Gateway to the Classics: Poems Every Child Should Know by Mary E. Burt
Poems Every Child Should Know by  Mary E. Burt


"Contentment," by Edward Dyer (1545-1607). This poem holds much to comfort and control people who are shut up to the joys of meditation—people to whom the world of activity is closed. To be independent of things material—this is the soul's pleasure.

My mind to me a kingdom is;

Such perfect joy therein I find

As far excels all earthly bliss

That God or Nature hath assigned;

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 press to bear no haughty sway;

Look, what I lack my mind supplies.

Lo, thus I triumph like a king,

Content with that my mind doth bring.

I laugh not at another's loss,

I grudge not at another's gain;

No worldly wave 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;

My conscience clear my chief defense;

I never seek by bribes to please

Nor by desert to give offense.

Thus do I live, thus will I die;

Would all did so as well as I!

Edward Dyer.

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