Quotes by Henry David Thoreau

quotes by Henry David Thoreau

Best 2647 Quotes by Henry David Thoreau

if a man walks in th quote by henry david thoreau

If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)
nature will bear the quote by henry david thoreau

Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)
the finest workers i quote by 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 (Source: SoberSides.com)
an early morning wal quote by henry david thoreau

An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)
there is no value in quote by henry david thoreau

There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

A broad margin of leisure is as beautiful in a man's life as in a book. Haste makes waste, no less in life than in housekeeping. Keep the time, observe the hours of the universe, not of the cars.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I have learned, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Our moments of inspiration are not lost though we have no particular poem to show for them; for those experiences have left an indelible impression, and we are ever and anon reminded of them.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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 (Source: SoberSides.com)

As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

It appears to be a law that you cannot have a deep sympathy with both man and nature.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Nature and human life are as various as our several constitutions. Who shall say what prospect life offers to another?

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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 (Source: SoberSides.com)

Alas! how little does the memory of these human inhabitants enhance the beauty of the landscape!

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The perception of beauty is a moral test.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Nature puts no question and answers none which we mortals ask. She has long ago taken her resolution.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The Artist is he who detects and applies the law from observation of the works of Genius, whether of man or Nature. The Artisan is he who merely applies the rules which others have detected.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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 (Source: SoberSides.com)

There is more of good nature than of good sense at the bottom of most marriages.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

What is human warfare but just this; an effort to make the laws of God and nature take sides with one party.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Great men, unknown to their generation, have their fame among the great who have preceded them, and all true worldly fame subsides from their high estimate beyond the stars.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Men have a respect for scholarship and learning greatly out of proportion to the use they commonly serve.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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 (Source: SoberSides.com)

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

In my afternoon walk I would fain forget all my morning occupations and my obligations to society.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself than this incessant business.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

It is best to avoid the beginnings of evil.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

God reigns when we take a liberal view, when a liberal view is presented to us.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

As for doing good; that is one of the professions which is full. Moreover I have tried it fairly and, strange as it may seem, am satisfied that it does not agree with my constitution.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple tree is connected with that of man.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

It is better to have your head in the clouds, and know where you are... than to breathe the clearer atmosphere below them, and think that you are in paradise.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

It is usually the imagination that is wounded first, rather than the heart; it being much more sensitive.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Every man casts a shadow; not his body only, but his imperfectly mingled spirit. This is his grief. Let him turn which way he will, it falls opposite to the sun; short at noon, long at eve. Did you never see it?

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The language of friendship is not words but meanings.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

So thoroughly and sincerely are we compelled to live, reverencing our life, and denying the possibility of change. This is the only way, we say; but there are as many ways as there can be drawn radii from one centre. All change is a miracle to contemplate; but it is a miracle which is taking place every instant.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude. 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 (Source: SoberSides.com)

I am sorry to think that you do not get a man's most effective criticism until you provoke him. Severe truth is expressed with some bitterness.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Every day or two, I strolled to the village to hear some of the gossip which is incessantly going on there, circulating either from mouth to mouth, or from newspaper to newspaper, and which, taken in homeopathic doses, was really as refreshing in its way as the rustle of leaves and the peeping of frogs.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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 (Source: SoberSides.com)

To a philosopher all news, as it is called, is gossip, and they who edit and read it are old women over their tea.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I have the habit of attention to such excess, that my senses get no rest - but suffer from a constant strain.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I did not wish to take a cabin passage, but rather to go before the mast and on the deck of the world, for there I could best see the moonlight amid the mountains. I do not wish to go below now.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

True friendship can afford true knowledge. It does not depend on darkness and ignorance.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Truth is always in harmony with herself, and is not concerned chiefly to reveal the justice that may consist with wrong-doing.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Faith keeps many doubts in her pay. If I could not doubt, I should not believe.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Friends... they cherish one another's hopes. They are kind to one another's dreams.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I have a great deal of company in the house, especially in the morning when nobody calls.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

It takes two to speak the truth: one to speak, and another to hear.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Ignorance and bungling with love are better than wisdom and skill without.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

