Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''The tree of Knowledge is a Tree of Knowledge of good and evil.''
    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. 387, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''A Friend is one who incessantly pays us the compliment of expecting from us all the virtues, and who can appreciate them in us.''
    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. 283, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Nature confounds her summer distinctions at this season. The heavens seem to be nearer the earth. The elements are less reserved and distinct. Water turns to ice, rain to snow. The day is but a Scandinavian night. The winter is an arctic summer.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "A Winter Walk" (1843), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 170, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The government of the world I live in was not framed, like that of Britain, in after-dinner conversations over the wine.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Conclusion," Walden (1854).
  • ''To live a better life,—this surely can be done.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, April 10, 1853, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 219, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The higher the mountain on which you stand, the less change in the prospect from year to year, from age to age. Above a certain height there is no change.''
    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, pp. 210-211, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Why do you ever mend your clothes, unless that, wearing them, you may mend your ways. Let us sing.''
    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. 363, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''What stuff is the man made of who is not coexistent in our thought with the purest and sublimest truth?''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Life Without Principle" (1863), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 470, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The merely political aspect of the land is never very cheering; men are degraded when considered as the members of a political organization.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Natural History of Massachusetts" (1842), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 104, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''It was a remarkable kind of light to steer for,—daylight seen through a vista in the forest,—but visible as far as an ordinary beacon at night.''
    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. 202, 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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