Henry David Thoreau

(12 July 1817 – 6 May 1862 / Concord, Massachusetts)

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''His books are solid and workmanlike, as all that England does; and they are graceful and readable also.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Thomas Carlyle and His Works" (1847), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 325, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''Morning brings back the heroic ages.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 98, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''I do not wish to be any more busy with my hands than is necessary.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 109, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Walking" (1862), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 224, Houghton Mifflin (1906). This observation ends a long meditation on the Rhine versus the Mississippi, as they symbolize, respectively, the chivalric age of mediaeval Europe and the heroic age of modern, democratic America.
  • ''The young pines springing up in the corn-fields from year to year are to me a refreshing fact.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 55, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The whole of the day should not be daytime; there should be one hour, if not more, which the day did not bring forth.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 98, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''None of the feathered race has yet realized my youthful conceptions of the woodland depths.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 56, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Our actual Friends are but distant relations of those to whom we are pledged.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 281, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''This is ancient Billerica (Villerica?), now in its dotage, named from the English Billericay, and whose Indian name was Shawshine. I never heard that it was young.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 49, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''It was a purely wild and primitive American sound, as much as the barking of a chickaree, and I could not understand a syllable of it.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Chesuncook" (1858) in The Maine Woods (1864), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 3, p. 151, Houghton Mifflin (1906).

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Best Poem of Henry David Thoreau

Friendship

I think awhile of Love, and while I think,
Love is to me a world,
Sole meat and sweetest drink,
And close connecting link
Tween heaven and earth.

I only know it is, not how or why,
My greatest happiness;
However hard I try,
Not if I were to die,
Can I explain.

I fain would ask my friend how it can be,
But when the time arrives,
Then Love is more lovely
Than anything to me,
And so I'm dumb.

For if the truth were known, Love cannot speak,
But only thinks and does;
Though surely out 'twill leak
Without the help of...

Read the full of Friendship

The Summer Rain

My books I'd fain cast off, I cannot read,
'Twixt every page my thoughts go stray at large
Down in the meadow, where is richer feed,
And will not mind to hit their proper targe.

Plutarch was good, and so was Homer too,
Our Shakespeare's life were rich to live again,
What Plutarch read, that was not good nor true,
Nor Shakespeare's books, unless his books were men.

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