Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''We have got to know what both life and death are, before we can begin to live after our own fashion. Let us be learning our a-b- c's as soon as possible.''
    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. 242, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''I love reform better than its modes.''
    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. 163, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The title wise is, for the most part, falsely applied. How can one be a wise man, if he does not know any better how to live than other men?—if he is only more cunning and intellectually subtle?''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Life Without Principle" (1863), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, pp. 462-463, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Wherever there is a channel for water, there is a road for the canoe.''
    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. 272, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, pp. 24-25, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The change from storm and winter to serene and mild weather, from dark and sluggish hours to bright and elastic ones, is a memorable crisis which all things proclaim. It is seemingly instantaneous at last.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 344, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''No man ever stood lower in my estimation for having a patch in his clothes; yet I am sure that there is greater anxiety, commonly, to have fashionable, or at least clean and unpatched clothes, than to have a sound conscience.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 24, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The same soil is good for men and for trees. A man's health requires as many acres of meadow to his prospect as his farm does loads of muck.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Walking" (1862), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, pp. 228-229, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''All questions rely on the present for their solution. Time measures nothing but itself. The word that is written may be postponed, but not that on the lip. If this is what the occasion says, let the occasion say it.''
    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. 332, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The shallowest still water is unfathomable. Wherever the trees and skies are reflected, there is more than Atlantic depth, and no danger of fancy running aground.''
    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. 47, 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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