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The LiederNet Archive
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My mind to me a kingdom is

Language: English

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)

Another version of this text exists in the database.

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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