Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''There are some things which a man never speaks of, which are much finer kept silent about. To the highest communications we only lend a silent ear.''
    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. 295, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''The poet will write for his peers alone. He will remember only that he saw truth and beauty from his position, and expect the time when a vision as broad shall overlook the same field as freely.''
    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. 363, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The slight reproach to which the virtue of patriotism is commonly liable, the noble are most likely to incur.''
    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. 366, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Love must be as much a light as a flame.''
    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).
  • ''There is one consolation in being sick; and that is the possibility that you may recover to a better state than you were ever in before.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, June 27, 1855, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 254, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''I wish to suggest that a man may be very industrious, and yet not spend his time well. There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting his living.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Life Without Principle" (1863), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 461, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face?''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 100, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The universe is wider than our views of it.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 352, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''There was never yet such a storm but it was Æolian music to a healthy and innocent ear.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 145, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''A farmer, a hunter, a soldier, a reporter, even a philosopher, may be daunted; but nothing can deter a poet, for he is actuated by pure love. Who can predict his comings and goings? His business calls him out at all hours, even when doctors sleep.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Winter Visitors," Walden (1854).

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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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