My mind to me a kingdom is; Such present joys therein I find, That it excels all other bliss That earth affords or grows by kind: Though much I want which most would have, Yet still my mind forbids to crave.
Some have too much, yet still do crave; I little have, and seek no more: They are but poor, though much they have, And I am rich with little store: They poor, I rich; they beg, I give; They lack, I have; they pine, I live.
Note 1. There is a very similar but anonymous copy in the British Museum. Additional MS. 15225, p. 85. And there is an imitation in J. Sylvesters Works, p. 651.Hannah: Courtly Poets.
My mind to me a kingdom is; Such perfect joy therein I find, As far exceeds all earthly bliss That God and Nature hath assigned. Though much I want that most would have, Yet still my mind forbids to crave. Byrd: Psalmes, Sonnets, etc. 1588.
My mind to me an empire is, While grace affordeth health. Robert Southwell (15601595): Loo Home.
Mens regnum bona possidet (A good mind possesses a kingdom).Seneca: Thyestes, ii. 380. [back]
Note 2. Stated by Dyce to be from a MS. of older date than Gammer Gurtons Needle. See Skeltons Works (Dyces ed.), vol. i. pp. viix, note. [back]