FOR ALL AGES

55+ Best Henry David Thoreau Quotes

There are many beautiful Henry David Thoreau quotes about nature.

Thoreau was most famous for his masterpiece called 'Walden' – a book on simple and sober living in a natural setting.

Thoreau was one of the most renowned Naturalists of his time and was celebrated for his views on life. His sayings from the Walden pond quotes are well-known.

Henry David Thoreau's messages were always relative to his beliefs. A selfless philosophy that he used to preach quite often, Transcendence, implies that people are highly aware of themselves and their surroundings – going much beyond the five senses.

According to Thoreau, wisdom was something ingrained and that a person attained by going out into the world and truly living. Similarly, Thoreau's solitude didn't just mean seclusion or isolation, it called for inward communication and introspection. This was Thoreau's message: that outward connections and materialistic pursuits weren't as important as inward learning and introspection.

Henry Thoreau quotes are famous for their relevance across the ages and his message was largely for people to lead a simple and austere living. There is a famous Henry David Thoreau quote that goes, "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." While you enjoy these quotes from Henry David Thoreau, do also take a look at our Alfred Adler quotes and Aldo Leopold quotes.

Famous Henry David Thoreau Quotes

There are numerous famous Henry David Thoreau quotes which are inspirational.

Here are some of the most famous lines by Thoreau captured in all glory.

1. "I came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad."

-Henry David Thoreau, 'Civil Disobedience'.

2. "You must live in the present – launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this."

-Henry David Thoreau.

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

-Henry David Thoreau.

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

-Henry David Thoreau.

5. "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, 'Walden'.

6. "Goodness is the only investment that never fails."

-Henry David Thoreau.

7. "I can alter my life by altering my attitude. He who would have nothing to do with thorns must never attempt to gather flowers."

-Henry David Thoreau.

8. "The world is but a canvas to our imagination."

-Henry David Thoreau.

9. "We need the tonic of wildness… At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature."

-Henry David Thoreau.

10. "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, 'Walden'.

Henry David Thoreau Quotes About Transcendentalism

Thoreau's views on Transcendentalism are known for being both simple and effective.

11. "None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm."

-Henry David Thoreau.

12. "To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity and trust."

-Henry David Thoreau, 'Walden'.

13. "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, 'Walden'.

14. "I believe that water is the only drink for the wise man."

-Henry David Thoreau, 'Walden'.

15. "I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary."

-Henry David Thoreau.

16. "Be yourself – not your idea of what you think somebody else's idea of yourself should be."

-Henry David Thoreau.

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

-Henry David Thoreau.

18. "Every man is a builder of a temple called his body."

-Henry David Thoreau, 'Walden'.

19. "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, 'Walden'.

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

-Henry David Thoreau, 'Walden'.

Henry David Thoreau Nature Quotes

Henry David Thoreau on nature and our relationship with it are rather profound.

These Henry David Thoreau quotes about nature will surely leave every reader spellbound.

21. "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, 'Life Without Principle'.

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

-Henry David Thoreau.

23. "In wilderness is the preservation of the world."

-Henry David Thoreau.

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

-Henry David Thoreau.

25. "I love Nature partly because she is not man, but a retreat from him. None of his institutions control or pervade her. There a different kind of right prevails. In her midst, I can be glad with an entire gladness."

-Henry David Thoreau.

26. "Nature refuses to sympathize with our sorrow. She seems not to have provided for, but by a thousand contrivances against it."

-Henry David Thoreau.

27. "When we walk, we naturally go to the fields and woods – what would become of us, if we walked only in a garden or a mall?"

-Henry David Thoreau.

28. "I have a room all to myself; it is nature."

-Henry David Thoreau.

29. "Grow wild according to thy nature... Enjoy the land but own it not."

-Henry David Thoreau, 'Walden'.

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

-Henry David Thoreau.

31. "If this world were all man, I could not stretch myself, I should lose all hope. He is constraint, she is freedom to me. He makes me wish for another world. She makes me content with this."

-Henry David Thoreau.

Henry David Thoreau Quotes From Civil Disobedience

Here are some powerful Henry David Thoreau quotes from his work 'Civil Disobedience'.

32. "For it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever."

-Henry David Thoreau, 'Civil Disobedience'.

33. "The rich man is always sold to the institution which makes him rich."

-Henry David Thoreau, 'Civil Disobedience'.

34. "I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest."

-Henry David Thoreau, 'Civil Disobedience'.

35. "A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority."

-Henry David Thoreau, 'Civil Disobedience'.

36. "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."

-Henry David Thoreau, 'Civil Disobedience'.

37. "O for a man who is a man, and, as my neighbor says, has a bone in his back which you cannot pass your hand through!"

-Henry David Thoreau, 'Civil Disobedience'.

38. "A lawyer's truth is not truth. It is consistency, or consistent expediency"

-Henry David Thoreau, 'Civil Disobedience'.

39. "A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority."

-Henry David Thoreau, 'Civil Disobedience'.

40. “It is after all with men, and not with parchment, that I quarrel.”

-Henry David Thoreau, 'Civil Disobedience'.

41. "Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn."

-Henry David Thoreau, 'Civil Disobedience'.

Henry David Thoreau Quotes On Love

Henry David Thoreau shares his views on love with these fine quotes.

42. "Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame."

-Henry David Thoreau.

43. "Till we have loved we have not imagined the heights of love."

-Henry David Thoreau.

44. "I love you not as something private and personal, which is my own, but as something universal and worthy of love, which I have found."

-Henry David Thoreau.

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

-Henry David Thoreau.

46. "There is only one path to heaven. On Earth, we call it love."

-Henry David Thoreau.

47. "Enemies publish themselves. They declare war. The friend never declares his love."

-Henry David Thoreau.

48. "There is no remedy to love, but to love more."

-Henry David Thoreau.

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

-Henry David Thoreau.

50. "A farmer, a hunter, a soldier, a reporter, even a philosopher, may be daunted; but nothing can deter a poet, for he is actuated by pure love. Who can predict his comings and goings? His business calls him out at all hours, even when doctors sleep."

-Henry David Thoreau.

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

-Henry David Thoreau.

52. "The light of the sun is but the shadow of love."

-Henry David Thoreau.

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

-Henry David Thoreau.

54. "How insufficient is all wisdom without love."

-Henry David Thoreau.

55. "What is the singing of birds, or any natural sound, compared with the voice of one we love?"

-Henry David Thoreau.

56. "Love never perjures itself, nor is it mistaken."

-Henry David Thoreau.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully curated lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked 55+ best Henry David Thoreau quotes, then why not take a look at our Alexander Pope quotes or Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn quotes?

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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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