Henry David Thoreau Quotes

Enjoy the top 2822 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Henry David Thoreau.

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

When we want culture more than potatoes, and illumination more than sugar-plums, then the great resources of a world are taxed anddrawn out, and the result, or staple production, is, not slaves, nor operatives, but men,
those rare fruits called heroes, saints, poets, philosophers, and redeemers.
— Henry David Thoreau —

All men want, not something to do with, but something to do, or rather something to be.

— Henry David Thoreau

The most I can do for my friend is simply to be his friend.

— Henry David Thoreau

A truly good book is something as natural, and as unexpectedly and unaccountably fair and perfect, as a wild-flower discovered on the prairies of the West or in the jungles of the East. Genius is a light which makes the darkness visible, like the lightning's flash, which perchance shatters the temple of knowledge itself
and not a taper lighted at the hearthstone of the race, which pales before the light of common day.

— Henry David Thoreau

No man ever stood the 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

It's too late to be studying Hebrew; it's more important to understand even the slang of today.

— Henry David Thoreau

I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines.

— Henry David Thoreau

It is what a man thinks of himself that really determines his fate.

— Henry David Thoreau

We are not what we are, nor do we treat or esteem each other for such, but for what we are capable of being.

— Henry David Thoreau

They were pleasant spring days, in which the winter of man's discontent was thawing as well as the earth, and the life that had lain torpid began to stretch itself.

— Henry David Thoreau

In proportion as our inward life fails, we go more constantly and desperately to the post office. You may depend on it, that the poor fellow who walks away with the greatest number of letters, proud of his extensive correspondence, has not heard from himself this long while.

— Henry David Thoreau

I grow savager and savager every day, as if fed on raw meat, and my tameness is only the repose of untamableness. I dream of looking abroad summer and winter, with free gaze, from some mountain-side, ... to be nature looking into nature with such easy sympathy as the blue-eyed grass in the meadow looks in the face of the sky. From some such recess I would put forth sublime thoughts daily, as the plant puts forth leaves.

— Henry David Thoreau

This fair homestead has fallen to us, and how little have we done to improve it, how little have we cleared and hedged and ditched! We are too inclined to go hence to a "better land," without lifting a finger, as our farmers are moving to the Ohio soil; but would it not be more heroic and faithful to till and redeem this New England soil of the world?

— Henry David Thoreau

The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening.

— Henry David Thoreau

To regret deeply is to live afresh.

— Henry David Thoreau

The life in us is like the water in the river. It may rise this year higher than man has ever known it, and flood the parched uplands; even this may be the eventful year, which will drown out all our muskrats. It was not always dry land where we dwell. I see far inland the banks where the stream anciently washed, before science began to record its freshets.

— Henry David Thoreau

Shall a man not have his spring as well as the plants?

— Henry David Thoreau

Not by constraint or severity shall you have access to true wisdom, but by abandonment, and childlike mirth-fulness. If you would know aught, be gay before it.

— Henry David Thoreau

Really, there is no infidelity, nowadays, so great as that which prays, and keeps the Sabbath, and rebuilds the churches. The sealer of the South Pacific preaches a truer doctrine.

— Henry David Thoreau

A man's social and spiritual discipline must answer to his corporeal. He must lean on a friend who has a hard breast, as he wouldlie on a hard bed. He must drink cold water for his only beverage. So he must not hear sweetened and colored words, but pure and refreshing truths. He must daily bathe in truth cold as spring water, not warmed by the sympathy of friends.

— Henry David Thoreau

Long enough I had heard of irrelevant things; now at length I was glad to make acquaintance with the light that dwells in rotten wood. Where is all your knowledge gone to? It evaporates completely, for it has no depth.

— Henry David Thoreau

Nature is goodness crystallized.

— Henry David Thoreau

Objects of charity are not guests.

— Henry David Thoreau

Nothing can shock a brave man but dullness.

— Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau Quotes Pictures

Want to see more pictures of Henry David Thoreau quotes? Click on image of Henry David Thoreau quotes to view full size.

Henry David Thoreau Quotes Pictures 1
Henry David Thoreau Quotes Pictures 2
Henry David Thoreau Quotes Pictures 3
Henry David Thoreau Quotes Pictures 4