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Poem by Matthew Arnold


Worldly Place


Even in a palace, life may be led well!
So spake 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,
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;
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.' 



Matthew Arnold


Matthew Arnold's other poems:
  1. The Forsaken Merman
  2. Palladium
  3. Isolation: To Marguerite
  4. Requiescat
  5. The Buried Life


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