Henry David Thoreau

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

Friendship - Poem by Henry David Thoreau

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 Greek,
Or any tongue.

A man may love the truth and practise it,
Beauty he may admire,
And goodness not omit,
As much as may befit
To reverence.

But only when these three together meet,
As they always incline,
And make one soul the seat,
And favorite retreat,
Of loveliness;

When under kindred shape, like loves and hates
And a kindred nature,
Proclaim us to be mates,
Exposed to equal fates
Eternally;

And each may other help, and service do,
Drawing Love's bands more tight,
Service he ne'er shall rue
While one and one make two,
And two are one;

In such case only doth man fully prove
Fully as man can do,
What power there is in Love
His inmost soul to move
Resistlessly.

______

Two sturdy oaks I mean, which side by side,
Withstand the winter's storm,
And spite of wind and tide,
Grow up the meadow's pride,
For both are strong

Above they barely touch, but undermined
Down to their deepest source,
Admiring you shall find
Their roots are intertwined
Insep'rably.


Comments about Friendship by Henry David Thoreau

  • (1/17/2018 1:18:00 AM)


    Brilliant, there's nothing more to say. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (1/16/2018 5:53:00 AM)


    This is very nice! One of a kind, it is. (Report) Reply

  • Madhabi Banerjee (12/16/2017 12:49:00 PM)


    good. thanks for sharing (Report) Reply

    (1/18/2018 9:56:00 AM)

    better than you mf

  • (12/9/2017 8:05:00 PM)


    I don’t really like but it’s ok (Report) Reply

  • (11/28/2017 4:38:00 AM)


    Love is not an emotion.It's a quality that attracts.........like the nectar in flowers, ..the bumble bee. (Report) Reply

  • Practicing Poetess (11/27/2017 9:53:00 PM)


    Lovely write, Henry David Thoreau. Too bad you're not here to enjoy your comments in the 21st Century!
    'Love cannot speak, But only thinks and does.' Love is an action word, and love is shown by deeds. Wise Mr. Thoreau recognised this back in the 1800's! Saving this gem to my Favourite Poems list.
    (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (11/27/2017 9:39:00 PM)


    Love is the centrifugal force that keeps the world together and cements relationships. Thanks.
    And close connecting link / Tween heaven and earth.
    Then Love is more lovely / Than anything to me,
    (Report) Reply

  • (11/27/2017 5:17:00 PM)


    As a poet, Thoreau is underrated, overshadowed by his famous prose works. Oh, well, fame is fame, but he's also a great exponent of good old American 'adhesiveness' and a fine technician, to boot. Obviously a Latinist. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (11/27/2017 4:48:00 PM)


    I prefer the last two stanzas- -they give me an image of the love unseen between two beings as well as what is visible (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (11/27/2017 11:44:00 AM)


    More lovely! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Subhas Chandra Chakra (11/27/2017 5:07:00 AM)


    But only when these three together meet,
    As they always incline,
    And make one soul the seat,
    And favorite retreat,
    Of loveliness;
    A beautiful poem so nicely crafted on alphabets of friendship.
    10 for it.
    (Report) Reply

  • (11/27/2017 2:29:00 AM)


    Oh! what a poem on friendship truly superb admiring great qualities, and glories in the friendship between and that friendship like ours admits of no reserves and claims of love cannot surely obliterate those of friendship! and with their roots undermined down to their deepest source as are intertwined inseparably......
    very well crafted.....thanks for sharing
    (Report) Reply

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (11/27/2017 2:22:00 AM)


    A man may love the truth and practise it,
    Beauty he may admire,
    And goodness not omit,
    As much as may befit
    To reverence.

    But only when these three together meet,
    As they always incline,
    And make one soul the seat,
    And favorite retreat,
    Of loveliness; .........haunting expression with nice theme. Beautiful poem shared.
    (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (11/27/2017 1:55:00 AM)


    Such a fine poem by Henry David Thoreau.... (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (11/27/2017 1:40:00 AM)


    Love of friendship is unique indeed as Thoreau says and as it is so, it cannot truly be expressed in mere words! (Report) Reply

  • Ruta Mohapatra (11/27/2017 1:19:00 AM)


    'Above they barely.....inseparably'....beautiful stanza. (Report) Reply

  • Jeanette Telusma (5/6/2017 1:35:00 AM)


    Kudos.... I enjoyed this poem and loved the flow and truth it brought to light. Thank you. (Report) Reply

  • (6/18/2016 10:49:00 AM)


    Handsome poem :) (Report) Reply

  • Folorunso Oladipo Daniel (6/1/2016 3:30:00 PM)


    this is really a wonderful poem (Report) Reply

  • (6/22/2014 7:27:00 PM)


    .............this is a beautiful write....only thing is I would have titled this Love....and not Friendship.... (Report) Reply

Read all 52 comments »

# 98 poem on top 500 Poems

User Rating:
3,7 / 5 ( 101 votes ) 51



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: truth, happiness, pride, winter, nature, power, together, friend, beauty, heaven, wind, love, world



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Thursday, July 13, 2017


[Report Error]