50+ Best Walden Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Walden is a book by American transcendentalist writer Henry David Thoreau. The text is a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings. The work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and—to some degree—a manual for self-reliance. Profoundly inspirational Walden quotes will make you look at life differently and help you live a meaningful life.

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Famous Walden Quotes

Let us first be as simple and well as Nature ourselves, dispel the clouds which hang over our brows, and take up a little life into our pores. Do not stay to be an overseer of the poor, but endeavor to become one of the worthies of the world. — Walden

A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature. — Walden

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone. — Walden

All men want, not something to do with, but something to do, or rather something to be. — Walden

As if you could kill time without injuring eternity. — Walden

Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations. — Walden

Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves. — Walden

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something. — Walden

Dreams are the touchstones of our characters. — Walden

Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new. — Walden

For my greatest skill has been to want but little. — Walden

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. — Walden

Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads. — Walden

How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book. — Walden

However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. — Walden

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 richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poorhouse. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the almshouse as brightly as from the rich man’s abode; the snow melts before its door as early in the spring. I do not see but a quiet mind may live as contentedly there, and have as cheering thoughts, as in a palace. — Walden

I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. — Walden

I had three pieces of limestone on my desk, but I was terrified to find that they required to be dusted daily, when the furniture of my mind was all undusted still, and threw them out the window in disgust. — Walden

I have a great deal of company in my house; especially in the morning, when nobody calls. —

I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born. — Walden

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. — Walden

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. — Walden

I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion. — Walden

I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion. — Walden

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. — Walden

If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment. — Walden

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. — Walden

In any weather, at any hour of the day or night, I have been anxious to improve the nick of time, and notch it on my stick too; to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and future, which is precisely the present moment; to toe that line. — Walden

Let us first be as simple and well as Nature ourselves, dispel the clouds which hang over our brows, and take up a little life into our pores. Do not stay to be an overseer of the poor, but endeavor to become one of the worthies of the world. — Walden

Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth. — Walden

Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes. — Walden

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake. — Walden

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth. — Walden

The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run. — Walden

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

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. — Walden

The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right, — Walden

The question is not what you look at, but what you see. — Walden

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

Things do not change; we change. — Walden

To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. — Walden

To be awake is to be alive. — Walden

We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us even in our soundest sleep. — Walden

We need the tonic of wildness… — Walden

We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature. — Walden

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

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. — Walden

You only need sit still long enough in some attractive spot in the woods that all its inhabitants may exhibit themselves to you by turns. — Walden

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