When I hear music, I flutter, and am the scene of life, as a fleet of merchantmen when the wind rises.—Journal, 24 April 1841
When it was proposed to me to go abroad, rub oft some rust, and better my condition in a worldly sense, I fear lest my life will lose some of its homeliness. If these fields and streams and woods, the phenomena of nature here, and the simple occupations of the inhabitants should cease to interest and inspire me, no culture or wealth would atone for the loss.—Journal, 11 March 1856
When life looks sandy and barren, is reduced to its lowest terms, we have no appetite, and it has no flavor, then let me visit such a swamp as this, deep and impenetrable, where the earth quakes for a rod around you at every step, with its open water where the swallows skim and twitter, its meadow and cotton-grass, its dense patches of dwarf  andromeda, now brownish-green, with clumps of blueberry bushes, its spruces and its verdurous border of woods imbowering it on every side.—Journal, 17 July 1852
When we cease to sympathize with and to be personally related to men, and begin to universally related, then we are capable of inspiring others with the sentiment of love for us.—Journal, June 1850
Who can see these cities and say that there is any life in them?—Journal, 24 September 1843
Who is old enough to have learned from experience?—Journal, 21 March 1842
Who knows what beautiful and winged life, whose egg has been buried for ages under many concentric layers of woodenness in the dead dry life of society, deposited at first in the alburnum of the green and living tree, which has been gradually converted into the semblance of its well-seasoned tomb—heard perchance gnawing out now for years by the astonished family of man, as they sat round the festive board—may unexpectedly come forth from amidst society's most trivial and handselled furniture, to enjoy its perfect summer life at last!—Walden
Why is it that in the lives of men we hear more of the dark wood than the sunny pastures?—Journal, 29 October 1857
Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life? We are determined to be starved before we are hungry.—Walden
Will you live? or will you be embalmed? Will you live, though it be astride of a sunbeam; or will you repose safely in the catacombs for a thousand years?—Thoreau to H.G.O. Blake, 3 April 1850
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