Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality.''
    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. 164, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''To speak or do anything that shall concern mankind, one must speak and act as if well, or from that grain of health which he has left.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, October 18, 1843, to Helen Thoreau, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 118, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''What is called politics is comparatively something so superficial and inhuman, that practically I have never fairly recognized that it concerns me at all.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Life Without Principle" (1863), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 480, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 114, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Though seen but once, it helps to wash out State Street and the engine's soot.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 215, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''They can do without architecture who have no olives nor wines in the cellar.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 52, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''No man ever followed his genius till it misled him.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 239, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''We hug the earth,—how rarely we mount! Methinks we might elevate ourselves a little more. We might climb a tree, at least.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Walking" (1862), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 244, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Some are reputed sick and some are not. It often happens that the sicker man is the nurse to the sounder.''
    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. 35, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''There is a chasm between knowledge and ignorance which the arches of science can never span.''
    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. 100, 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

Epitaph On The World

Here lies the body of this world,
Whose soul alas to hell is hurled.
This golden youth long since was past,
Its silver manhood went as fast,
An iron age drew on at last;
'Tis vain its character to tell,
The several fates which it befell,
What year it died, when 'twill arise,
We only know that here it lies.

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