Quotes by Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau

Not only must we be good, but we must also be good for something.

Henry David Thoreau
Do you know how the naturalist learns all the secrets of the forest, of plants, of birds, of beasts, of reptiles, of fishes, of the rivers and the sea? When he goes into the woods the birds fly before him and he finds none; when he goes to the river bank, the fish and the reptile swim away and leave him alone. His secret is patience; he sits down, and sits still; he is a statue; he is a log.
Henry David Thoreau

I thrive best on solitude. If I have had a companion only one day in a week, unless it were one or two I could name, I find that the value of the week to me has been seriously affected. It dissipates my days, and often it takes me another week to get over it.

Henry David Thoreau
The most difficult thing to understand during conversation is silence.
Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau
Being is the great explainer.
Henry David Thoreau

The wonderful purity of nature at this season is a most pleasing fact.... In the bare fields and tinkling woods, see what virtue survives. In the coldest and bleakest places, the warmest charities still maintain a foothold.

Henry David Thoreau
The silence sings. It is musical. I remember a night when it was audible. I heard the unspeakable.
Henry David Thoreau

Such is the never-failing beauty and accuracy of language, the most perfect art in the world; the chisel of a thousand years retouches it.

Henry David Thoreau
As long as there is satire, the poet is, as it were, particeps criminis.