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COME, Sleep, O Sleep, the certain knot of peace,
The baiting place of wit, the balm of woe,
The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release,
The indifferent judge between the high and low.
With shield of proof shield me from out the prease
Of those fierce darts, Despair at me doth throw;
() make in me those civil wars to cease :
I will good tribute pay, if thou do so.
Take thou of me smooth pillows, sweetest bed ;
A chamber, deaf to noise, and blind to light;
A rosy garland, and a weary head.
And if these things, as being thine by right,
Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me
Livelier than elsewhere Stella's image see.

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[From Byrd's songs, &c. about the year 1588. Little is known of this writer. ]

My mind to me a kingdom is,

Such perfect joy therein I find,
That it excels all other bliss

That God or nature hath assign'd :
Though much I want that most would have,
Yet still my mind forbids to crave.

No princely port, nor wealthy store,

Nor force to win a victory;
No wily wit to salve a sore,

No shape to win a loving eye ;
To none of these I yield as thrall,
For why, my mind despise them all.

I see that plenty surfeits oft,

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

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

I press to bear no haughty sway;

I wish no more than may suffice; I do no more than well I may,

Look what I want, my mind supplies ; Lo, thus I triumph like a king, My mind's content with anything.

I laugh not at another's loss,

Nor grudge not at another's gain ;
No worldly waves 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,

And conscience clear my chief defence; I never seek by bribes to please,

Nor by desert to give offence; Thus do I live, thus will I die ;

Would all do so as well as I !


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(ROBERT GREENE was born at Norwich, about the year 1560, and, after having been educated at Cambridge, travelled in foreign countries. When he returned to England he took orders, but, unfortunately, was a discredit to his profession on account of the irregularity of his life: in consequence he was deprived of his vicarage. He died in 1592, from excess at table. Some time before his death, however, he began to feel the pangs of remorse ; and in one of his plays draws an affecting picture of genius debased by vice.]

Sweet are the thoughts that savour of content :
The quiet mind is richer than a crown :
Sweet are the nights in careless slumber spent :
The poor estate scorns Fortune's angry frown.
Such sweet content, such minds, such sleep, such bliss,
Beggars enjoy, when princes oft do miss.
The homely house that harbours quiet rest,
The cottage that affords no pride nor care,
The mean, that 'grees with country music best,
The sweet consort of mirth's and music's fare,
Obscured life sets down a type of bliss ;
A mind content both crown and kingdom is.


AH! what is love! It is a pretty thing,
As sweet unto a shepherd as a king,

And sweeter too :

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