Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''Our vices always lie in the direction of our virtues, and in their best estate are but plausible imitations of the latter.''
    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. 331, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''Other roads do some violence to Nature, and bring the traveler to stare at her, but the river steals into the scenery it traverses without intrusion, silently creating and adorning it, and is as free to come and go as the zephyr.''
    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. 249, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Behold the difference between the Oriental and the Occidental. The former has nothing to do in this world; the latter is full of activity. The one looks in the sun until his eyes are put out; the other follows him prone in his westward course.''
    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. 147, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The almost universal bareness and smoothness of the landscape were as agreeable as novel, making it so much more like the deck of a vessel.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Cape Cod (1855-1865), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 136, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''There was now no road further, the river being the only highway, and but half a dozen log huts, confined to its banks, to be met with for thirty miles. On either hand, and beyond, was a wholly uninhabited wilderness, stretching to Canada.''
    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. 17, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The monster is never just there where we think he is. What is truly monstrous is our cowardice and sloth.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, December 19, 1854, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 243, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The outward is only the outside of that which is within. Men are not concealed under habits, but are revealed by them; they are their true clothes.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, March 27, 1848, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 160, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Undoubtedly, in the most brilliant successes, the first rank is always sacrificed.''
    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).
  • ''Only he who has had the good fortune to read them in the nick of time, in the most perceptive and recipient season of life, can give any adequate account of them.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Thomas Carlyle and His Works" (1847), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 322, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''It is life near the bone where it is sweetest. You are defended from being a trifler.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 362, 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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