All this worldly wisdom was once the unamiable heresy of some wise man.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Live your life, do your work, then take your hat.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Every people have gods to suit their circumstances.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Those whom we can love, we can hate; to others we are indifferent.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed... Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The heart is forever inexperienced.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Generally speaking, a howling wilderness does not howl: it is the imagination of the traveler that does the howling.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Before printing was discovered, a century was equal to a thousand years.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The law will never make a man free; it is men who have got to make the law free.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

It is never too late to give up our prejudices.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

That man is rich whose pleasures are the cheapest.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

There is no remedy for love but to love more.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Things do not change; we change.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Front yards are not made to walk in, but, at most, through, and you could go in the back way.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Night is certainly more novel and less profane than day.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

What is once well done is done forever.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Books can only reveal us to ourselves, and as often as they do us this service we lay them aside.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon, or, perchance, a palace or temple on the earth, and, at length, the middle-aged man concludes to build a woodshed with them.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The fibers of all things have their tension and are strained like the strings of an instrument.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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 (Source: SoberSides.com)

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

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

What old people say you cannot do, you try and find that you can. Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

There is but one stage for the peasant and the actor.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Do what nobody else can do for you. Omit to do anything else.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

How can any man be weak who dares to be at all?

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Be sure that you give the poor the aid they most need, though it be your example which leaves them far behind. If you give money, spend yourself with it, and do not merely abandon it to them.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

This man is still a fisher, and belongs to an era in which I myself have lived. Perchance he is not confounded by many knowledges, and has not sought out many inventions, but how to take many fishes before the sun sets, with slender birchen pole and flaxen line, that is invention enough for him.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

As for the Pyramids, there is nothing to wonder at in them so much as the fact that so many men could be found degraded enough to spend their lives constructing a tomb for some ambitious booby, whom it would have been wiser and manlier to have drowned in the Nile, and then given his body to the dogs."

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

It costs me nothing for curtains, for I have no gazers to shut out but the sun and moon, and I am willing that they should look in...and if he [the sun] is sometimes too warm a friend, I find it still better economy to retreat behind some curtain which nature has provided."

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

All endeavor calls for the ability to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan, endure the last hours toil. The fight to the finish spirit is the one... characteristic we must posses if we are to face the future as finishers.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the alms-house as brightly as from the rich man's abode.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

What is called genius is the abundance of life and health.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

In Adam's fall We sinned all. In the new Adam's rise, We shall all reach the skies.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

What is the use of going right over the old track again? There is an adder in the path which your own feet have worn. You must make tracks into the Unknown.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

We are eager to tunnel under the Atlantic and bring the Old World some weeks nearer to the New; but perchance the first news that will leak through into the broad, flapping American ear will be that the Princess Adelaide has the whooping cough.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

You will pardon some obscurities, for there are more secrets in my trade than in most men's, and yet not voluntarily kept, but inseparable from its very nature. I would gladly tell all that I know about it, and never paint "No Admittance" on my gate.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

So far as inland discovery was concerned, the adventurous spirit of the English was that of sailors who land but for a day, and their enterprise the enterprise of traders.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

But, commonly, men are as much afraid of love as of hate.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Every day a new picture is painted and framed, held up for half an hour, in such lights as the Great Artist chooses, and then withdrawn, and the curtain falls. And then the sun goes down, and long the afterglow gives light.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Must be out-of-doors enough to get experience of wholesome reality, as a ballast to thought and sentiment. Health requires this relaxation, this aimless life.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Health requires this relaxation, this aimless life. This life in the present.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

He who parades his virtues seldom leads the parade. He who puts up with insult invites injury. Health requires this relaxation, this aimless life. This life in the present.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Government never furthered any enterprise but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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 (Source: SoberSides.com)

Impulse is, after all, the best linguist; its logic, if not conformable to Aristotle, cannot fail to be most convincing.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Nowadays the host does not admit you to his hearth, but has got the mason to build one for yourself somewhere in his alley, and hospitality is the art of keeping you at the greatest distance.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

By a conscious effort of the mind we can stand aloof from actions and their consequences; and all things, good and bad, go by us like a torrent.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

