Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''I have a deep sympathy with war, it so apes the gait and bearing of the soul.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Journals, entry, June 30, 1840 (1906).
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  • ''When I think of the gold-diggers and the Mormons, the slaves and the slave-holders and the flibustiers, I naturally dream of a glorious private life. No, I am not patriotic.''
    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. 250, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''How can any man be weak who dares to be at all?''
    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. 166, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''It reminded me of Prometheus Bound. Here was traveling of the old heroic kind over the unaltered face of nature.''
    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. 260, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''We are not what we are, nor do we treat or esteem each other for such, but for what we are capable of being.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, March 2, 1842, to Mrs. Lucy Brown. The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau (1958).
  • ''It is not quite safe to send out a venture in this kind, unless yourself go supercargo. Where a man goes, there he is; but the slightest virtue is immovable,—it is real estate, not personal; who would keep it, must consent to be bought and sold with it.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Thomas Carlyle and His Works" (1847), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 323, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''As for the inlet or outlet of Walden, I have not yet discovered any but rain and snow and evaporation, though perhaps, with a thermometer and a line, such places may be found.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 322, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''We are a race of tit-men, and soar but little higher in our intellectual flights than the columns of the daily paper.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 119, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The man who takes the liberty to live is superior to all the laws, by virtue of his relation to the lawmaker.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Walking" (1862), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, pp. 240-241, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''It was the fact that the tyrant must give place to him, or he to the tyrant, that distinguished him from all the reformers of the day that I know.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "A Plea for Captain John Brown" (1859), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 433, 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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