Henry David Thoreau, born David Henry Thoreau

Henry David
Thoreau, born David Henry Thoreau
1817
1862

American Essayist, Naturalist, Poet, Abolitionist, Naturalist, Tax Resister, Development Critic, surveyor, Historian, Philosopher and Leading Transcendentalist

Author Quotes

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

To live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.

Whey 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.

Things do not change; we change.

To affect the quality of the day - that is the highest of arts.

These motions everywhere in nature must surely be the circulations of God. The flowing sail, the running stream, the waving tree, the roving wind – whence else their infinite health and freedom? I can see nothing so proper and holy as unrelaxed play and frolic in this bower God has built for us.

The universe is not rough-hewn, but perfect in its details. Nature will bear the closest inspection; she invites us to lay our eye level with the smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain. She has no interstices; every part is full of life.

There are few men who do not love better to give advice than to give assistance.

The unconsciousness of man is the consciousness of God.

The perception of beauty is a moral test.

The spirit can for the time pervade and control every member and function of the body, and transmute what in form is the grossest sensuality into purity and devotion.

The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.

Our truest life is when are in dreams awake.

Now or never! You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in every moment.

Our charitable institutions are an insult to humanity. A charity which dispenses the crumbs that fall from its overloaded tables, which are left after its feasts.

No man stands on truth. They are merely banded together as usual, one leaning on another and all together on nothing.

None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.

Men esteem truth remote, in the outskirts of the system, behind the farthest star, before Adam and after the last man. In eternity there is indeed something true and sublime. But all these times and places and occasions are now and here. God himself culminates in the present moment, and will never be more divine in the lapse of all the ages.

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.

It is a gift to be able to paint a particular picture or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look. To affect the quality of the day - that is the highest of the arts.

It is characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.

In a world of peace and love, music would be the universal language.

In eternity there is indeed something true and sublime. But all these times and places and occasions are now and here. God Himself culminates in the present moment, and will never be more divine in the lapse of all the ages. And we are enabled to apprehend at all what is sublime and noble only by the perpetual instilling and drenching of the reality that surrounds us.

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.

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

Author Picture
First Name
Henry David
Last Name
Thoreau, born David Henry Thoreau
Birth Date
1817
Death Date
1862
Bio

American Essayist, Naturalist, Poet, Abolitionist, Naturalist, Tax Resister, Development Critic, surveyor, Historian, Philosopher and Leading Transcendentalist