Henry David Thoreau Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old Henry David Thoreau quotes, Henry David Thoreau sayings, and Henry David Thoreau proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


Poetry implies the whole truth, philosophy expresses only a particle of it.      

Henry David Thoreau

The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective.      

Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau

What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates his fate.     

Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau

I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.

Henry David Thoreau

I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.      

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

Humility, like the darkness, reveals the heavenly lights.      

Henry David Thoreau

Say what you have to say, not what you ought. Any truth is better than make-believe.     

Henry David Thoreau

Things do not change; we change.

Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau

Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder      

Henry David Thoreau

If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. But do not care to convince him. Men will believe what they see. Let them see.

Henry David Thoreau

The language of friendship is not words but meanings.

Henry David Thoreau

A single gentle rain makes the grass many shades greener.

Henry David Thoreau

Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.

Henry David Thoreau

There is no remedy for love than to love more.

Henry David Thoreau

Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment.     

Henry David Thoreau

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

I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.

Henry David Thoreau

I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.      

Henry David Thoreau

You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.     

Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau

The eye is the jewel of the body.

Henry David Thoreau

When a dog runs at you, whistle for him.

Henry David Thoreau

One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.

Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau

I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite - only a sense of existence. Well, anything for variety.

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