Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''For beauty, give me trees with the fur on.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Chesuncook" (1858) in The Maine Woods (1864), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 3, p. 139, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''Should not every apartment in which man dwells be lofty enough to create some obscurity overhead, where flickering shadows may play at evening about the rafters?''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "House-Warming," Walden (1854).
  • ''Is it not singular that, while the religious world is gradually picking to pieces its old testaments, here are some coming slowly after, on the seashore, picking up the durable relics of perhaps older books, and putting them together again?''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, October 17, 1843, to Ralph Waldo Emerson, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, pp. 114-115, Houghton Mifflin (1906). Thoreau here refers to the selections from Asian religious texts known as the "Ethnical Scriptures" which he and others had been presenting in the Dial magazine.
  • ''Are not all finite beings better pleased with motions relative than absolute?''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Paradise (To Be) Regained" (1843), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 285, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''All climates agree with brave Chanticleer. He is more indigenous even than the natives. His health is ever good, his lungs are sound, his spirits never flag.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 141, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''But I would say to my fellows, once for all, As long as possible live free and uncommitted. It makes but little difference whether you are committed to a farm or the county jail.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 93, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''To speak critically, I never received more than one or two letters in my life—I wrote this some years ago—that were worth the postage.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 104, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''With wisdom we shall learn liberality.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 120, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''My spirits infallibly rise in proportion to the outward dreariness. Give me the ocean, the desert, or the wilderness!''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Walking" (1862), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 228, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''One who knew how to appropriate the true value of this world would be the poorest man in it. The poor rich man! all he has is what he has bought.''
    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. 373, 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

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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