THE GOOD, GREAT MAN - Thomas Hardy Poems


Poems » thomas hardy » the good great man


    "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."

  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!