Fix not thy heart on that which is transitory; for the Dijlah, or Tigris, will continue to flow through Bagdad after the race of caliphs is extinct: if thy hand has plenty, be liberal as the date tree; but if it affords nothing to give away, be an azad, or free man, like the cypress.—Walden
Friendship is the fruit which the year should bear; it lends its fragrance to flowers, and it is in vain if we get only a large crop of apples without it.—Journal, 13 July 1857
From the right point of view, every storm and every drop in it is a rainbow.—Journal, 11 December 1855
Go and measure to what length the silvery willows catkins have crept out beyond their scales, if you would know what time o' the year it is by Nature's clock.—Journal, 2 March 1859
Go where we will, we discover infinite change in particulars only, not in generals.—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
He will take a false step never, even in the most arduous times, for then the music will not fail to swell into greater sweetness and volume, and itself rule the movement it inspired.—Journal, 30 June 1840
Hell itself may be contained within the compass of a spark.—Journal, 19 December 1837
How silent are the footsteps of Spring!—Journal, 30 March 1856
I am reminded of spring by the quality of the air . . . It is a natural resurrection, an experience of immortality.—Journal, 24 February 1852
I perceive that, when an acorn and a chestnut fall side by side, the one does not remain inert to make way for the other, but both obey their own laws, and spring and grow and flourish as best they can, till one, perchance, overshadows and destroys the other. If a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so a man.—"Civil Disobedience"
All quotation categories