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First Line: My mind [or, minde] to me a kingdom is
Last Line: Would all did so as well as I!
Variant Title(s): Kingdom;in Praise Of A Contented Mind
Subject(s): Contentment; Reason; Thought; Intellect; Rationalism; Brain; Mind; Intellectuals; Thinking

MY minde to me a kingdom 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 minde forbids to crave.
Content I live; this is my stay,--
I seek no more than may suffice.
I presse to beare no haughtie sway;
Look, what I lack my mind supplies.
Loe, thus I triumph like a king,
Content with that my minde doth bring.
I see how plentie surfers oft,
And hastie clymbers soon do fall;
I see that such as sit aloft
Mishap doth threaten most of all.
These get with toile, they keepe with feare;
Such cares my minde could never beare.
No princely pompe nor welthie store,
No force to win 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, though 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, I fawne no friend;
I lothe not life, nor dread mine end.
I joy not in no earthly blisse;
I weigh not Croesus' wealth a straw;
For care, I care not what it is;
I feare not fortune's fatal law;
My minde 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 stormes 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 sleepe to winne my will;
I wayte not at the mightie's gate.
I scorne no poore, I feare 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 feares no fall;
This is my choyce; for why, I finde
No wealth is like a quiet minde.
My wealth is health and perfect ease;
My conscience clere my chiefe defence;
I neither seeke by bribes to please,
Nor by desert to breed offence.
Thus do I live; thus will I die;
Would all did so as well as I!

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