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, , 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")
- by Anonymous / Unidentified Author, "My Mind to me a Kingdom is" [author's text checked 1 time 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)
- [ None yet in the database ]
Set in a modified version by William Byrd.
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- GER German (Deutsch) (Adolf von Marées)
- GER German (Deutsch) (Richard Flatter) , "Mein Königreich", appears in Die Fähre, Englische Lyrik aus fünf Jahrhunderten, first published 1936
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