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

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

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

Analysis, meaning and summary of Henry David Thoreau's poem Friendship


  1. Carmelle says:

    Does anyone else think that this poem could be an allegory to his friendship with Ralph Waldo Emerson?As i have read they became very close throughout their years.

  2. John says:

    Friends are a very big part of your life, and you shouldn’t take them for granted. Because you never know, your friend could turn out to be the love of your life. So this has alot of meaning to me, but unfortunatelly it hasn’t happened to me yet.

  3. VIMAL N C says:

    I saw an old paintings of two friends, holding hands. I wonder how long it will stay intact. Its old but yet never fadding, I wish we remain the same.

  4. Kristi says:

    This poem goes deeper than just a friendship as we know it. I think the reason it speaks so deeply about friendship is because friendship=love and love=friendship. Whether you are in a relationship with a close friend, or a significant other, this still is true. I like the poem because it paints a beautiful picture of what it means to truly love someone.

  5. alex says:

    ahh.. i didnt like it.. ^_^ lol.. really friends.. i dont know… I know it was about how close friends can be, but there roots underminded and intertwined inserperable. Come on.. maybe i have no true friends i guess..lol i mean im still in high school and i dread the day of graduation for i know that me and my friends will most likely depart from one another and never meet again. I like the meaning of the poem, but i guess im just bitter for at this stage in life im not setteled and so dearly want my true friends to stay with me for life; i know it wont happen, but i wish i this just reminded me that they will leave me and i will feel sad. So i guess it a good poem and a depressing poem at that for me. ^_^ dat it!

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