Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''I have not read of any Arcadian life which surpasses the actual luxury and serenity of these New England dwellings. For the outward gilding, at least, the age is golden enough.''
    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. 256, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''By one bait or another, Nature allures inhabitants into all her recesses.''
    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. 21, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''This generation has come into the world fatally late for some enterprises. Go where we will on the surface of things, men have been there before us.... But the lives of men, though more extended laterally in their range, are still as shallow as ever.''
    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. 323, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Economy," Walden (1854).
  • ''How much sincere life before we can even utter one sincere word.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, April 2, 1843, to Richard F. Fuller, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 67, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''It makes no odds where a man goes or stays, if he is only about his business.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, February 7, 1855, to Thomas Cholmondeley, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 251, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''There is not one kind of food for all men. You must and you will feed those faculties which you exercise. The laborer whose body is weary does not require the same food with the scholar whose brain is weary.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, May 2, 1848, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 165, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Surely joy is the condition of life.''
    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. 106, Houghton Mifflin (1906). A declaration inspired by Thoreau's contemplation of the sheer variety and liveliness of creatures in nature.
  • ''It seems as if the more youthful and impressible streams can hardly resist the numerous invitations and temptations to leave their native beds and run down their neighbors' channels.''
    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. 271, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''It is a surprising and memorable, as well as valuable experience, to be lost in the woods any time.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 189, 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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