Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''If I ever see more clearly at one time than at another, the medium through which I see is clearer.''
    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. 71, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''We must accept or refuse one another as we are. I could tame a hyena more easily than my Friend. He is a material which no tool of mine will work.''
    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. 301, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''There is always a present and extant life, be it better or worse, which all combine to uphold.''
    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. 132, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''A fortified town is like a man cased in the heavy armor of antiquity, with a horse-load of broadswords and small arms slung to him, endeavoring to go about his business.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "A Yankee in Canada" (1853), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 78, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''This people must cease to hold slaves, and to make war on Mexico, though it cost them their existence as a people.''
    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).
  • ''The best way to correct a mistake is to make it right.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, January 24, 1843, to Ralph Waldo Emerson, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 50, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''I have tasted but little bread in my life. It has been mere grub and provender for the most part. Of bread that nourished the brain and the heart, scarcely any. There is absolutely none on the tables even of the rich.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, May 2, 1848, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, pp. 164-165, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The press is, almost without exception, corrupt.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Slavery in Massachusetts" (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 397, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''It is a common accident for men camping in the woods to be killed by a falling tree.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "The Allegash and East Branch" (1864) in The Maine Woods (1864), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 3, p. 221, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Moral reform is the effort to throw off sleep.''
    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).

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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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