While the very inhabitants of New England were thus fabling about the country a hundred miles inland, which was a terra incognitato them,... Champlain, the first Governor of Canada,... had already gone to war against the Iroquois in their forest forts, and penetrated to the Great Lakes and wintered there, before a Pilgrim had heard of New England.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The poet's body even is not fed like other men's, but he sometimes tastes the genuine nectar and ambrosia of the gods, and lives adivine life. By the healthful and invigorating thrills of inspiration his life is preserved to a serene old age.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

This American government - what is it but a tradition, though a recent one, endeavoring to transmit itself unimpaired to posterity, but each instant losing some of its integrity? It has not the vitality and force of a single living man; for a single man can bend it to his will.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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 (Source: SoberSides.com)

Visit the Navy-Yard, and behold a marine, such a man as an American government can make, or such as it can make a man with its black arts - a mere shadow and reminiscence of humanity, a man laid out alive and standing, and already, as one may say, buried under arms with funeral accompaniments.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

All perception of truth is the detection of an analogy.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

In my Pantheon, Pan still reigns in his pristine glory, with his ruddy face, his flowing beard, and his shaggy body, his pipe and his crook, his nymph Echo, and his chosen daughter Iambe; for the great god Pan is not dead, as was rumored. No god ever dies. Perhaps of all the gods of New England and of ancient Greece, I am most constant at his shrine.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Ancient history has an air of antiquity. It should be more modern. It is written as if the specator should be thinking of the backside of the picture on the wall, or as if the author expected that the dead would be his readers, and wished to detail to them their own experience.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

To some extent, mythology is only the most ancient history and biography. So far from being false or fabulous in the common sense,it contains only enduring and essential truth, the I and you, the here and there, the now and then, being omitted. Either time or rare wisdom writes it.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Was awakened in the night to a strain of music dying away, - passing travellers singing. My being was so expanded and infinitely and divinely related for a brief season that I saw how unexhausted, how almost wholly unimproved, was man's capacity for a divine life. When I remembered what a narrow and finite life I should anon awake to!

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

This is a common experience in my traveling. I plod along, thinking what a miserable world this is and what miserable fellows we that inhabit it, wondering what it is tempts men to live in it; but anon I leave the towns behind and am lost in some boundless heath, and life becomes gradually more tolerable, if not even glorious.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The Friend asks no return but that his Friend will religiously accept and wear and not disgrace his apotheosis of him. They cherish each other's hopes. They are kind to each other's dreams.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I see in many places little barberry bushes just come up densely in the cow-dung, like young apple trees, the berries having been eaten by the cows. Here they find manure and an open space for the first year at least, when they are not choked by grass or weeds. In this way, evidently, many of these clumps of barberries are commenced.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I am no more lonely than a single mullein or dandelion in a pasture, or a bean leaf, or sorrel, or a horse-fly, or a bumblebee. I am no more lonely than the Mill Brook, or a weathercock, or the north star, or the south wind, or an April shower, or a January thaw, or the first spider in a new house.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Shams and delusions are esteemed for soundest truths, while reality is fabulous. If men would steadily observe realities only, and not allow themselves to be deluded, life ... would be like a fairy tale and the Arabian Nights' Entertainments.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Behave so the aroma of your actions may enhance the general sweetness of the atmosphere.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Wealth is measured by the level of experience in all aspects of life

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Do not lose hold of your dreams or aspirations. For if you do, you may still exist but you have ceased to live.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I sat at a table where were rich food and wine in abundance, and obsequious attendance, but sincerity and truth were not; and I went away hungry from the inhospitable board.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I have been as sincere a worshipper of Aurora as the Greeks.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Morning work! By the blushes of Aurora and the music of Memnon, what should be man's morning work in this world?

