Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''The laboring man has not leisure for a true integrity day by day.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Economy," Walden (1854).
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  • ''You know about a person who deeply interests you more than you can be told. A look, a gesture, an act, which to everybody else is insignificant tells you more about that one than words can.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Journals, entry for Feb. 20, 1859 (1906).
  • ''If one hesitates in his path, let him not proceed. Let him respect his doubts, for doubts, too, may have some divinity in them.''
    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. 167, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''A man had better starve at once than lose his innocence in the process of getting his bread.''
    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).
  • ''To the sick, indeed, nature is sick, but to the well, a fountain of health.''
    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 is wonderful how well watered this country is.... Generally, you may go any direction in a canoe, by making frequent but not very long portages.''
    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).
  • ''A few pieces of fat pine were a great treasure. It is interesting to remember how much of this food for fire is still concealed in the bowels of the earth.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 278, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''It is a ridiculous demand which England and America make, that you shall speak so that they can understand you. Neither men nor toadstools grow so.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 356, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''I am wont to think that men are not so much the keepers of herds as herds are the keepers of men, the former are so much the freer.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 62, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Be sure that you give the poor the aid they most need, though it be your example which leaves them far behind. If you give money, spend yourself with it, and do not merely abandon it to them.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 83, 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

I Knew A Man By Sight

I knew a man by sight,
A blameless wight,
Who, for a year or more,
Had daily passed my door,
Yet converse none had had with him.

I met him in a lane,
Him and his cane,
About three miles from home,

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