Life & Death Quotations


The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.—Walden
The sad memory of departed friends is soon incrusted over with sublime and pleasing thoughts, as their monuments are overgrown with moss. Nature doth thus kindly heal every wound. — Journal, 13 March 1842—Journal, 13 March 1842
The world is a cow that is hard to milk,—life does not come so easy,—and ah, how thinly it is watered ere we get it! But the young bunting calf, he will get at it. There is no way so direct. — Thoreau to R.W. Emerson, 14 November 1847—Thoreau to R.W. Emerson, 14 November 1847
There are infinite degrees of life, from that which is next to sleep and death, to that which is forever awake and immortal. We must not confound man and man. We cannot conceive of a greater difference than between the life of one man and that of another.—Journal, 13 January 1857
There is not one of my readers who has yet lived a whole human life. — WaldenWalden
These earthly sounds should only die away for a season, as the strains of the harp rise and swell. Death is that expressive pause in the music of the blast.—Journal, 29 December 1841
This life is not for complaint, but for satisfaction.—Thoreau to Daniel Ricketson, 4 November 1860
This life we live is a strange dream, and I don't believe at all any account men give of it. — Thoreau to Mrs. Cynthia (Dunbar) Thoreau, 6 August 1843—Thoreau to Mrs. Cynthia (Dunbar) Thoreau, 6 August 1843
To die is not to begin to die, and continue; it is not a state of continuance, but of transientness; but to live is a condition of continuance, and does not mean to be born merely. There is no continuance of death. — Journal, 12 March 1842—Journal, 12 March 1842
We are ever dying to one world and being born into another, and possibly no man knows whether he is at any time dead in the sense in which he affirms that phenomenon of another, or not.—Journal, June 1850
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