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A collection of quotes and sayings by Rudyard Kipling on words, writing, life, inspiration, children, perseverance, lessons, story-telling and isolation.

97 Rudyard Kipling Quotes That Will Inspire You To Think

Quick Facts

Also Listed In

Famous As
Author & Poet

Born On
30 December 1865 AD

Died On
18 January 1936 AD

Born In
India

Died At Age
70

Rudyard Kipling was an acclaimed English writer, novelist and poet. During his school days, he was drawn towards literature and realized about his love for writing, and became the editor of his school newspaper. After his schooling, he returned to India that had all his childhood memories. He found a job at a local newspaper which helped him discover his surroundings. He was an insomniac and wandered all through the night visiting brothels and opium dens open only for the natives. These experiences deeply influenced his forthcoming collection of short stories titled ‘Plain Tales From the Hills’. This was followed by various other books to justify his reputation as a writer. His most notable book was ‘The Jungle Book’ which had eight short stories revolving around the main character ‘Mowgli’. Although he was successful in bringing a smile on every child’s face with his books but his personal life was full of tragedies. Go through the quotes by this fabled writer where he fascinatingly plays with words to explain some of the important lessons of life. Take a look at some famous quotations and thoughts by Rudyard Kipling which have been excerpted from the vast sea of his work.

Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.

- Rudyard Kipling

He wrapped himself in quotations - as a beggar would enfold himself in the purple of Emperors.

- Many Inventions, Rudyard Kipling

I never made a mistake in my life; at least, never one that I couldn't explain away afterwards.

- Under The Deodars, Rudyard Kipling

I always prefer to believe the best of everybody; it saves so much trouble

- Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too;!

- If: A Father's Advice to His Son, Rudyard Kipling

If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.

- The Collected Works, Rudyard Kipling

A woman's guess is much more accurate than a man's certainty.

- Plain Tales from the Hills, Rudyard Kipling

We're all islands shouting lies to each other across seas of misunderstanding.

- The Light That Failed, Rudyard Kipling

Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.

- The Collected Works, Rudyard Kipling

For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.

- The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling

I am the Cat who walks by himself, and all places are alike to me.

- The Cat That Walked By Himself, Rudyard Kipling

A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition

- Rudyard Kipling

Take everything you like seriously, except yourselves.

- Rudyard Kipling

I keep six honest serving men (they taught me all i knew); Theirs names are What and Why and When And How And Where and Who.

- Rudyard Kipling

I am, by calling, a dealer in words; and words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.

- Rudyard Kipling

You must learn to forgive a man when he's in love. He's always a nuisance.

- The Light That Failed, Rudyard Kipling

No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

- Rudyard Kipling

For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

- Rudyard Kipling

The world is very lovely, and it's very horrible--and it doesn't care about your life or mine or anything else.

- The Light That Failed, Rudyard Kipling

War is an ill thing, as I surely know. But 'twould be an ill world for weaponless dreamers if evil men were not now and then slain.

- Rudyard Kipling

Gardens are not made by singing 'Oh, how beautiful!' and sitting in the shade.

- Complete Verse, Rudyard Kipling

Buy a pup and your money will buy Love unflinching that cannot lie.

- Rudyard Kipling

My heart is so tired

- Rudyard Kipling

We have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse.

- Rudyard Kipling

This is a brief life, but in its brevity it offers us some splendid moments, some meaningful adventures.

- Kim, Rudyard Kipling

We had a kettle; we let it leak: Our not repairing made it worse. We haven't had any tea for a week... The bottom is out of the Universe.

- The Collected Poems of Rudyard Kipling, Rudyard Kipling

There is no sin so great as ignorance. Remember this.

- Kim, Rudyard Kipling

All the people like us are we, and everyone else is they.

- Rudyard Kipling

The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.

- Rudyard Kipling

Now, don't be angry after you've been afraid. That's the worst kind of cowardice.

- The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling

If you can wait and not be tired of waiting, or being lied about, don't deal in lies. Or being hated, don't give way to hating, and yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise.

- If: A Father's Advice to His Son, Rudyard Kipling

Of all said words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these it might have been.

