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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.

by Matthew Arnold
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