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Matthew Arnold (1822–88).  The Poems of Matthew Arnold, 1840–1867.  1909.
 
New Poems, 1867
Worldly Place
 
[First published 1867.]

Even in a palace, life may be led well!
So spoke the imperial sage, purest of men,
Marcus Aurelius.—But the stifling den
Of common life, where, crowded up pell-mell.
 
Our freedom for a little bread we sell,        5
And drudge under some foolish master’s ken,
Who rates us, if we peer outside our pen—
Match’d with a palace, is not this a hell?
 
Even in a palace! On his truth sincere,
Who spoke these words, no shadow ever came;        10
And when my ill-school’d spirit is aflame
 
Some nobler, ampler stage of life to win,
I’ll stop, and say: ‘There were no succour here!
‘The aids to noble life are all within.’
 
 
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