Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''The most distinct and beautiful statement of any truth must take at last the mathematical form.''
    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. 386, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''It has been so written, for the most part, that the times it describes are with remarkable propriety called dark ages. They are dark, as one has observed, because we are so in the dark about them.''
    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. 163, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''In the graveyard, which was crowded with graves, and overrun with weeds, I noticed an inscription in Indian, painted on a wooden grave-board. There was a large wooden cross on the island.''
    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. 162, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Whether the flower looks better in the nosegay than in the meadow where it grew and we had to wet our feet to get it! Is the scholastic air any advantage?''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Journals, journal entry, January 27, 1852 (1906). Reflecting on the possible effect of editing his journals into essays.
  • ''We were soon in the smooth water of the Quakish Lake,... and we had our first, but a partial view of Ktaadn, its summit veiled in clouds, like a dark isthmus in that quarter, connecting the heavens with the earth.''
    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. 36, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''To be admitted to Nature's hearth costs nothing. None is excluded, but excludes himself. You have only to push aside the curtain.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, December 9, 1855, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 267, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''There is no history of how bad became better.''
    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).
  • ''You fail in your thoughts, or you prevail in your thoughts only.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, September 26, 1859, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 357, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''I did not know that mankind was suffering for want of gold.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Life Without Principle" (1863), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 464, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''If Carlyle does not take two steps in philosophy, are there any who take three?''
    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. 349, 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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