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The very austerity of the Brahmans is tempting to the devotional soul, as a more refined and nobler luxury. Wants so easily and gracefully satisfied seem like a more refined pleasure. Their conception of creation is peaceful as a dream.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

We are constantly invited to be who we are.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Only that day dawns to which we are awake.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The finest manners in the world are awkwardness and fatuity when contrasted with a finer intelligence. They appear but as the fashions of past days,--mere courtliness, knee-buckles and small- clothes, out of date.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The purity men love is like the mists which envelope the earth, and not like the azure ether beyond.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare. For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

All sound heard at the greatest possible distance produces one and the same effect, a vibration of the universal lyre, just as the intervening atmosphere makes a distant ridge of earth interesting to our eyes by the azure tint it imparts to it.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Every child begins the world again.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Our own country furnishes antiquities as ancient and durable, and as useful, as any; rocks at least as well covered with lichens,and a soil which, if it is virgin, is but virgin mould, the very dust of nature. What if we cannot read Rome or Greece, Etruria or Carthage, or Egypt or Babylon, on these; are our cliffs bare?

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or backgammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

On the 31st of August, 1846, I left Concord in Massachusetts for Bangor and the backwoods of Maine,... I proposed to make excursions to Mount Ktaadn, the second highest mountain in New England, about thirty miles distant, and to some of the lakes of the Penobscot, either alone or with such company as I might pick up there.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

One man lies in his words, and gets a bad reputation; another in his manners, and enjoys a good one.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

If it is surely the means to the highest end we know, can any work be humble or disgusting? Will it not rather be elevating as a ladder, the means by which we are translated?

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

March to the beat of your own drummer.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

It's the beauty within us that makes it possible for us to recognize the beauty around us. The question is not what you look at but what you see.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Being a teacher is like being in jail; once it's on your record, you can never get rid of it.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. We easily come to doubt if they exist. We soon forget them. They are the highest reality.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

A single gentle rain makes the grass many shades greener. So our prospects brighten on the influx of better thoughts. We should be blessed if we lived in the present always, and took advantage of every accident that befell us.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

There is one consolation in being sick; and that is the possibility that you may recover to a better state than you were ever in before.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

be yourself- not your idea of what you think somebody else's idea of yourself should be.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The indescribable innocence of and beneficence of Nature,-of sun and wind and rain, of summer and winter,-such health, such cheer, they afford forever!

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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 (Source: SoberSides.com)

On the death of a friend, we should consider that the fates through confidence have devolved on us the task of a double living, that we have henceforth to fulfill the promise of our friend's life also, in our own, to the world.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The best poets, after all, exhibit only a tame and civil side of nature. They have not seen the west side of any mountain.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

It is remarkable that almost all speakers and writers feel it to be incumbent on them, sooner or later, to prove or acknowledge the personality of God. Some Earl of Bridgewater, thinking it better late than never, has provided for it in his will. It is a sad mistake.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Scholars are wont to sell their birthright for a mess of learning.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Severe truth is expressed with some bitterness.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Only nature has a right to grieve perpetually, for she only is innocent. Soon the ice will melt, and the blackbirds sing along the river which he frequented, as pleasantly as ever. The same everlasting serenity will appear in this face of God, and we will not be sorrowful, if he is not.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

You must not blame me if I do talk to the clouds.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The poet is blithe and cheery ever, and as well as nature.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Perfect alchemists I keep who can transmute substances without end, and thus the corner of my garden is an inexhaustible treasure-chest. Here you can dig, not gold, but the value which gold merely represents; and there is no Signor Blitz about it.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I think that I love society as much as most, and am ready enough to fasten myself like a bloodsucker for the time to any full-blooded man that comes in my way. I am naturally no hermit, but might possibly sit out the sturdiest frequenter of the bar-room, if my business called me thither.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The bluebird carries the sky on his back.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

A man's interest in a single bluebird is worth more than a complete but dry list of the fauna and flora of a town.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Measure your health by your sympathy with morning and spring. If there is no response in you to the awakening of nature -if the prospect of an early morning walk does not banish sleep, if the warble of the first bluebird does not thrill you -know that the morning and spring of your life are past. Thus may you feel your pulse.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Today...the bluebirds, old and young, have revisited their box, as if they would fain repeat the summer without intervention of winter, if Nature would let them.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

If I seem to boast more than is becoming, my excuse is that I brag for humanity rather than for myself.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Unto a life which I call natural I would gladly follow even a will-o'-the-wisp through bogs and sloughs unimaginable, but no moonnor firefly has shown me the causeway to it.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Many of the phenomena of Winter are suggestive of an inexpressible tenderness and fragile delicacy. We are accustomed to hear this king described as a rude and boisterous tyrant; but with the gentleness of a lover he adorns the tresses of Summer.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Men are born to succeed, not to fail.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

