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Short poem

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

The Good, Great Man

              1    "How seldom, friend! a good great man inherits
              2    Honour or wealth with all his worth and pains!
              3It sounds like stories from the land of spirits
              4If any man obtain that which he merits
              5    Or any merit that which he obtains."

              6  For shame, dear friend, renounce this canting strain!
              7What would'st thou have a good great man obtain?
              8Place? titles? salary? a gilded chain?
              9Or throne of corses which his sword had slain?
            10Greatness and goodness are not means, but ends!
            11Hath he not always treasures, always friends,
            12The good great man? three treasures, LOVE, and LIGHT,
            13    And CALM THOUGHTS, regular as infant's breath:
            14And three firm friends, more sure than day and night,
            15    HIMSELF, his MAKER, and the ANGEL DEATH!

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: The Morning Post (Sept. 23, 1802).
First publication date: 23 September 1802
RPO poem editor: J. D. Robins
RP edition: 2RP 2.126.
Recent editing: 4:2002/3/20

Form note: irregularly rhyming

Other poems by Samuel Taylor Coleridge