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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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Written by Henry David Thoreau |

I am the autumnal sun

 Sometimes a mortal feels in himself Nature 
-- not his Father but his Mother stirs 
within him, and he becomes immortal with her
From time to time she claims kindredship with us, and some globule from her veins steals up into our own.
I am the autumnal sun, With autumn gales my race is run; When will the hazel put forth its flowers, Or the grape ripen under my bowers? When will the harvest or the hunter's moon Turn my midnight into mid-noon? I am all sere and yellow, And to my core mellow.
The mast is dropping within my woods, The winter is lurking within my moods, And the rustling of the withered leaf Is the constant music of my grief.

Written by Henry David Thoreau |


 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.

Written by Henry David Thoreau |

On Fields Oer Which the Reapers Hand has Passed

 On fields o'er which the reaper's hand has pass'd
Lit by the harvest moon and autumn sun,
My thoughts like stubble floating in the wind
And of such fineness as October airs,
There after harvest could I glean my life
A richer harvest reaping without toil,
And weaving gorgeous fancies at my will
In subtler webs than finest summer haze.

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Written by Henry David Thoreau |


 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.

Written by Henry David Thoreau |

The Inward Morning

 Packed in my mind lie all the clothes 
Which outward nature wears, 
And in its fashion's hourly change 
It all things else repairs.
In vain I look for change abroad, And can no difference find, Till some new ray of peace uncalled Illumes my inmost mind.
What is it gilds the trees and clouds, And paints the heavens so gay, But yonder fast-abiding light With its unchanging ray? Lo, when the sun streams through the wood, Upon a winter's morn, Where'er his silent beams intrude, The murky night is gone.
How could the patient pine have known The morning breeze would come, Or humble flowers anticipate The insect's noonday hum-- Till the new light with morning cheer From far streamed through the aisles, And nimbly told the forest trees For many stretching miles? I've heard within my inmost soul Such cheerful morning news, In the horizon of my mind Have seen such orient hues, As in the twilight of the dawn, When the first birds awake, Are heard within some silent wood, Where they the small twigs break, Or in the eastern skies are seen, Before the sun appears, The harbingers of summer heats Which from afar he bears.

Written 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.

Written 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.

Written by Henry David Thoreau |

Within the Circuit of This Plodding Life

 Within the circuit of this plodding life
There enter moments of an azure hue,
Untarnished fair as is the violet
Or anemone, when the spring strews them
By some meandering rivulet, which make
The best philosophy untrue that aims
But to console man for his grievances
I have remembered when the winter came,
High in my chamber in the frosty nights,
When in the still light of the cheerful moon,
On every twig and rail and jutting spout,
The icy spears were adding to their length
Against the arrows of the coming sun,
How in the shimmering noon of summer past
Some unrecorded beam slanted across
The upland pastures where the Johnswort grew;
Or heard, amid the verdure of my mind,
The bee's long smothered hum, on the blue flag
Loitering amidst the mead; or busy rill,
Which now through all its course stands still and dumb
Its own memorial,—purling at its play
Along the slopes, and through the meadows next,
Until its youthful sound was hushed at last
In the staid current of the lowland stream;
Or seen the furrows shine but late upturned,
And where the fieldfare followed in the rear, 
When all the fields around lay bound and hoar
Beneath a thick integument of snow.
So by God's cheap economy made rich To go upon my winter's task again.

Written by Henry David Thoreau |

I Knew A Man By Sight

 I knew a man by sight, 
A blameless wight, 
Who, for a year or more, 
Had daily passed my door, 
Yet converse none had had with him.
I met him in a lane, Him and his cane, About three miles from home, Where I had chanced to roam, And volumes stared at him, and he at me.
In a more distant place I glimpsed his face, And bowed instinctively; Starting he bowed to me, Bowed simultaneously, and passed along.
Next, in a foreign land I grasped his hand, And had a social chat, About this thing and that, As I had known him well a thousand years.
Late in a wilderness I shared his mess, For he had hardships seen, And I a wanderer been; He was my bosom friend, and I was his.
And as, methinks, shall all, Both great and small, That ever lived on earth, Early or late their birth, Stranger and foe, one day each other know.

Written by Henry David Thoreau |


 Great God, I ask for no meaner pelf 
Than that I may not disappoint myself, 
That in my action I may soar as high 
As I can now discern with this clear eye.
And next in value, which thy kindness lends, That I may greatly disappoint my friends, Howe'er they think or hope that it may be, They may not dream how thou'st distinguished me.
That my weak hand may equal my firm faith And my life practice what my tongue saith That my low conduct may not show Nor my relenting lines That I thy purpose did not know Or overrated thy designs.

Written 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.

Written 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.

Written by Henry David Thoreau |


 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.

Written by Henry David Thoreau |

Whats the Railroad to Me

 What's the railroad to me?
I never go to see
Where it ends.
It fills a few hollows, And makes banks for the swallows, It sets the sand a-blowing, And the blackberries a-growing.

Written by 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.