My mind to me a kingdom is;
Such perfect joy therein I find
That it excels all other bliss
Which God or nature hath assign’d.
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 surfeit 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 anything.
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!