- Rudyard Kipling

And the first rude sketch that the world has seen was joy to his mighty heart, Till the Devil whispered behind the leaves, "It's pretty, but is it art?

- The Barrack-Room Ballads and Other Verses, Rudyard Kipling

Asia is not going to be civilised after the methods of the West. There is too much Asia and she is too old.

- Rudyard Kipling

How can you do anything until you have seen everything,or as much as you can?

- The Light That Failed, Rudyard Kipling

I have my own matches and sulphur, and I'll make my own hell.

- The Light That Failed, Rudyard Kipling

There is but one task for all -- One life for each to give. What stands if Freedom fall?" [For All We Have and Are]

- Complete Verse, Rudyard Kipling

I have struck a city - a real city - and they call it Chicago. The other places don’t count. Having seen it, I urgently desire never to see it again. It is inhabited by savages

- Rudyard Kipling

She is intensely human, and lives to look upon life.

- Rudyard Kipling

TWENTY bridges from Tower to Kew - Wanted to know what the River knew, Twenty Bridges or twenty-two, For they were young, and the Thames was old And this is the tale that River told:

- Rudyard Kipling

We be of one blood, ye and I

- The Jungle Books, Rudyard Kipling

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same.

- Rudyard Kipling

The glory of the garden lies in more than meets the eye.

- Rudyard Kipling

A Time For Prayer "In times of war and not before, God and the soldier we adore. But in times of peace and all things righted, God is forgotten and the soldier slighted." -Rudyard Kipling

- Rudyard Kipling

Yet there be certain times in a young man’s life, when, through great sorrow or sin, all the boy in him is burnt and seared away so that he passes at one step to the more sorrowful state of manhood

- Rudyard Kipling

These are the four that are never content: that have never been filled since the dew began- Jacala's mouth, and the glut of the kite, and the hands of the ape, and the eyes of Man.

- The Jungle Books, Rudyard Kipling

They will come back, come back again, As long as the red earth rolls. He never wasted a leaf or a tree. Do you think he would squander souls?

- Rudyard Kipling

A thin grey fog hung over the city, and the streets were very cold; for summer was in England.

- The Light That Failed [Illustrated], Rudyard Kipling

All we have of freedom All we use or know This our fathers bought for us Long and long ago

- Rudyard Kipling

Now India is a place beyond all others where one must not take things too seriously—the midday sun always excepted.

- Plain Tales from the Hills, Rudyard Kipling

He travels the fastest who travels alone.

- Rudyard Kipling

Everyone is more or less mad on one point.

- Rudyard Kipling

It is not a good fancy,' said the llama. 'What profit to kill men?' Very little - as I know; but if evil men were not now and then slain it would not be a good world for weaponless dreamers.

- Kim, Rudyard Kipling

Something I owe to the soil that grew— More to the life that fed— But most to Allah who gave me two Separate sides to my head.

- Kim, Rudyard Kipling

They are fools who kiss and tell'-- Wisely has the poet sung. Man may hold all sorts of posts If he'll only hold his tongue.

- Rudyard Kipling

God help us for we knew the worst too young.

- The Light That Failed, Rudyard Kipling

O it's Tommy this, and Tommy that, and Tommy 'ow's your soul/But it's thin red line of heroes when the drums begin to roll.

- The Barrack-Room Ballads and Other Verses, Rudyard Kipling

Thou art of the Jungle and not of the Jungle. And I am only a black panther. But I love thee, Little Brother.

- The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling

If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim.

- If: A Father's Advice to His Son, Rudyard Kipling

Good Lord! who can account for the fathomless folly of the public?

- The Light That Failed, Rudyard Kipling

The tumalt and shouting dies, The captains and the kings depart. Still stands thine ancient sacrifice, An humble and a contrite heat. Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, Lest we forget, lest we forget.

- Rudyard Kipling

If any Question why We Died Tell them because our Father's Lied.

- Rudyard Kipling

What is the Law of the Jungle? Strike first and then give tongue

- The Jungle Books, Rudyard Kipling

For Kim did nothing with an immense success.

