Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
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Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
Character
By Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834)
 
HOW seldom, friends, 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—        5
For shame, dear friends, 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 hath slain?
Greatness and goodness are not means, but ends:        10
Hath he not always treasures, always friends,
The good great man?—three treasures, Love and Light,
And Calm Thoughts regular as infants’ breath;
And three firm friends, more sure than day and night,
Himself, his Maker, and the angel Death.        15
 
 
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