Samuel Taylor Coleridge

(1772-1834 / Devon / England)

The Good, Great Man

Poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

'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!


Comments about The Good, Great Man by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

  • Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (9/29/2014 9:11:00 AM)

    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.(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Houssam MokhtariHoussam Mokhtari (9/29/2014 8:57:00 AM)

    What a great poem to read :))(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Aftab Alam KhursheedAftab Alam Khursheed (9/29/2014 5:10:00 AM)

    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(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Ganesh Babu Ramanathan (9/29/2013 11:03:00 PM)

    The poet exemplifies a person's great friend not others but himself. Great.(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Douglas Scotney (9/29/2013 6:49:00 PM)

    to no 'dear friend' replies he; he's replying to himself(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Liliana ~el (9/29/2013 6:20:00 AM)

    This is spectacular! True. :)(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Ugochukwu Benjamin Aneke (9/29/2013 2:48:00 AM)

    The good great man, what else would thou seeketh?(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Kevin StrawKevin Straw (9/29/2012 10:24:00 AM)

    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.(Report)Reply

    8 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Ramesh T ARamesh T A (9/29/2012 9:27:00 AM)

    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!(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Christian Eliab Ratnam (10/1/2005 1:50:00 AM)

    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!(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
Read all 10 comments »



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Read poems about / on: angel, friend, death, light, night



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Poem Edited: Thursday, November 3, 2011