How often, when we have been nearest each other bodily, have we really been farthest off! Our tongues were the witty foils with which we fenced each other off.
What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on? Henry David Tho
Perchance the time will come when we shall not be content to go back and forth upon a raft to some huge Homeric or Shakespearean Indiaman that lies upon the reef, but build a bark out of that wreck and others that are buried in the sands of this desolate island, and such new timber as may be require
The sport of digging the bait is nearly equal to that of catching the fish, when one's appetite is not too keen.
The life without men praise and regard as successful is but one kind. Why should we exaggerate any one kind at the expense of the others?
It is pleasant to have been to a place the way a river went.
After the first blush of sin comes its indifference.
I knew that the wall was the main thing in Quebec, and had cost a great deal of money.... In fact, these are the only remarkable walls we have in North America, though we have a good deal of Virginia fence, it is true.
I repeat that in this sense the most splendid court in Christendom is provincial, having authority to consult about Transalpine interests only, and not the affairs of Rome. A prÃ¦tor or proconsul would suffice to settle the questions which absorb the attention of the English Parliament and the Ameri
We have built for this world a family mansion, and the next a family tomb. The best works of art are the expression of man's struggle to free himself from this condition, but the effect of our art is merely to make this low state comfortable and that higher state to be forgotten.
You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this, or the like of this. I wish to live ever as to derive my satisfactions and
Any nobleness begins at once to refine a man's features, any meanness or sensuality to imbrute them.
Music never stops; it is only the listening that is intermittent.
Improve every opportunity to be melancholy.
The poet will maintain serenity in spite of all disappointments. He is expected to preserve an unconcerned and healthy outlook over the world, while he lives.
Sobriety, severity, and self-respect are the foundations of all true sociality.
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.
Yet poetry, though the last and finest result, is a natural fruit. As naturally as the oak bears an acorn, and the vine a gourd, man bears a poem, either spoken or done. It is the chief and most memorable success, for history is but a prose narrative of poetic deeds.
A journal is a repository for all those fragmentary ideas and odd scraps of information that might otherwise be lost and which some day might lead to more "harmonious compositions."
For a man needs only to be turned around once with his eyes shut in this world to be lost...Not 'til we are lost do we begin to find ourselves.
We are underbred and low-lived and illiterate; and in this respect I confess I do not make any very broad distinction between theilliterateness of my townsman who cannot read at all and the illiterateness of him who has learned to read only what is for children and feeble intellects. We should be as
How sweet is the perception of a new natural fact!
Did you ever hear of a man who had striven all his life faithfully and singly towards an object, and in no measure obtained it? If a man constantly aspires, is he not elevated? Did ever a man try heroism, magnanimity, truth, sincerity, and find that there was no advantage in them,--that it was a vai
Be not anxious to avoid poverty. In this way the wealth of the universe may be securely invested.
It is worth the while to live respectably unto ourselves. We can possibly get along with a neighbor, even with a bedfellow, whom we respect but very little; but as soon as it comes to this, that we do not respect ourselves, then we do not get along at all, no matter how much money we are paid for ha
Thus was my first year's life in the woods completed; and the second year was similar to it. I finally left Walden September 6th,1847.
We must love our friend so much that she shall be associated with our purest and holiest thoughts alone.
Methinks some creeds in vestries and churches do forget the hunter wrapped in furs by the Great Slave Lake, and that the Esquimauxsledges are drawn by dogs, and in the twilight of the northern night the hunter does not give over to follow the seal and walrus on the ice. They are of sick and diseased
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. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the alms-house as brightly as from the rich man's abode; the snow melts before its
We are as much as we see. Faith is sight and knowledge. The hands only serve the eyes.