Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''The English did not come to America from a mere love of adventure, nor to truck with or convert the savages, nor to hold offices under the crown, as the French to a great extent did, but to live in earnest and with freedom.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "A Yankee in Canada" (1853), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, pp. 66-67, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''Of all ebriosity, who does not prefer to be intoxicated by the air he breathes?''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Higher Laws," Walden (1854).
  • ''It is the art of mankind to polish the world, and every one who works is scrubbing in some part.''
    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. 223, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''It is rare to find one who was so much of a poet and so little of an artist.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, October 16, 1843, to Lidian Jackson Emerson, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 112, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''When the State wishes to endow an academy or university, it grants it a tract of forest land: one saw represents an academy, a gang, a university.''
    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. 252, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Some, it seems to me, elect their rulers for their crookedness. But I think that a straight stick makes the best cane, and an upright man the best ruler.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "The Succession of Forest Trees" (1860), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 184, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''I look upon England today as an old gentleman who is travelling with a great deal of baggage, trumpery which has accumulated from long housekeeping, which he has not the courage to burn.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 74, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''If we live in the Nineteenth Century, why should we not enjoy the advantages which the Nineteenth Century offers? Why should our life be in any respect provincial?''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, pp. 121-122, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Chastity is the flowering of man; and what are called Genius, Heroism, Holiness, and the like, are but various fruits which succeed it.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 243, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''All that are printed and bound are not books; they do not necessarily belong to letters, but are oftener to be ranked with the other luxuries and appendages of civilized life. Base wares are palmed off under a thousand disguises.''
    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. 99, 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 Am The Autumnal Sun

Sometimes a mortal feels in himself Nature
-- not his Father but his Mother stirs
within him, and he becomes immortal with her
immortality. From time to time she claims
kindredship with us, and some globule
from her veins steals up into our own.

I am the autumnal sun,
With autumn gales my race is run;

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