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Best Famous Henry David Thoreau Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Henry David Thoreau poems. This is a select list of the best famous Henry David Thoreau poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Henry David Thoreau poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of henry david thoreau poems.

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by Henry David Thoreau |

Epitaph On The World

 Here lies the body of this world, 
Whose soul alas to hell is hurled.
This golden youth long since was past, Its silver manhood went as fast, An iron age drew on at last; 'Tis vain its character to tell, The several fates which it befell, What year it died, when 'twill arise, We only know that here it lies.


by Henry David Thoreau |

The Summer Rain

 My books I'd fain cast off, I cannot read, 
'Twixt every page my thoughts go stray at large 
Down in the meadow, where is richer feed, 
And will not mind to hit their proper targe.
Plutarch was good, and so was Homer too, Our Shakespeare's life were rich to live again, What Plutarch read, that was not good nor true, Nor Shakespeare's books, unless his books were men.
Here while I lie beneath this walnut bough, What care I for the Greeks or for Troy town, If juster battles are enacted now Between the ants upon this hummock's crown? Bid Homer wait till I the issue learn, If red or black the gods will favor most, Or yonder Ajax will the phalanx turn, Struggling to heave some rock against the host.
Tell Shakespeare to attend some leisure hour, For now I've business with this drop of dew, And see you not, the clouds prepare a shower-- I'll meet him shortly when the sky is blue.
This bed of herd's grass and wild oats was spread Last year with nicer skill than monarchs use.
A clover tuft is pillow for my head, And violets quite overtop my shoes.
And now the cordial clouds have shut all in, And gently swells the wind to say all's well; The scattered drops are falling fast and thin, Some in the pool, some in the flower-bell.
I am well drenched upon my bed of oats; But see that globe come rolling down its stem, Now like a lonely planet there it floats, And now it sinks into my garment's hem.
Drip drip the trees for all the country round, And richness rare distills from every bough; The wind alone it is makes every sound, Shaking down crystals on the leaves below.
For shame the sun will never show himself, Who could not with his beams e'er melt me so; My dripping locks--they would become an elf, Who in a beaded coat does gayly go.


by Henry David Thoreau |

Inspiration

 Whate'er we leave to God, God does, 
And blesses us; 
The work we choose should be our own, 
God leaves alone.
If with light head erect I sing, Though all the Muses lend their force, From my poor love of anything, The verse is weak and shallow as its source.
But if with bended neck I grope Listening behind me for my wit, With faith superior to hope, More anxious to keep back than forward it; Making my soul accomplice there Unto the flame my heart hath lit, Then will the verse forever wear-- Time cannot bend the line which God hath writ.
Always the general show of things Floats in review before my mind, And such true love and reverence brings, That sometimes I forget that I am blind.
But now there comes unsought, unseen, Some clear divine electuary, And I, who had but sensual been, Grow sensible, and as God is, am wary.
I hearing get, who had but ears, And sight, who had but eyes before, I moments live, who lived but years, And truth discern, who knew but learning's lore.
I hear beyond the range of sound, I see beyond the range of sight, New earths and skies and seas around, And in my day the sun doth pale his light.
A clear and ancient harmony Pierces my soul through all its din, As through its utmost melody-- Farther behind than they, farther within.
More swift its bolt than lightning is, Its voice than thunder is more loud, It doth expand my privacies To all, and leave me single in the crowd.
It speaks with such authority, With so serene and lofty tone, That idle Time runs gadding by, And leaves me with Eternity alone.
Now chiefly is my natal hour, And only now my prime of life; Of manhood's strength it is the flower, 'Tis peace's end and war's beginning strife.
It comes in summer's broadest noon, By a grey wall or some chance place, Unseasoning Time, insulting June, And vexing day with its presuming face.
Such fragrance round my couch it makes, More rich than are Arabian drugs, That my soul scents its life and wakes The body up beneath its perfumed rugs.
Such is the Muse, the heavenly maid, The star that guides our mortal course, Which shows where life's true kernel's laid, Its wheat's fine flour, and its undying force.
She with one breath attunes the spheres, And also my poor human heart, With one impulse propels the years Around, and gives my throbbing pulse its start.
I will not doubt for evermore, Nor falter from a steadfast faith, For thought the system be turned o'er, God takes not back the word which once He saith.
I will not doubt the love untold Which not my worth nor want has bought, Which wooed me young, and woos me old, And to this evening hath me brought.
My memory I'll educate To know the one historic truth, Remembering to the latest date The only true and sole immortal youth.
Be but thy inspiration given, No matter through what danger sought, I'll fathom hell or climb to heaven, And yet esteem that cheap which love has bought.
___________________ Fame cannot tempt the bard Who's famous with his God, Nor laurel him reward Who has his Maker's nod.