It is in vain to dream of a wildness distant from ourselves. There is none such. It is the bog in our brains and bowels, the primitive vigor of Nature in us, that inspires that dream. I shall never find in the wilds of Labrador a greater wildness than in some recess of Concord.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

If to chaffer and higgle are bad in trade, they are much worse in Love. It demands directness as of an arrow.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

No human being, past the thoughtless age of boyhood, will wantonly murder any creature which holds its life by the same tenure that he does.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

A man may acquire a taste for wine or brandy, and so lose his love for water, but should we not pity him.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

What a singular fact for an angel visitant to this earth to carry back in his note-book, that men were forbidden to expose their bodies under the severest penalties!

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Live in each season as it passes: breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I am still a learner, not a teacher, feeding somewhat omnivorously, browsing both stalk & leaves

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Every man is the builder of a temple called his body.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The boatmen appeared to lead an easy and contented life, and we thought that we should prefer their employment ourselves to many professions which are much more sought after. They suggested how few circumstances are necessary to the well-being and serenity of man, how indifferent all employments are, and that any may seem noble and poetic to the eyes of men, if pursued with sufficient buoyancy and freedom.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The words of some men are thrown forcibly against you and adhere like burrs.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Through want of enterprise and faith men are where they are, buying and selling and spending their lives like servants.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

That is mere sentimentality that lies abed by day and thinks itself white, far from the tan and callus of experience.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The scholar may be sure that he writes the tougher truth for the calluses on his palms. They give firmness to the sentence. Indeed, the mind never makes a great and successful effort, without a corresponding energy of the body.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The fire is the main comfort of the camp, whether in summer or winter, and is about as ample at one season as at another. It is as well for cheerfulness as for warmth and dryness.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

We now no longer camp as for a night, but have settled down on earth and forgotten heaven.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

But the place which you have selected for your camp, though never so rough and grim, begins at once to have its attractions, and becomes a very centre of civilization to you: "Home is home, be it never so homely."

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

It is easier to sail many thousand miles through cold and storm and cannibals, ina government ship, with five hundred men and boys to assist one, than it is to explore the private sea, the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean of one's being alone.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

When a soldier is hit by a cannonball, rags are as becoming as purple.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Everyone must believe in something. I believe I'll go canoeing.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The sugar maple is remarkable for its clean ankle. The groves of these trees looked like vast forest sheds, their branches stopping short at a uniform height, four or five feet from the ground, like eaves, as if they had been trimmed by art, so that you could look under and through the whole grove with its leafy canopy, as under a tent whose curtain is raised.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

This world is but a canvas to our imagination.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The inhabitants of the Cape generally do not complain of their "soil," but will tell you that it is good enough for them to dry their fish on.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Nature abhors a vacuum, and if I can only walk with sufficient carelessness I am sure to be filled.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

When we consider what, to use the words of the catechism, is the chief end of man, and what are the true necessaries and means of life, it appears as if men had deliberately chosen the common mode of living because they preferred it to any other. Yet they honestly think there is no choice left.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

They can do without architecture who have no olives nor wines in the cellar.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Dreams are the touchstones of our character.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

We admire Chaucer for his sturdy English wit.... But though it is full of good sense and humanity, it is not transcendent poetry.For picturesque description of persons it is, perhaps, without a parallel in English poetry; yet it is essentially humorous, as the loftiest genius never is.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

On the whole, Chaucer impresses us as greater than his reputation, and not a little like Homer and Shakespeare, for he would haveheld up his head in their company.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I walk out into a nature such as the old prophets and poets Menu, Moses, Homer, Chaucer, walked in. You may name it America, but it is not America. Neither Americus Vespucius, nor Columbus, nor the rest were the discoverers of it. There is a truer account of it in Mythology than in any history of America so called that I have seen.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

