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My Mind to me a Kingdom is





My mind to me a kingdom is;

Such perfect joy therein I find

That it excels all other bliss

That world affords or grows by kind.

Though much I want which most men have,

Yet still my mind forbids to crave.


No princely pomp, no wealthy store,

No force to win the victory,

No wily wit to salve a sore,

No shape to feed each gazing eye;

To none of these I yield as thrall.

For why my mind doth serve for all.


I see how plenty suffers oft,

How hasty climbers soon do fall;

I see that those that are aloft

Mishap doth threaten most of all;

They get with toil, they keep with fear.

Such cares my mind could never bear.


Content I live, this is my stay;

I seek no more than may suffice;

I press to bear no haughty sway;

Look what I lack my mind supplies;

Lo, thus I triumph like a king,

Content with that my mind doth bring.


I little have, and seek no more.

They are but poor, though much they have,

And I am rich with little store.

They poor, I rich; they beg, I give;

They lack, I leave, they pine, I live.


I laugh not at another's loss;

I grudge not at another's gain:

No worldly waves my mind can toss;

My state at one doth still remain.

I fear no foe, nor fawning friend;

I loathe not life, nor dread my end.


Some weigh their pleasure by their lust,

Their wisdom by their rage of will,

Their treasure is their only trust;

And cloaked craft their store of skill.

But all the pleasure that I find

Is to maintain a quiet mind.


My wealth is health and perfect ease;

My conscience clear my chief defense;

I neither seek by bribes to please,

Nor by deceit to breed offense.

Thus do I live; thus will I die.

Would all did so as well as I!

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