by Henry David Thoreau |

The Moon

 Time wears her not; she doth his chariot guide; 
Mortality below her orb is placed.
--Raleigh The full-orbed moon with unchanged ray Mounts up the eastern sky, Not doomed to these short nights for aye, But shining steadily.
She does not wane, but my fortune, Which her rays do not bless, My wayward path declineth soon, But she shines not the less.
And if she faintly glimmers here, And paled is her light, Yet alway in her proper sphere She's mistress of the night.


by 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.


by Henry David Thoreau |

Friendship

 I think awhile of Love, and while I think, 
Love is to me a world, 
Sole meat and sweetest drink, 
And close connecting link 
Tween heaven and earth.
I only know it is, not how or why, My greatest happiness; However hard I try, Not if I were to die, Can I explain.
I fain would ask my friend how it can be, But when the time arrives, Then Love is more lovely Than anything to me, And so I'm dumb.
For if the truth were known, Love cannot speak, But only thinks and does; Though surely out 'twill leak Without the help of Greek, Or any tongue.
A man may love the truth and practise it, Beauty he may admire, And goodness not omit, As much as may befit To reverence.
But only when these three together meet, As they always incline, And make one soul the seat, And favorite retreat, Of loveliness; When under kindred shape, like loves and hates And a kindred nature, Proclaim us to be mates, Exposed to equal fates Eternally; And each may other help, and service do, Drawing Love's bands more tight, Service he ne'er shall rue While one and one make two, And two are one; In such case only doth man fully prove Fully as man can do, What power there is in Love His inmost soul to move Resistlessly.
________________________________ 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.


by Henry David Thoreau |

My life has been the poem

 My life has been the poem I would have writ, 
But I could not both live and utter it.


by Henry David Thoreau |

Indeed indeed I cannot tell

 Indeed, indeed, I cannot tell,
Though I ponder on it well,
Which were easier to state,
All my love or all my hate.
Surely, surely, thou wilt trust me When I say thou dost disgust me.
O, I hate thee with a hate That would fain annihilate; Yet sometimes against my will, My dear friend, I love thee still.
It were treason to our love, And a sin to God above, One iota to abate Of a pure impartial hate.


by Henry David Thoreau |

Smoke

 Light-winged Smoke, Icarian bird,
Melting thy pinions in thy upward flight,
Lark without song, and messenger of dawn,
Circling above the hamlets as thy nest;
Or else, departing dream, and shadowy form
Of midnight vision, gathering up thy skirts;
By night star-veiling, and by day
Darkening the light and blotting out the sun;
Go thou my incense upward from this hearth,
And ask the gods to pardon this clear flame.


by Henry David Thoreau |

Rumors from an Aeolian Harp

 There is a vale which none hath seen, 
Where foot of man has never been, 
Such as here lives with toil and strife, 
An anxious and a sinful life.
There every virtue has its birth, Ere it descends upon the earth, And thither every deed returns, Which in the generous bosom burns.
There love is warm, and youth is young, And poetry is yet unsung.
For Virtue still adventures there, And freely breathes her native air.
And ever, if you hearken well, You still may hear its vesper bell, And tread of high-souled men go by, Their thoughts conversing with the sky.