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My Mind to me a Kingdom is

Language: German (Deutsch)

My minde to me a kingdome is;
Such perfect joy therein i finde
As farre exceeds all earthly blisse,
That God, or Nature, hath assignde:
Though much I want, that most would have,
Yet still my mind forbids to crave.

Content I live; this is my stay;
I seek no more than may suffice:
I presse to beare no haugthie sway;
Look what I lack my mind supplies.
Loe! thus I triumph like a king,
Content with that my mind doth bring.

I see how plentie surfets oft,
And hastie clymbers soonest fall:
I see that such as sit aloft
Mishap doth threaten most of all:
These get with toile, and keep with feare:
Such cares my mind could never beare.

No princely pompe, nor welthie store,
No force to winne the victorie,
No wylie wit to salve a sore,
No shape to winne a lover's eye;
To none of these I yeeld as thrall,
For why my mind despiseth all.

Some have too much, yet still they crave;
I little have, yet seek no more:
They are but poore, tho' much they have;
And I am rich with little store:
They poor, I rich; they beg, I give;
They lacke, I lend; they pine, I live.

I laugh not at another's losse,
I grudge not at another's gaine;
No worldly wave my mind can tosse;
I brooke that is another's bane:
I feare no foe, nor fawne on friend;
I lothe not life, nor dread mine end.

I joy not in no earthly blisse;
I weigh not Cresus' welth a straw;
For care, I care not what it is;
I feare not fortune's fatall law:
My mind is such as may not move
For beautie bright or force of love.

I wish but what I have at will;
I wander not to seeke for more;
I like the plaine, I clime no hill;
In greatest storms I sitte on shore;
And laugh at them that toile in vaine
To get what must be lost againe.

I kisse not where I wish to kill;
I feigne not love where most I hate;
I breake no sleep to winne my will;
I wayte not at the mightie's gate;
I scorne no poore, I fear no rich;
I feele no want, nor have too much.

The court, ne cart, I like, ne loath;
Extreames are counted worst of all:
The golden meane betwixt them both
Doth surest sit, and fears no fall:
This is my choyce, for why I finde,
No wealth is like a quiet minde.

My welth is health, and perfect ease;
My conscience clere my chiefe defence:
I never seeke by brybes 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 Reliques of Ancient English Poetry consisting of Old Heroic Ballads, Songs and other pieces [...] by Thomas Percy, Lord Bishop of Dromore, edited by Robert Aris Willmott [...] London, George Routledge and Sons, [1857], pages 146-147; and with Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry Volume I. London published by J.M.Dent & Sons Ltd. and in New York by E.P.Duttonh & Co. [1906 reprinted 1910], pages 252-254.

Quoted by Claudius in the poem "Ein Lied" (also titled "Zufriedenheit")

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator] and Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]


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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Set in a modified version by William Byrd.

Text added to the website: 2017-07-08 00:00:00.
Last modified: 2017-10-11 12:39:25
Line count: 66
Word count: 467

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