Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''The most primitive places left with us are the swamps, where the spruce still grows shaggy with usnea.''
    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. 168, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''We are accustomed to say, that the mass of men are unprepared; but improvement is slow, because the few are not materially wiser or better than the many.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Civil Disobedience," originally published as "Resistance to Civil Government" (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 362, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''When any lagged behind, the cry of "blueberries" was most effectual to bring them up.''
    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, p. 66, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''New ideas come into this world somewhat like falling meteors, with a flash and an explosion, and perhaps somebody's castle-roof perforated.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, August 18, 1857, to Daniel Ricketson, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 312, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''If I were consciously to join any party, it would be that which is the most free to entertain thought.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, July 21, 1852, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 196, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The world is a cow that is hard to milk,—life does not come so easy,—and oh, how thinly it is watered ere we get it!''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, November 14, 1847, to Ralph Waldo Emerson, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 135, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Politics is, as it were, the gizzard of society, full of grit and gravel, and the two political parties are its two opposite halves,—sometimes split into quarters, it may be, which grind on each other.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Life Without Principle" (1863), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, pp. 481-482, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''There are nine hundred and ninety-nine patrons of virtue to one virtuous man.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. On the Duty of Civil Disobedience (1849).
  • ''I am more and more convinced that, with reference to any public question, it is more important to know what the country thinks of it than what the city thinks. The city does not think much.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Slavery in Massachusetts" (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 396, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Look not to legislatures and churches for your guidance, nor to any soulless incorporated bodies, but to inspirited or inspired ones.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "The Last Days of John Brown" (1860), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 446, 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 Am The Autumnal Sun

Sometimes a mortal feels in himself Nature
-- not his Father but his Mother stirs
within him, and he becomes immortal with her
immortality. From time to time she claims
kindredship with us, and some globule
from her veins steals up into our own.

I am the autumnal sun,
With autumn gales my race is run;

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