Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''Almost any mode of observation will be successful at last, for what is most wanted is method.''
    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. 388, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''The truly efficient laborer will not crowd his day with work, but will saunter to his task, surrounded by a wide halo of ease and leisure, and then do but what he loves best. He is anxious only about the fruitful kernels of time.''
    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. 110, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Hate can pardon more than love.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Essay on "Love" in letter, September 1852, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 200, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''I am very little of a traveler.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, July 8, 1857, to Calvin H. Greene, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 412, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''It is true enough, Cambridge college is really beginning to wake up and redeem its character and overtake the age.''
    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. 138, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden, "Economy," (1854).
  • ''Some show their kindness to the poor by employing them in their kitchens. Would they not be kinder if they employed themselves there?''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 84, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be infinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 350, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Easily, with a few convulsive quirks, they give up their watery ghosts, like a mortal translated before his time to the thin air of heaven.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 315, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Apples, these I mean, unspeakably fair,—apples not of Discord, but of Concord!''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Wild Apples" (1862), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 314, Houghton Mifflin (1906). Thoreau here alludes to the Judgment of Paris in Greek mythology and its consequences, in the process making a pun on the name of his native town.

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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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