Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''We have constructed a fate, an Atropos, that never turns aside. (Let that be the name of your engine.)''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 131, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''When we walk, we naturally go to the fields and woods: what would become of us, if we walked only in a garden or a mall?''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Walking" (1862), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, pp. 210-211, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''We aspire to be something more than stupid and timid chattels, pretending to read history and our Bibles, but desecrating every house and every day we breathe in.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "A Plea for Captain John Brown" (1859), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 416, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Unless we do more than simply learn the trade of our time, we are but apprentices, and not yet masters of the art of life.''
    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. 129, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Our books of science, as they improve in accuracy, are in danger of losing the freshness and vigor and readiness to appreciate the real laws of Nature, which is a marked merit in the ofttimes false theories of the ancients.''
    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).
  • ''Some of the taverns on this road, which were particularly dirty, were plainly in a transition state from the camp to the house.''
    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. 161, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''There is danger that we lose sight of what our friend is absolutely, while considering what she is to us alone.''
    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. 202, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Have we even so much as discovered and settled the shores? Let a man travel on foot along the coast ... and tell me if it looks like a discovered and settled country, and not rather, for the most part, like a desolate island, and No-Man's Land.''
    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. 91, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Do what nobody else can do for you. Omit to do anything else.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, August 9, 1850, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 186, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The experience of every past moment but belies the faith of each present.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, June 20, 1843, to Lidian Jackson Emerson, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 88, 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 Knew A Man By Sight

I knew a man by sight,
A blameless wight,
Who, for a year or more,
Had daily passed my door,
Yet converse none had had with him.

I met him in a lane,
Him and his cane,
About three miles from home,

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