, you can't really trust them, and that's the fact."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 1

  • "'Beyond the Wild Wood comes the Wide World,' said the Rat. 'And that's something that doesn't matter, either to you or me. I've never been there, and I'm never going, nor you either, if you've got any sense at all.'"
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 1

  • "All along the backwater,
    Through the rushes tall,
    Ducks are a-dabbling,
    Up tails all!"
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 2

  • "Glorious, stirring sight! The poetry of motion! The real way to travel! The only way to travel! Here today--in next week tomorrow! Villages skipped, towns and cities jumped--always somebody else's horizon! O bliss! O poop-poop! O my! O my!"
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 2

  • "Toad talked big about all he was going to do in the days to come, while stars grew fuller and larger all around them, and a yellow moon, appearing suddenly and silently from nowhere in particular, came to keep them company and listen to their talk."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 2

  • "Somehow, it soon seemed taken for granted by all three of them that the trip was a settled thing; and the Rat, though still unconvinced in his mind, allowed his good-nature to over-ride his personal objections."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 2

  • "A careful inspection showed them that, even if they succeeded in righting it by themselves, the cart would travel no longer. The axles were in a hopeless state, and the missing wheel was shattered into pieces."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 2

  • "It's never the wrong time to call on Toad. Early or late he's always the same fellow. Always good-tempered, always glad to see you, always sorry when you go!"
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 2

  • "The Mole had long wanted to make the acquaintance of the Badger. He seemed, by all accounts, to be such an important personage and, though rarely visible, to make his unseen influence felt by everybody about the place."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 3

  • "Badger hates Society, and invitations, and dinner, and all that sort of thing."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 3

  • "The whole wood seemed running now, running hard, hunting, chasing, closing in round something or--somebody? In panic, he began to run too, aimlessly, he knew not whither."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 3

  • "There was the noise of a bolt shot back, and the door opened a few inches, enough to show a long snout and a pair of sleepy blinking eyes."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 4

  • "Animals arrived, liked the look of the place, took up their quarters, settled down, spread, and flourished. They didn't bother themselves about the past - they never do; they're too busy."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 4

  • "The Wild Wood is pretty well populated by now; with all the usual lot, good, bad, and indifferent--I name no names. It takes all sorts to make a world."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 4

  • "I see you don't understand, and I must explain it to you. Well, very long ago, on the spot where the Wild Wood waves now, before ever it had planted itself and grown up to what it now is, there was a city--a city of people, you know. Here, where we are standing, they lived, and walked, and talked, and slept, and carried on their business. Here they stabled their horses and feasted, from here they rode out to fight or drove out to trade. They were a powerful people, and rich, and great builders. They built to last, for they thought their city would last for ever."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 4

  • "People come--they stay for a while, they flourish, they build--and they go. It is their way. But we remain. There were badgers here, I've been told, long before that same city ever came to be. And now there are badgers here again. We are an enduring lot, and we may move out for a time, but we wait, and are patient, and back we come. And so it will ever be."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 4

Study Guide

'The Wind in the Willows' Review is a favorite tale (full of colorful animal characters), by Kenneth Grahame. Here are a few quotes from that famous work.

  • "Perhaps he would never have dared to raise his eyes, but that, though the piping was now hushed, the call and the summons seemed still dominant and imperious. He might not refuse, were Death himself waiting to strike him instantly, once he had looked with mortal eye on things rightly kept hidden. Trembling he obeyed, and raised his humble head; and then, in that utter clearness of the imminent dawn, while Nature, flushed with fullness of incredible colour, seemed to hold her breath for the event, he looked in the very eyes of the Friend and Helper; saw the backward sweep of the curved horns, gleaming in the growing daylight; saw the stern, hooked nose between the kindly eyes that were looking down on them humourously, while the bearded mouth broke into a half-smile at the corners; saw the rippling muscles on the arm that lay across the broad chest, the long supple hand still holding the pan-pipes only just fallen away from the parted lips; saw the splendid curves of the shaggy limbs disposed in majestic ease on the sward; saw, last of all, nestling between his very hooves, sleeping soundly in entire peace and contentment, the little, round, podgy, childish form of the baby otter. All this he saw, for one moment breathless and intense, vivid on the morning sky; and still, as he looked, he lived; and still, as he lived, he wondered."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 7

