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Public Poetry. Mathew Arnold.

4 February 2020
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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.' 
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