Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE GOOD GREAT MAN, by SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE



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THE GOOD GREAT MAN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: How seldom, friend! A good great man inherits
Last Line: Himself, his maker, and the angel death.
Variant Title(s): Complaint [and Reproof];the Reward Of The Just
Subject(s): Consolation


How seldom, Friend! a good great man inherits
Honor or wealth with all his worth and pains!
It sounds like stories from the land of spirits.
If any man obtain that which he merits,
Or any merit that which he obtains.

[REPLY TO THE ABOVE]

For shame, dear Friend; renounce this canting strain!
What wouldst thou have a good great man obtain?
Place -- titles -- salary -- a gilded chain --
Or throne of corses which his sword has slain?
Greatness and goodness are not means, but ends!
Hath he not always treasures, always friends,
The good great man? three treasures, -- love, and light,
And calm thoughts, regular as infant's breath;
And three firm friends, more sure than day and night --
Himself, his Maker, and the angel Death.




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