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")
- by Anonymous / Unidentified Author [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by William Byrd (1542?3? - 1623), "My mind to me a kingdom is", published 1588, from Psalms, Sonnets, and Songs of Sadness and Piety [ sung text verified 1 time]
Another version of this text exists in the database.
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2014-02-24
Line count: 36
Word count: 245