This reminds me of a biblical passage: It is better to be a door-keeper in the house of the lord than to dwell in the tents of the wicked. (I'm afraid I don't know the location in the text.)Better dwell in the midst of alarms
Than reign in this horrible place.
Could anyone explain this? [I have no more context]
That makes the point much clearer now. In my humble opinion the author emphasizes that solitude must be something horrible. He says that even living in some noisy place is better than being alone."O solitude, where are the charms
That sages have seen in thy face?
Better dwell in the midst of alarms,
Than reign in this horrible place."