Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''Such were garrulous and noisy eras, which no longer yield any sound, but the Grecian or silent and melodious era is ever sounding and resounding in the ears of men.''
    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. 419, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''When a shadow flits across the landscape of the soul where is the substance?''
    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. 375, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Friendship is evanescent in every man's experience, and remembered like heat lightning in past summers.''
    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. 277, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''In the production of the necessaries of life Nature is ready enough to assist man.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Cape Cod (1855-1865), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 219, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The moose is singularly grotesque and awkward to look at. Why should it stand so high at the shoulders? Why have so long a head? Why have no tail to speak of?''
    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. 128, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''We may love and not elevate one another. The love that takes us as it finds us degrades us.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Essay on "Chastity and Sensuality" in letter, September 1852, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 207, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''He had a whole heaven and horizon to himself, and the sun seemed to be journeying over his clearing only the livelong day.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Ktaadn" (1848) in The Maine Woods (1864), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 3, pp. 23-24, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''I seem to have dodged all my days with one or two persons, and lived upon expectation,—as if the bud would surely blossom; and so I am content to live.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, January 24, 1843, to Lucy Brown, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 44, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''To tell the truth, I saw an advertisement for able-bodied seamen, when I was a boy, sauntering in my native port, and as soon as I came of age I embarked.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Life Without Principle" (1863), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 460, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''It has come to this, that the friends of liberty, the friends of the slave, have shuddered when they have understood that his fate was left to the legal tribunals of the country to be decided. Free men have no faith that justice will be awarded in such a case.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Slavery in Massachusetts" (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 395, 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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