In Homer and Chaucer there is more of the innocence and serenity of youth than in the more modern and moral poets. The Iliad is not Sabbath but morning reading, and men cling to this old song, because they still have moments of unbaptized and uncommitted life, which give them an appetite for more.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The true husbandman will cease from anxiety, as the squirrels manifest no concern whether the woods will bear chestnuts this year or not, and finish his labor with every day, relinquishing all claim to the produce of his fields, and sacrificing in his mind not only his first but last fruits also.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The perch swallows the grub-worm, the pickerel swallows the perch, and the fisherman swallows the pickerel; and so all the chinks in the scale of being are filled.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

When the chopper would praise a pine, he will commonly tell you that the one he cut was so big that a yoke of oxen stood on its stump; as if that were what the pine had grown for, to become the footstool of oxen.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are the clouds and storms and quicksands and thousand-and-one items to be allowed for, that a man has to live, if he would not founder and go to the bottom and not make his port at all, by dead reckoning, and he must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds. Simplify, simplify.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The first sparrow of spring! The year beginning with younger hope than ever!... What at such a time are histories, chronologies, traditions, and all written revelations? The brooks sing carols and glees to the spring.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

You think that I am impoverishing myself withdrawing from men, but in my solitude I have woven for myself a silken web or chrysalis, and, nymph-like, shall ere long burst forth a more perfect creature, fitted for a higher society.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The mode of founding a college is, commonly, to get up a subscription of dollars and cents, and then, following blindly the principles of a division of labor to its extreme,--a principle which should never be followed but with circumspection,--to call in a contractor who makes this a subject of speculation,... and for these oversights successive generations have to pay.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

City life is millions of people being lonesome together.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

If a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so a man.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The wisest man preaches no doctrines; he has no scheme; he sees no rafter, not even a cobweb, against the heavens. It is clear sky.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The intellect is a cleaver; it discerns and rifts its way into the secrets of things.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Waves of a serene life pass over us from time to time, like flakes of sunlight over the fields in cloudy weather.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The natural historian is not a fisherman who prays for cloudy days and good luck merely; but as fishing has been styled "a contemplative man's recreation," introducing him profitably to woods and water, so the fruit of the naturalist's observations is not in new genera or species, but in new contemplations still, and science is only a more contemplative man's recreation.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I have found it to be the most serious objection to coarse labors long continued, that they compelled me to eat and drink coarsely also.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

We can never have enough of nature. We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor, vast and titanic features, the sea-coast with its wrecks, the wilderness with its living and its decaying trees, the thunder-cloud, and the rain...

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Man is the artificer of his own happiness.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Men go to a fire for entertainment. When I see how eagerly men will run to a fire, whether in warm or in cold weather, by day or by night, dragging an engine at their heels, I'm astonished to perceive how good a purpose the level of excitement is made to serve.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

It is remarkable, but on the whole, perhaps, not to be lamented, that the world is so unkind to a new book. Any distinguished traveler who comes to our shores is likely to get more dinners and speeches of welcome than he can well dispose of, but the best books, if noticed at all, meet with coldness and suspicion, or, what is worse, gratuitous, off-hand criticism.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Let Harlequin be taken with a fit of the colic, and his trappings will have to serve that mood too.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

There is on the earth no institution which Friendship has established; it is not taught by any religion; no scripture contains itsmaxims. It has no temple, nor even a solitary column. There goes a rumor that the earth is inhabited, but the shipwrecked mariner has not seen a footprint on the shore. The hunter has found only fragments of pottery and the monuments of inhabitants.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

But men labor under a mistake. The better part of the man is soon plowed into the soil for compost.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The better part of the man is soon ploughed into the soil for compost. By a seeming fate, commonly called necessity, they are employed, as it says in an old book, laying up treasures which moth and rust will corrupt and thieves break through and steal. It is a fool's life, as they will find when they get to the end of it, if not before.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Let your condiments be in the condition of your senses.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The fruits eaten temperately need not make us ashamed of our appetites, nor interrupt the worthiest pursuits. But put an extra condiment into your dish, and it will poison you.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Every blade in the field - Every leaf in the forest - lays down its life in its season as beautifully as it was taken up.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Faith never makes a confession.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The books for young people say a great deal about the selection of Friends; it is because they really have nothing to say about Friends. They mean associates and confidants merely.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The lawyer's truth is not Truth, but consistency or a consistent expediency.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Wherever a man goes, men will pursue him and paw him with their dirty institutions, and, if they can, constrain him to belong to their desperate odd-fellow society.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The philanthropist too often surrounds mankind with the remembrance of his own cast- off griefs as an atmosphere, and calls it sympathy. We should impart our courage, and not our despair, our health and ease, and not our disease, and take care that this does not spread by contagion.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. Men will believe what they see.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Why does it [government] always crucify Christ, and excommunicate Copernicus and Luther, and pronounce Washington and Franklin rebels?

