The Good, Great Man Poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Good, Great Man

Rating: 3.0


'How seldom, friend! a good great man inherits
Honour 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 would'st thou have a good great man obtain?
Place? titles? salary? a gilded chain?
Or throne of corses which his sword had 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!

The Good, Great Man
COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Kevin Straw 29 September 2012

There is a fourth friend - the one who pretends friendship because the man is great. There are not many great men, even the good ones, that have love and calm thoughts - not even the likes of Mandela and Gandhi, though they are by definition filled with light - if that means great intelligence and wisdom.

8 4 Reply
Liliana ~el 29 September 2013

This is spectacular! True. :)

7 4 Reply
Ugochukwu Benjamin Aneke 29 September 2013

The good great man, what else would thou seeketh?

7 3 Reply
Ramesh T A 29 September 2012

Great good men's treasures are indeed LOVE, and LIGHT, And CALM THOUGHTS and their friends are HIMSELF, his MAKER, and the ANGEL DEATH! They are not the means but the end sure as Coleridge says!

7 2 Reply
Christian Eliab Ratnam 01 October 2005

Beatiful poem! Mr Coleridge puts the rewards of a good man and the blessings he will have, in a poem. Bibilical philosophy of a good man!

6 2 Reply
Gangadharan Nair Pulingat 29 September 2014

Coleridges great poem the Love, Light, and Calm essential qualities of a good great man. It is beautifully told by the great poet.Good men are the world's asset.

7 4 Reply
Houssam Mokhtari 29 September 2014

What a great poem to read :))

4 3 Reply
Aftab Alam Khursheed 29 September 2014

STC is very cryptic poet and his involvement in French revolution.. For shame, dear friend, renounce this canting strain! //Or throne of corses which his sword had slain? // LOVE, and LIGHT, And CALM THOUGHTS, regular as infant's breath: in fact he is talking to himself...I/We are the Maker of our Fate...we/I himself, maker is maker and Fate is Angelic Death

4 2 Reply
Ganesh Babu Ramanathan 29 September 2013

The poet exemplifies a person's great friend not others but himself. Great.

7 4 Reply
Douglas Scotney 29 September 2013

to no 'dear friend' replies he; he's replying to himself

5 2 Reply
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