Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''But for my part, I preferred the solitary dwelling.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 79, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''You may tell by looking at any twig of the forest, ay, at your very wood-pile, whether its winter is past or not.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 345, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''He could not have been tried by a jury of his peers, because his peers did not exist.''
    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. 425, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Ancient history has an air of antiquity. It should be more modern. It is written as if the specator should be thinking of the backside of the picture on the wall, or as if the author expected that the dead would be his readers, and wished to detail to them their own experience.''
    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. 162, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The Brahman's virtue consists in doing, not right, but arbitrary things.''
    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. 146, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The Mississippi, the Ganges, and the Nile,... the Rocky Mountains, the Himmaleh, and Mountains of the Moon, have a kind of personal importance in the annals of the world.''
    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. 10, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The canoe and yellow birch, beech, maple, and elm are Saxon and Norman, but the spruce and fir, and pines generally, are Indian.''
    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. 120, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''How could youths better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Economy," Walden (1854).
  • ''We seem but to linger in manhood to tell the dreams of our childhood, and they vanish out of memory ere we learn the language.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Journals, entry for February 19, 1841 (1906).
  • ''How shall we account for our pursuits, if they are original? We get the language with which to describe our various lives out of a common mint.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, April 26, 1857, to B.B. Wiley, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 301, 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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