My mind to me a kingdom is
My mind to me a kingdom is:
Such perfect joy therein I find
That it excels all other bliss
That God or nature hath assigned.
Though much I want, that most would have,
Yet still my mind forbids to crave.
No princely port, nor wealthy store,
No force to win a victory,
No wily wit to salve a sore,
No shape to win a loving eye;
To none of these I yield as thrall!
For why? my mind despise them all.
I see that plenty surfeits oft,
And hasty climbers soonest fall;
I see that such as are aloft,
Mishap doth threaten most of all.
These get with toil, and keep with fear:
Such cares my mind can never bear.
I press to bear no haughty sway,
I wish no more than may suffice,
I do no more, than well I may;
Look, what I want, my mind supplies.
Lo, thus I triumph like a king,
My mind content with any thing.
I laugh not at another’s loss,
Nor grudge not at another’s gain.
No worldly waves my mind can toss,
I brook that is another’s bane;
I fear no foe, nor fawn on friend,
I loathe not life nor dread mine end.
My wealth is health and perfect ease;
And conscience clear my chief defence;
I never seek by bribes to please,
Nor by desert to give offence,
Thus do I live, thus will I die:
Would all did so as well as I!
Confirmed with Lyrics from the Song-Books of the Elizabethan Age, ed. by A. H. Bullen, London, John C. Nimmo, 1887, pages 78-79.
Quoted by Claudius in the poem "Ein Lied" (also titled "Zufriedenheit")
Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
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Text added to the website: 2014-02-24T00:00:00.
Last modified: 2017-10-11T12:39:25
Line count: 36
Word count: 245
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