Henry David Thoreau and Marriage

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My friend is one... who take me for what I am.

Henry David Thoreau

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.

Henry David Thoreau

Moral reform is the effort to throw off sleep.

Henry David Thoreau

However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are the richest.

Henry David Thoreau

Pray to What Earth

Pray to what earth does this sweet cold belong,
Which asks no duties and no conscience?
The moon goes up by leaps, her cheerful path
In some far summer stratum of the sky,
While stars with their cold shine bedot her way.
The fields gleam mildly back upon the sky,
And far and near upon the leafless shrubs
The snow dust still emits a silver light.
Under the hedge, where drift banks are their screen,
The titmice now pursue their downy dreams,
As often in the sweltering summer nights
The bee doth drop asleep in the flower cup,
When evening overtakes him with his load.
By the brooksides, in the still, genial night,
The more adventurous wanderer may hear
The crystals shoot and form, and winter slow
Increase his rule by gentlest summer means.

Henry David Thoreau

I'd rather sit alone on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion.

Henry David Thoreau

If the day and the night are such that you greet them with with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, more elastic, more starry, more immortal--that is your success.

Henry David Thoreau

It is as hard to see one's self as to look backwards without turning around.

Henry David Thoreau

Cultivate the habit of early rising. It is unwise to keep the head long on a level with the feet.

Henry David Thoreau

Conscience

Conscience is instinct bred in the house,
Feeling and Thinking propagate the sin
By an unnatural breeding in and in.
I say, Turn it out doors,
Into the moors.
I love a life whose plot is simple,
And does not thicken with every pimple,
A soul so sound no sickly conscience binds it,
That makes the universe no worse than 't finds it.
I love an earnest soul,
Whose mighty joy and sorrow
Are not drowned in a bowl,
And brought to life to-morrow;
That lives one tragedy,
And not seventy;
A conscience worth keeping;
Laughing not weeping;
A conscience wise and steady,
And forever ready;
Not changing with events,
Dealing in compliments;
A conscience exercised about
Large things, where one may doubt.
I love a soul not all of wood,
Predestinated to be good,
But true to the backbone
Unto itself alone,
And false to none;
Born to its own affairs,
Its own joys and own cares;
By whom the work which God begun
Is finished, and not undone;
Taken up where he left off,
Whether to worship or to scoff;
If not good, why then evil,
If not good god, good devil.
Goodness! you hypocrite, come out of that,
Live your life, do your work, then take your hat.
I have no patience towards
Such conscientious cowards.
Give me simple laboring folk,
Who love their work,
Whose virtue is song
To cheer God along.

Henry David Thoreau

We do not learn by inference and deduction and the application of mathematics to philosophy, but by direct intercourse and sympathy.

Henry David Thoreau

Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.

Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau

Not till we are lost, in other words, not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize the infinite extent of our relations.

Henry David Thoreau

I do not propose to write an ode to dejection, but to brag as lustily as chanticleer in the morning, standing on his roost, if only to wake his neighbours up.

Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau

Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!

Henry David Thoreau

Petty fears and petty pleasures are but the shadow of reality.

Henry David Thoreau

Most men would feel insulted if it were proposed to employ them in throwing stones over a wall, and then in throwing them back, merely that they might earn their wages. But many are no more worthily employed now.

Henry David Thoreau

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.

Henry David Thoreau
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