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XXXIII.-MY MIND TO ME A KINGDOM 18.1
My minde to me a kingdome is;
Such perfect joy therein I finde
As far exceeds all earthly blisse
That God or Nature hath assignde.
Though much I want, that most would have,
Yet still my mind 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.
Loel thus I triumph like a king,
Content with that my mind doth bring-
I see how plentie surfets oft,
And hastie clymbers soonest fall:
I see that such as sit aloft
Mishap doth threaten most of all:
These get with toile, and keep with feare :
Such cares my
mind could never beare.
No princely pompe, nor welthie store,
No force to winne 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.
1 This excellent philosophical song appears to have been famous in the sixteenth century. It is quoted by Ben Jonson in his play of “Every Man out of his Humour, first acted in 1599, Act I. Scene I., where an impatient person says
am no such pil'd cynique to believe
That beggery is the only happinesse,
Or, with a number of these patient fooles,
To sing, ' My minde to me a kingdome is,'
When the lanke hungrie belly barkes for foode.”
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, nor fawne on friend,
I loathe not life, nor dread mine end.
I joy not in no earthly blisse;
I weigh not Creesus' welth a straw;
For care, I care not what it is ;
I fear not fortune's fatall law. My mind 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 seek for more;
I like the plaine, I climb 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 sleep to winne my will;
I wayte not at the mighties gate;
I scorne no poore, I feare no rich,
I feele no want, nor have too much.
The court, ne cart, I like, ne loathe ;
Extreames are counted worst of all:
The golden meane betwixt them both
Doth surest sit, and fears no fall:
This is my choyce, for why, I finde
No wealth is like a quiet minde.
My welth is health and perfect ease,
My conscience clere my chiefe defence : I never seek by brybes to please,
Nor by desert to give offence : Thus do I live, thus will I die; Would all did so as well as I.
XXXIV. -THE CATARACT OF LODORE.
“ How does the water Come down at Lodore ?"
My little boy ask'd me
Thus, once on a time;
And moreover he task'd me
To tell him in rhyme;
Anon at the word,
There first came one daughter,
And then came another,
To second and third
The request of their brother,
And to hear how the water
Comes down at Lodore,
With its rush and its roar,
They had seen it before.
So I told them in rhyme,
For of rhymes I had store;
And 'twas in my vocation
For their recreation
That so I should sing ;
Because I was Laureate
To them and the King.
From its sources which well
In the tarn on the fell;
From its fountains
In the mountains,
Its rills and its gills ;
Through moss and through brake,
It runs and it
creeps For awhile, till it sleeps In its own little lake.
And thence at departing,
Awakening and starting,
It runs through the reeds
And away it proceeds,
Through meadow and glade,
In sun and in shade,
And through the wood-shelter,
Among crags in its furry,
Here it comes sparkling,
And there it lies darkling ;
Now smoking and frothing
Its tumult and wrath in,
Till in its rapid race,
On which it is bent,
It reaches the place
Of its deep descent.
Writhing and wringing,
Eddying and whisking,
Spouting and frisking,
Turning and twisting,
Around and around
With endless rebound;
Smiting and fighting,
A sight to delight in ;
Dizzying and deafening the ear with its sound.
Receding and speeding,
And shocking and rocking,
And darting and parting,
And threading and spreading,
And whizzing and hissing,
And dripping and skipping,
And hitting and splitting,
And shining and twining,
And rattling and battling,
And shaking and quaking,
And pouring and roaring,
And waving and raving,
And tossing and crossing,
And flowing and going,
And running and stunning,
And foaming and roaming,
And dinning and spinning,
And dropping and hopping,
And working and jerking,
And guggling and struggling,
And heaving and cleaving,
And moaning and groaning;
And glittering and frittering,
And gathering and feathering,