- Kim, Rudyard Kipling

One man in a thousand, Solomon says. Will stick more close than a brother. And it's worth while seeking him half your days If you find him before the other. ---The Thousandth Man

- Rudyard Kipling

Hear and attend and listen; for this befell and behappened and became and was: O my Best Beloved, when the tame animals were wild.

- Just So Stories, Rudyard Kipling

The motto of all the mongoose family is, "Run and find out," and Rikki-tikki was a true mongoose.

- Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, Rudyard Kipling

So Mowgli went away and hunted with the four cubs in the jungle from that day on. But he was not always alone, because years afterward he became a man and married. But that is a story for grown-ups.

- The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling

More men are killed by overwork than the importance of the world justifies.

- The Phantom Rickshaw and Other Ghost Stories, Rudyard Kipling

As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn, The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

- Rudyard Kipling

When the moon gets up and night comes, he is the Cat that walks by himself, and all places are alike to him.

- Rudyard Kipling

There's no jealousy in the grave.

- The Jungle Books, Rudyard Kipling

If you hit a pony over the nose at the outset of your acquaintance, he may not love you but he will take a deep interest in your movements ever afterwards

- Rudyard Kipling

If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run- Yours is the Earth and everything in it...

- Rudyard Kipling

At twenty the things for which one does not care a damn should, properly, be many.

- Rudyard Kipling

It takes a great deal of Christianity to wipe out uncivilised Eastern instincts, such as falling in love at first sight.

- Plain Tales from the Hills, Rudyard Kipling

Many wear the robes, but few walk the Way." The Lama in Kim

- Rudyard Kipling

Holden went to his bungalow and began to understand that he was not alone in the world, and also that he was afraid for the sake of another, -- which is the most soul-satisfying fear known to man.

- Selected Stories, Rudyard Kipling

One can’t prescribe books, even the best books, to people unless one knows a good deal about each individual person.

- A Book Of Words: Selections From Speeches And Addresses Delivered Between 1906 And 1927, Rudyard Kipling

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master; If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same;

- Rudyard Kipling

What is this," said the leopard,"that is so 'sclusively dark, and yet so full of little pieces of light?

- Just So Stories, Rudyard Kipling

I am Kim. I am Kim. And what is Kim?" His soul repeated it again and again.

- Kim, Rudyard Kipling

No need to listen for the fall. This is the world's end.

- Kim, Rudyard Kipling

Too much work and too much energy kill a man just as effectively as too much assorted vice or too much drink

- Rudyard Kipling

Whatever he knows of his weaknesses, Private Mulvaney is wholly ignorant of his strength.

- Soldiers Three, Rudyard Kipling

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And hold on when there's nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!

- Rudyard Kipling

When a man does good work out of all proportion to his pay, in seven cases out of nine there is a woman at the back of the virtue. The two exceptions must have suffered from sunstroke.

- Rudyard Kipling

The reason the beasts give among themselves is that Man is the weakest and most defenseless of all living things,

- The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling

Follow the dream, and always the dream, and only the dream.

- Rudyard Kipling

Body and spirit, I surrendered whole, To harsh Instructors- and received a soul.

- Rudyard Kipling

Fiction is Truth's elder sister. Obviously. No one in the world knew what truth was till some one had told a story.

- Writings on Writing, Rudyard Kipling

You must not forget the suspenders, Best Beloved.

- Just So Stories, Rudyard Kipling

Gentlemen-rankers out on the spree Damned from here to Eternity, God ha' mercy on such as we, Baa! Yah! Bah!

- The Barrack-Room Ballads and Other Verses, Rudyard Kipling

Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates, and your cubs as they need, and ye can; But kill not for pleasure of killing, and seven times never kill Man!

- Rudyard Kipling

If a man can hear the truth he's spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools..........

- The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling

Ye've a furtive look in your eye - a furtive, sneakin', poachin' look in your eye, that 'ud ruin the reputation of an archangel!

- The Complete Stalky and Co., Rudyard Kipling

Cites and Thrones and Powers Stand in Time's eye Which daily die; But, as new buds put forth To glad new men, Out of the spend and unconsidered Earth, The cities will rise again

- Puck of Pook's Hill, Rudyard Kipling