Worldly Place

Original Text: 
Matthew Arnold, New Poems (London: Macmillan, 1867). B-10 2583 Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto).
1Even in a palace, life may be led well!
2So spake the imperial sage, purest of men,
4Of common life, where, crowded up pell-mell,
5Our freedom for a little bread we sell,
6And drudge under some foolish master's ken
7Who rates us if we peer outside our pen--
8Match'd with a palace, is not this a hell?
9Even in a palace! On his truth sincere,
10Who spoke these words, no shadow ever came;
11And when my ill-school'd spirit is aflame
12Some nobler, ampler stage of life to win,
13I'll stop, and say: "There were no succour here!
14The aids to noble life are all within."


3] Marcus Aurelius: Antoninus; Emperor (161-180 A.D.), Stoic philosopher and writer of the Meditations, a favourite book with Arnold. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
H. Kerpneck
RPO Edition: 
3RP 3.254.