Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''Her undertakings are secure and never fail.''
    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. 340, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''Friendship takes place between those who have an affinity for one another, and is a perfectly natural and inevitable result. No professions nor advances will avail.... It is a drama in which the parties have no part to act.''
    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. 285, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Here reign the simplicity and purity of a primitive age, and a health and hope far remote from towns and cities.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "A Winter Walk" (1843), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 171, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''We shall be reduced to gnaw the very crust of the earth for nutriment.''
    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. 170, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The State never intentionally confronts a man's sense, intellectual or moral, but only his body, his senses. It is not armed with superior wit or honesty, but with superior physical strength.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Civil Disobedience," originally published as "Resistance to Civil Government" (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 376, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The poet is a man who lives at last by watching his moods. An old poet comes at last to watch his moods as narrowly as a cat does a mouse.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Journals, entry for August 28, 1851 (1906).
  • ''It was not the hero I admired, but the reflection from his epaulet or helmet. It is nothing (for us) permanently inherent in another, but his attitude or relation to what we prize, that we admire.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, February 27, 1853, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 215, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''But why go to California for a text? She is the child of New England, bred at her own school and church.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Life Without Principle" (1863), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 468, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''It is not an era of repose. We have used up all our inherited freedom. If we would save our lives, we must fight for them.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Slavery in Massachusetts" (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 407, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''What if all ponds were shallow? Would it not react on the minds of men? I am thankful that this pond was made deep and pure for a symbol. While men believe in the infinite some ponds will be thought to be bottomless.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 316, 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

Epitaph On The World

Here lies the body of this world,
Whose soul alas to hell is hurled.
This golden youth long since was past,
Its silver manhood went as fast,
An iron age drew on at last;
'Tis vain its character to tell,
The several fates which it befell,
What year it died, when 'twill arise,
We only know that here it lies.

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