Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VI. Fancy: Sentiment
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VI. Fancy.  1904.
 
Poems of Sentiment: IV. Thought: Poetry: Books
“My minde to me a kingdom is”
Sir Edward Dyer (1543–1607)
 
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,        5
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.        10
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        15
  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,        20
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;        25
  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.        30
 
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;        35
I lothe not life, nor dread mine end.
 
I joy not in no earthly blisse;
  I weigh not Crœsus’ wealth a straw;
For care, I care not what it is;
  I feare not fortune’s fatal law;        40
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;        45
  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;        50
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,—        55
  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.        60
 
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;        65
Would all did so as well as I!
 
 
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