Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''The fact is, mental philosophy is very like Poverty, which, you know, begins at home; and indeed, when it goes abroad, it is poverty itself.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, October 6, 1838, to Helen Thoreau, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 26, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''This is one of those instances in which the individual genius is found to consent, as indeed it always does, at last, with the universal.''
    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. 295, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The Indian said a particularly long prayer this Sunday evening, as if to atone for working in the morning.''
    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. 229, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The condition-of-England question is a practical one. The condition of England demands a hero, not a poet.''
    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. 341, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''If you would avoid uncleanness, and all the sins, work earnestly, though it be at cleaning a stable. Nature is hard to be overcome, but she must be overcome.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 244, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Every day our garments become more assimilated to ourselves, receiving the impress of the wearer's character, until we hesitate to lay them aside without such delay and medical appliances and some such solemnity even as our bodies.''
    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).
  • ''Why level downward to our dullest perception always, and praise that as common sense? The commonest sense is the sense of men asleep, which they express by snoring.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 357, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''When the villagers were lighting their fires beyond the horizon, I too gave notice to the various wild inhabitants of Walden vale, by a smoky streamer from my chimney, that I was awake.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 279, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Its virtues, not its sins, are as scarlet.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Autumnal Tints" (1862), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 261, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The fact which interests us most is the life of the naturalist. The purest science is still biographical.''
    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. 387, 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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