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The vessel, though her masts be firm,Beneath her copper bears a worm.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

When I consider that the noble animals have been exterminated here - the cougar, panther, lynx, wolverine, wolf, bear, moose, deer, the beaver, the turkey, etc, etc - I cannot but feel as I lived in a tamed, and, as it were, emasculated country.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The success of great scholars and thinkers is commonly a courtier-like success, not kingly, not manly.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Life isn't about finding yourself; it's about creating yourself. So live the life you imagined.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The greatest and saddest defect is not credulity, but an habitual forgetfulness that our science is ignorance.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

In August, the large masses of berries, which, when in flower, had attracted many wild bees, gradually assumed their bright velvety crimson hue, and by their weight again bent down and broke their tender limbs.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

If the day and night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal - that is your success.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Even the death of Friends will inspire us as much as their lives. They will leave consolation to the mourners, as the rich leave money to defray the expenses of their funerals, and their memories will be incrusted over with sublime and pleasing thoughts, as monuments of other men are overgrown with moss; for our Friends have no place in the graveyard.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

We shall see but a little way if we require to understand what we see.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I have a deep sympathy with war; it so apes the gait and bearing of the soul.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

It often happens that a man develops a deeper love and friendship with his pet cat or dog than he does with most of the other humans in his life.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

When our life ceases to be inward and private, conversation degenerates into mere gossip.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

For what are the classics but the noblest thoughts of man? They are the only oracles which are not decayed, and there are such answers to the most modern inquiry in them as Delphi and Dodona never gave. We might as well omit to study Nature because she is old.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The government of the world I live in was not framed, like that of Britain, in after-dinner conversations over the wine.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Is not disease the rule of existence? There is not a lily pad floating on the river but has been riddled by insects. Almost every shrub and tree has its gall, oftentimes esteemed its chief ornament and hardly to be distinguished from the fruit. If misery loves company, misery has company enough. Now, at midsummer, find me a perfect leaf or fruit.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Things don't change. We change.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

A simple woman down in Tyngsborough, at whose house I once stopped to get a draught of water, when I said, recognizing the bucket, that I had stopped there nine years before for the same purpose, asked if I was not a traveler, supposing that I had been traveling ever since, and had now come round again.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

We often love to think now of the life of men on beaches,--at least in midsummer, when the weather is serene; their sunny lives onthe sand, amid the beach-grass and bayberries, their companion a cow, their wealth a jag of driftwood or a few beach plums, and their music the surf and the peep of the beech-bird.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I also have in mind that seemingly wealthy, but most terribly impoverished class of all, who have accumulated dross, but know not how to use it, or get rid of it, and thus have forged their own golden or silver fetters.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Of all ebriosity, who does not prefer to be intoxicated by the air he breathes?

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The true harvest of my life is intangible - a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The squirrel that you kill in jest, dies in earnest.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Men spend the best parts of their lives earning money in order to enjoy a questionable liberty during the least valuable part of it.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I have no doubt that it is part of the destiny of the human race in it's gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Most events recorded in history are more remarkable than important, like eclipses of the sun and moon, by which all are attracted,but whose effects no one takes the trouble to calculate.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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 (Source: SoberSides.com)

Speech is for the convenience of those who are hard of hearing; but there are many fine things which we cannot say if we have to shout.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I, who cannot stay in my chamber for a single day without acquiring some rust, and when sometimes I have stolen forth for a walk at the eleventh hour of four o'clock in the afternoon, too late to redeem the day, when the shades of night were already beginning to be mingled with the daylight, have felt as if I had committed some sin to be atoned for.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Surely, we are provided with senses as well fitted to penetrate the spaces of the real, the substantial, the eternal, as these outward are to penetrate the material universe. Veias, Menu, Zoroaster, Socrates, Christ, Shakespeare, Swedenborg,--these are some of our astronomers.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Most are engaged in business the greater part of their lives, because the soul abhors a vacuum and they have not discovered any continuous employment for man's nobler faculties.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

