Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''As they say in geology, time never fails, there is always enough of it, so I may say, criticism never fails.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, February 20, 1843, to Ralph Waldo Emerson, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 62, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''What is the use of a house if you have n't got a tolerable planet to put it on?—if you cannot tolerate the planet it is on?''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, May 20, 1860, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 360, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Cold and hunger seem more friendly to my nature than those methods which men have adopted and advise to ward them off.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Life Without Principle" (1863), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 462, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Is this what all these soldiers, all this training, have been for these seventy-nine years past? Have they been trained merely to rob Mexico and carry back fugitive slaves to their masters?''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Slavery in Massachusetts" (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 392, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''It was the unfailing and characteristic sound of those lakes.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "The Allegash and East Branch" (1864) in The Maine Woods (1864), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 3, p. 247, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Of a life of luxury the fruit is luxury, whether in agriculture, or commerce, or literature, or art.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 16, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The student may read Homer or Æschylus in the Greek without danger of dissipation or luxuriousness, for it implies that he in some measure emulate their heroes, and consecrate morning hours to their pages.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 111, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''In my walks I would fain return to my senses.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Walking" (1862), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 211, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Why look in the dark for light?''
    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. 161, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''I should fear the infinite power and inflexible justice of the almighty mortal hardly as yet apotheosized, so wholly masculine, with no sister Juno, no Apollo, no Venus, nor Minerva, to intercede for me, thumoi phileousa te, kedomene te.''
    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. 65, 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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