Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''The American has dwindled into an Odd Fellow—one who may be known by the development of his organ of gregariousness.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. On the Duty of Civil Disobedience (1849).
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  • ''The Artist is he who detects and applies the law from observation of the works of Genius, whether of man or Nature. The Artisan is he who merely applies the rules which others have detected.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Sunday," A Week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers (1849).
  • ''Speech is for the convenience of those who are hard of hearing; but there are many fine things which we cannot say if we have to shout.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Visitors," Walden (1854).
  • ''Farmers are respectable and interesting to me in proportion as they are poor,—poor farmers.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 218, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''We commonly do not remember that it is, after all, always the first person that is speaking.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, pp. 3-4, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''I should be glad if all the meadows on the earth were left in a wild state, if that were the consequence of men's beginning to redeem themselves.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 228, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''I never dreamed of any enormity greater than I have committed. I never knew, and never shall know, a worse man than myself.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 86, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''I did not read books the first summer; I hoed beans.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 123, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''If you are ready to leave father and mother, and brother and sister, and wife and child and friends, and never see them again,—if you have paid your debts and made your will, and settled all your affairs, and are a free man, then you are ready for a walk.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Walking" (1862), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 206, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Such is always the pursuit of knowledge. The celestial fruits, the golden apples of the Hesperides, are ever guarded by a hundred-headed dragon which never sleeps, so that it is an Herculean labor to pluck them.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Wild Apples" (1862), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 307, Houghton Mifflin (1906). Thoreau refers here to one of the labors of Hercules in Greek mythology.

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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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