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.


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

The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.     

Henry David Thoreau

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.     

Henry David Thoreau

I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.     

Henry David Thoreau

True friendship can afford true knowledge. It does not depend on darkness and ignorance.     

Henry David Thoreau

On the death of a friend, we should consider that the fates through confidence have devolved on us the task of a double living, that we have henceforth to fulfill the promise of our friend's life also, in our own, to the world.     

Henry David Thoreau

What old people say you cannot do, you try and find that you can. Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new.     

Henry David Thoreau

He enjoys true leisure who has time to improve his soul's estate.     

Henry David Thoreau

On the death of a friend, we should consider that the fates through confidence have devolved on us the task of a double living, that we have henceforth to fulfill the promise of our friend's life also, in our own, to the world.     

Henry David Thoreau

Truths and roses have thorns about them.     

Henry David Thoreau

Our life is frittered away by detail simplify, simplify, simplify!     

Henry David Thoreau

The fire is the main comfort of the camp, whether in summer or winter, and is about as ample at one season as at another. It is as well for cheerfulness as for warmth and dryness.     

Henry David Thoreau

Fire is the most tolerable third party.     

Henry David Thoreau

The sun is but a morning star.     

Henry David Thoreau

The hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men.     

Henry David Thoreau

We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal and then leap in the dark to our success.     

Henry David Thoreau

Being is the great explainer.     

Henry David Thoreau

Youth gets together with their materials to build a bridge to the moon or maybe a palace on earth; then in middle age they decide to build a woodshed with them instead.     

Henry David Thoreau

You must love the crust of the earth on which you dwell more than the sweet crust of any bread or cake; you must be able to extract nutriment out of a sand heap.     

Henry David Thoreau

Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.     

Henry David Thoreau

It's not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about?     

Henry David Thoreau

I do not judge men by anything they can do. Their greatest deed is the impression they make on me.     

Henry David Thoreau

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. With respect to luxuries and comforts, the wisest have even lived a more simple and meagre life than the poor.     

Henry David Thoreau

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.     

Henry David Thoreau

If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. Men will believe what they see.     

Henry David Thoreau

Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand.     

Henry David Thoreau

That man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.     

Henry David Thoreau

As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.     

Henry David Thoreau

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. With respect to luxuries and comforts, the wisest have even lived a more simple and meagre life than the poor.     

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