Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end.
Henry David Thoreau
Is not the poet bound to write his own biography? Is there any other work for him but a good journal? We do not wish to know how his imaginary hero, but how he, the actual hero, lived from day to day.
Two sturdy oaks I mean, which side by side, Withstand the winter's storm, And spite of wind and tide, Grow up the meadow's pride, For both are strong Above they barely touch, but undermined Down to their deepest source, Admiring you shall find Their roots are intertwined Insep'rably.
Let us... work and wedge our feet downward through the mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice, and tradition, and delusion, and appearance, that alluvion which covers the globe...till we come to a hard bottom and rocks in place, which we can call reality, and say, This is, and no mistake...
The winds which passed over my dwelling were such as sweep over the rides of mountains, bearing the broken strains, or celestial parts only, of terrestrial music.
But worst of all when you are the slave-driver of yourself.
The more slowly trees grow at first, the sounder they are at the core, and I think the same is true of human beings.
When sometimes I am reminded that the mechanics and shopkeepers stay in their shops not only all the forenoon, but all the afternoon too, sitting with crossed legs, so many of them—as if the legs were made to sit upon, and not to stand or walk upon—I think that they deserve some credit for not having all committed suicide long ago.
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.
Be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought.
An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.
Knowledge does not come to us by details, but in flashes of light from heaven.