Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''You need not rest your reputation on the dinners you give.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, pp. 157-158, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''It is not part of a true culture to tame tigers, any more than it is to make sheep ferocious.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Walking" (1862), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 236, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''A man sees only what concerns him.... How much more, then, it requires different intentions of the eye and of the mind to attend to different departments of knowledge! How differently the poet and the naturalist look at objects!''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Autumnal Tints" (1862), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 286, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''We perceive that the schemers return again and again to common sense and labor. Such is the evidence of history.''
    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. 128, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.''
    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. 316, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Truth never turns to rebuke falsehood; her own straightforwardness is the severest correction.''
    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. 328, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Any sincere thought is irresistible.''
    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. 159, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''There certainly men would live forever, and laugh at death and the grave.''
    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. 90, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''In a thousand apparently humble ways men busy themselves to make some right take the place of some wrong,—if it is only to make a better paste blacking,—and they are themselves so much the better morally for it.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, December 19, 1853, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 222, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''We are made happy when reason can discover no occasion for it. The memory of some past moments is more persuasive than the experience of present ones. There have been visions of such breadth and brightness that these motes were invisible in their light.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, March 2, 1842, to Lucy Brown, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, pp. 41-42, Houghton Mifflin (1906). Thoreau refers here to his reaction to the death of his brother, John.

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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

Inspiration

Whate'er we leave to God, God does,
And blesses us;
The work we choose should be our own,
God leaves alone.

If with light head erect I sing,
Though all the Muses lend their force,
From my poor love of anything,
The verse is weak and shallow as its source.

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