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WILLIAM BYRD.

Of a clear conscience, that (without all I see how plenty surfeits oft,
stain)

And hasty climbers soonest fall;
I see that such as sit aloft

Rises in peace, in innocency rests;
Whilst all that Malice from without pro-

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Mishap doth threaten most of all. These get with toil, and keep with fear; Such cares my mind could never bear.

No princely pomp nor wealthy store,
No force to win the victory,
No wily wit to salve a sore,

No shape to win a lover's eye,
To none of these I yield as thrall;
For why, my mind despiseth all.

Some have too much, yet still they crave;
I little have, yet 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 lend; they pine, I live.

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.

I joy not in no earthly bliss;

I weigh not Croesus' wealth a straw; For care, I care not what it is;

I fear not fortune's fatal law;
My mind is such as may not move
For beauty bright, or force of love.

15

I wish but what I have at will;
I wander not to seek for more;
I like the plain, I climb no hill;

In greatest storms I sit on shore,
And laugh at them that toil in vain
To get what must be lost again.

I kiss not where I wish to kill;

I feign not love where most I hate;
I break no sleep to win my will;

I wait not at the mighty's gate.
I scorn no poor, I fear no rich;
I feel no want, nor have too much.

The court nor cart I like nor loathe;
Extremes are counted worst of all;
The golden mean betwixt them both

Doth surest sit, and fears no fall; This is my choice; for why, I find No wealth is like a quiet mind.

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