Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''My facts shall be falsehoods to the common sense. I would so state facts that they shall be significant, shall be myths or mythologic. Facts which the mind perceived, thoughts which the body thought—with these I deal.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Journals, entry for Nov. 9, 1851 (1906).
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  • ''If I choose to devote myself to certain labors which yield more real profit, though but little money, they may be inclined to look on me as an idler.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Life Without Principle" (1863), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 457, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Is there any such thing as wisdom not applied to life?''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Life Without Principle" (1863), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 463, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''I believe that in this country the press exerts a greater and a more pernicious influence than the church did in its worst period.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Slavery in Massachusetts" (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, pp. 397-398, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''It is by a mathematical point only that we are wise, as the sailor or the fugitive slave keeps the polestar in his eye; but that is sufficient guidance for all our life. We may not arrive at our port within a calculable period, but we would preserve the true course.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 79, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready, and it may be a long time before they get off.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 80, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Thus it seemed that this one hillside illustrated the principle of all the operations of Nature. The Maker of this earth but patented a leaf. What Champollion will decipher this hieroglyphic for us, that we may turn over a new leaf at last?''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 340, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''I was determined to know beans.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 178, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The next time the novelist rings the bell I will not stir though the meeting-house burn down.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 117, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Most think that they are above being supported by the town; but it oftener happens that they are not above supporting themselves by dishonest means, which would be more disreputable.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 361, 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

Inspiration

Whate'er we leave to God, God does,
And blesses us;
The work we choose should be our own,
God leaves alone.

If with light head erect I sing,
Though all the Muses lend their force,
From my poor love of anything,
The verse is weak and shallow as its source.

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