by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

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")


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

    [ None yet in the database ]

Set in a modified version by William Byrd.

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2017-07-08
Line count: 66
Word count: 467