  • "Sudden and magnificent, the sun's broad golden disc showed itself over the horizon facing them; and the first rays, shooting across the level water-meadows, took the animals full in the eyes and dazzled them. When they were able to look once more, the Vision had vanished, and the air was full of the carol of birds that hailed the dawn."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 7

  • "As they stared blankly in dumb misery deepening as they slowly realised all they had seen and all they had lost, a capricious little breeze, dancing up from the surface of the water, tossed the aspens, shook the dewy roses and blew lightly and caressingly in their faces; and with its soft touch came instant oblivion. For this is the last best gift that the kindly demi-god is careful to bestow on those to whom he has revealed himself in their helping: the gift of forgetfulness. Lest the awful remembrance should remain and grow, and overshadow mirth and pleasure, and the great haunting memory should spoil all the after-lives of little animals helped out of difficulties, in order that they should be happy and lighthearted as before."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 7

  • "Mole stood still a moment, held in thought. As one wakened suddenly from a beautiful dream, who struggles to recall it, and can re-capture nothing but a dim sense of the beauty of it, the beauty! Till that, too, fades away in its turn, and the dreamer bitterly accepts the hard, cold waking and all its penalties; so Mole, after struggling with his memory for a brief space, shook his head sadly and followed the Rat."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 7

  • "I feel as if I had been through something very exciting and rather terrible, and it was just over; and yet nothing particular has happened."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 7

  • "Now it is turning into words again - faint but clear - Lest the awe should dwell - And turn your frolic to fret - You shall look on my power at the helping hour - But then you shall forget! Now the reeds take it up - forget, forget, they sigh, and it dies away in a rustle and a whisper. Then the voice returns -"
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 7

  • "Lest limbs be reddened and rent - I spring the trap that is set - As I loose the snare you may glimpse me there - For surely you shall forget! Row nearer, Mole, nearer to the reeds! It is hard to catch, and grows each minute fainter."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 7

  • "Helper and healer, I cheer - Small waifs in the woodland wet - Strays I find in it, wounds I bind in it - Bidding them all forget!"
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 7

  • "This time, at last, it is the real, the unmistakable thing, simple - passionate - perfect - "
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 7

  • "The world has held great Heroes,
    As history books have showed;
    But never a name to go down to fame
    Compared with that of Toad!"
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 10

  • "The clever men at Oxford
    Know all that there is to be knowed.
    But they none of them know one half as much
    As intelligent Mr. Toad!"
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 10

  • "Free! The word and the thought alone were worth fifty blankets. He was warm from end to end as he thought of the jolly world outside, waiting eagerly for him to make his triumphal entrance, ready to serve him and play up to him, anxious to help him and to keep him company, as it always had been in days of old before misfortune fell upon him."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 10

  • "Well, well, perhaps I am a bit of a talker. A popular fellow such as I am - my friends get round me - we chaff, we sparkle, we tell witty stories - and somehow my tongue gets wagging. I have the gift of conversation. I've been told I ought to have a salon, whatever that may be."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 11

  • "When it began to grow dark, the Rat, with an air of excitement and mystery, summoned them back into the parlour, stood each of them up alongside of his little heap, and proceeded to dress them up for the coming expedition."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 12

  • "Toad saw that he was trapped. They understood him, they saw through him, they had got ahead of him. His pleasant dream was shattered."
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 12

  • "All the animals cheered when he entered, and crowded round to congratulate him and say nice things about his courage, and his cleverness, and his fighting qualities; but Toad only smiled faintly, and murmured, "Not at all!" Or, sometimes, for a change, "On the contrary!"
    - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 12