Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''It is not worth the while to live by rich cookery.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 238, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''The hawk is aerial brother of the wave which he sails over and surveys, those his perfect air-inflated wings answering to the elemental unfledged pinions of the sea.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 176, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''We make needless ado about capital punishment,—taking lives, when there is no life to take.''
    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. 435, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''There is something even in the lapse of time by which time recovers itself.''
    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. 374, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The night is equally indebted to the clarion of the cock, with wakeful hope, from the very setting of the sun, prematurely ushering in the dawn.''
    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. 40, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The language of Friendship is not words, but meanings. It is an intelligence above language.''
    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. 289, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''I know very well what Goethe meant when he said that he never had a chagrin but he made a poem out of it. I have altogether too much patience of this kind.''
    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, p. 168, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Really to see the sun rise or go down every day, so to relate ourselves to a universal fact, would preserve us sane forever.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Life Without Principle" (1863), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, pp. 472-473, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''I have found that hollow, which even I had relied on for solid.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Slavery in Massachusetts" (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 406, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''An honest, hard-working, but shiftless man plainly was John Field.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 226, 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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