Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''As we looked up in silence to those distant lights, we were reminded that it was a rare imagination which first taught that the stars are worlds, and had conferred a great benefit on mankind.''
    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. 417, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Economy," Walden (1854).
  • ''The really efficient laborer will be found not to crowd his day with work, but will saunter to his task surrounded by a wide halo of ease and leisure.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Journals, entry for March 31, 1842 (1906). The thought also found its way into Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, "Sunday" (1849).
  • ''I laugh with the Parcæ only.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, January 12, 1848, to Ralph Waldo Emerson, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 149, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The heavens are as deep as our aspirations are high.''
    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).
  • ''All great enterprises are self-supporting.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Life Without Principle" (1863), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 461, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The sport of digging the bait is nearly equal to that of catching the fish, when one's appetite is not too keen.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 248, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''In the right stage of the weather a pond fires its evening gun with great regularity.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 333, Houghton Mifflin (1906). Thoreau here refers specifically to nearby Flint's Pond in Concord.
  • ''In most books, the I, or first person, is omitted; in this it will be retained; that, in respect to egotism, is the main difference.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 3, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''These foliaceous heaps lie along the bank like the slag of a furnace, showing that Nature is "in full blast" within.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 340, 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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