Learn More

Henry David Thoreau

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

Quotations

  • ''The steadfast shores never once turned aside for us, but still trended as they were made; why then should we always turn aside for 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. 362, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
    48 person liked.
    42 person did not like.
  • ''There are secret articles in our treaties with the gods, of more importance than all the rest, which the historian can never know.''
    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. 129, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''No tree is so wedded to the water, and harmonizes so well with still streams.''
    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. 44, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The inhabitants of Canada appeared to be suffering between two fires,—the soldiery and the priesthood.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "A Yankee in Canada" (1853), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 84, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''At a tavern hereabouts the hostler greeted our horse as an old acquaintance, though he did not remember the driver.... Every man to his trade. I am not acquainted with a single horse in the world, not even the one that kicked me.''
    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, pp. 98-99, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''In all perception of the truth there is a divine ecstasy, an inexpressible delirium of joy, as when a youth embraces his betrothed virgin. The ultimate delights of a true marriage are one with this.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Essay on "Chastity and Sensuality" in letter, September 1852, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 208, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''I am not afraid that I shall exaggerate the value and significance of life, but that I shall not be up to the occasion which it is.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, April 3, 1850, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 179, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''We are all of us Apollos serving some Admetus.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, January 24, 1843, to Lucy Brown, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 44, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The body can feed the body only.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, May 2, 1848, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 164, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Night is certainly more novel and less profane than day.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Night and Moonlight" (1863), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 323, Houghton Mifflin (1906).

Read more quotations »

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.

[Hata Bildir]