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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Sir Edward Dyer (1543–1607)

My Minde to Me a Kingdom Is

MY minde to me a kingdom is;

Such perfect joy wherein 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 surfets oft,

And hastie clymbers soon do fall;

I see that such as sit aloft

Mishap doth threaten most of all.

These get with toile, and keepe with feare;

Such cares my mind could never beare….

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 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….

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!