The Better Part

Long fed on boundless hopes, O race of man,
How angrily thou spurn'st all simpler fare!
'Christ,' some one says, 'was human as we are;
No judge eyes us from Heaven, our sin to scan;
We live no more when we have done our span.'--
'Well, then, for Christ,' thou answerest, 'who can care?
From sin, which Heaven records not, why forbear?
Live we like brutes our life without a plan!'
So answerest thou; but why not rather say,
'Hath man no second life?--Pitch this one high!
Sits there no judge in Heaven our sin to see?--
More strictly, then, the inward judge obey!
Was Christ a man like us?--Ah! let us try
If we then, too, can be such men as he!'

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Matthew Arnold

Matthew Arnold was a British poet and cultural critic who worked as an inspector of schools. more…

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"The Better Part" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 25 May 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/27285/the-better-part>.

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