Henry David Thoreau quotes

Born
July 12, 1817 Concord, Massachusetts, United States.

Died
May 6, 1862.

Occupation
Philosopher, author, abolitionist, naturalist.

Henry David Thoreau was an American essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, and historian. 

Friends… they cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams.
– Henry David Thoreau

Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.
– Henry David Thoreau

Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.
– Henry David Thoreau

While civilization has been improving our houses, it has not equally improved the men who are to inhabit them. It has created palaces, but it was not so easy to create noblemen and kings.
– Henry David Thoreau

Goodness is the only investment that never fails.
– Henry David Thoreau

None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.
– Henry David Thoreau

May we so love as never to have occasion to repent of our love!
– Henry David Thoreau

An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.
– Henry David Thoreau

Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.
– Henry David Thoreau

In human intercourse the tragedy begins, not when there is misunderstanding about words, but when silence is not understood.
– Henry David Thoreau

I have found that no exertion of the legs can bring two minds much nearer to one another.
– Henry David Thoreau

Through our own recovered innocence we discern the innocence of our neighbors.
– Henry David Thoreau

Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.
– Henry David Thoreau

Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.
– Henry David Thoreau

Men have become the tools of their tools.
– Henry David Thoreau

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.
– Henry David Thoreau

We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will.
– Henry David Thoreau

If an injustice requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the government machine.
– Henry David Thoreau

If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.
– Henry David Thoreau

Nothing goes by luck in composition. It allows of no tricks. The best you can write will be the best you are.
– Henry David Thoreau

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
– Henry David Thoreau

I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.
– Henry David Thoreau

Things do not change; we change.
– Henry David Thoreau

The life which men praise and regard as successful is but one kind. Why should we exaggerate any one kind at the expense of the others?
– Henry David Thoreau

The universe is wider than our views of it.
– Henry David Thoreau

What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?
– Henry David Thoreau

The rarest quality in an epitaph is truth.
– Henry David Thoreau

It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.
– Henry David Thoreau

Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.
– Henry David Thoreau

We are always paid for our suspicion by finding what we suspect.
– Henry David Thoreau

Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.
– Henry David Thoreau

The most I can do for my friend is simply be his friend.
– Henry David Thoreau

I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.
– Henry David Thoreau

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.
– Henry David Thoreau

The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time.
– Henry David Thoreau

When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.
– Henry David Thoreau

The squirrel that you kill in jest, dies in earnest.
– Henry David Thoreau

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.
– Henry David Thoreau

Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?
– Henry David Thoreau

They can do without architecture who have no olives nor wines in the cellar.
– Henry David Thoreau

I was more independent than any farmer in Concord, for I was not anchored to a house or farm, but could follow the bent of my genius, which is a very crooked one, every moment.
– Henry David Thoreau

It is not part of a true culture to tame tigers, any more than it is to make sheep ferocious.
– Henry David Thoreau

In wildness is the preservation of the world.
– Henry David Thoreau

To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.
– Henry David Thoreau

I have found that hollow, which even I had relied on for solid.
– Henry David Thoreau

Is the babe young? When I behold it, it seems more venerable than the oldest man.
– Henry David Thoreau

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
– Henry David Thoreau

This world is but a canvas to our imagination.
– Henry David Thoreau

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
– Henry David Thoreau

I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live and could not spare any more time for that one.
– Henry David Thoreau

The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us. Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.
– Henry David Thoreau

Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends… Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.
– Henry David Thoreau

How does it become a man to behave towards the American government today? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it.
– Henry David Thoreau

Nay, be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought.
– Henry David Thoreau

We are all sculptors and painters, and our material is our own flesh and blood and bones. Any nobleness begins at once to refine a man’s features, any meanness or sensuality to imbrute them.
– Henry David Thoreau

What is called genius is the abundance of life and health.
– Henry David Thoreau

As in geology, so in social institutions, we may discover the causes of all past changes in the present invariable order of society.
– Henry David Thoreau

Dreams are the touchstones of our character.
– Henry David Thoreau

There is no remedy for love but to love more.
– Henry David Thoreau

It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?
– Henry David Thoreau

Our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed by them.
– Henry David Thoreau

Thaw with her gentle persuasion is more powerful than Thor with his hammer. The one melts, the other breaks into pieces.
– Henry David Thoreau

I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.
– Henry David Thoreau

Live your life, do your work, then take your hat.
– Henry David Thoreau

Where there is an observatory and a telescope, we expect that any eyes will see new worlds at once.
– Henry David Thoreau

The heart is forever inexperienced.
– Henry David Thoreau

Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.
– Henry David Thoreau

Men are born to succeed, not to fail.
– Henry David Thoreau

The language of friendship is not words but meanings.
– Henry David Thoreau