It's not enough to be busy.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience, but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The rarest quality in an epitaph is truth.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The language of excitement is at best picturesque merely. You must be calm before you can utter oracles.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

No doubt another may also think for me; but it is not therefore desirable that he should do so to the exclusion of my thinking for myself.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I love man-kind, but I hate the institutions of the dead unkind. Men execute nothing so faithfully as the wills of the dead, to the last codicil and letter. They rule this world, and the living are but their executors. Such foundation too have our lectures and our sermons, commonly.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

How could youths better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

A lake is a landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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 (Source: SoberSides.com)

Whatever your sex or position, life is a battle in which you are to show your pluck, and woe be to the coward. Whether passed on a bed of sickness or a tented field, it is ever the same fair play and admits no foolish distinction. Despair and postponement are cowardice and defeat. Men were born to succeed, not to fail.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

There is none who does not lie hourly in the respect he pays to false appearance.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

You must not only aim right, but draw the bow with all your might.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Farmers are respectable and interesting to me in proportion as they are poor.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

By avarice and selfishness, and a groveling habit, from which none of us is free, of regarding the soil as property, or the means of acquiring property chiefly, the landscape is deformed, husbandry is degraded with us, and the farmer leads the meanest of lives. He knows Nature but as a robber.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The fault finder will find faults even in paradise and thereby miss the joys that recognition of the positives bring.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poor-house.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I fear that we are such gods or demigods only as fauns and satyrs, the divine allied to beasts, the creatures of appetite, and that, to some extent, our very life is our disgrace.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Philosophy, having crept clinging to the rocks so far, puts out its feelers many ways in vain.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Wherever you may seek solitude, men will ferret you out and compel you to belong to their desperate company of oddfellows.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

There is such a thing as caste, even in the West; but it is comparatively faint; it is conservatism here. It says, forsake not your calling, outrage no institution, use no violence, rend no bonds; the State is thy parent. Its virtue or manhood is wholly filial.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

There is no rule more invariable than that we are paid for our suspicions by finding what we suspect.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

We are always paid for our suspicion by finding what we suspect.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling. Yet we do not treat ourselves nor one another thus tenderly.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Time is like a handful of sand - the tighter you grasp it, the faster it runs through your fingers.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The very willow-rows lopped every three years for fuel or powder, - and every sizable pine and oak, or other forest tree, cut down within the memory of man! As if individual speculators were to be allowed to export the clouds out of the sky, or the stars out of the firmament, one by one. We shall be reduced to gnaw the very crust of the earth for nutriment.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

I was awakened at midnight by some heavy, low-flying bird, probably a loon, flapping by close over my head, along the shore. So, turning the other side of my half-clad body to the fire, I sought slumber again.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

As I love nature, as I love singing birds, and gleaming stubble, and flowing rivers, and morning and evening, and summer and winter, I love thee, my Friend.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

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 (Source: SoberSides.com)

Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Wherever a man separates from the multitude, and goes his own way in this mood, there indeed is a fork in the road, though ordinary travelers may see only a gap in the paling. His solitary path across lots will turn out the higher way of the two.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Wealth can't buy heath, but heath can buy wealth.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

We need the tonic of the wilderness, to wade sometimes in the marsh where the bitten and the meadow hen lurk, and hear the booming of the snipe; to smell the whispering sedge where only some wilder and more solitary fowl builds her nest, and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

As our domestic fowls are said to have their original in the wild pheasant of India, so our domestic thoughts have their prototypes in the thoughts of her philosophers.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The words which express our faith and piety are not definite; yet they are significant and fragrant like frankincense to superior natures.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The smallest seed of faith is better than the largest fruit of happiness.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

A man cannot be said to succeed in this life who does not satisfy one friend.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)

The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.

Henry David Thoreau (Source: SoberSides.com)