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SIR EDWARD DYER
English poet and courtier
(1543 - 1607)

If nice guys finish last, then great guys come in right after them.
      - [Competition]

O liberty,
  Parent of happiness, celestial born
    When the first man became a living soul;
      His sacred genius thou.
      - [Liberty]

Rushing from the woods, the spires
  Seem from hence ascending fires!
      - [Spires]

The little smiling cottage! where at eve
  He meets his rosy children at the door,
    Prattling their welcomes, and his honest wife,
      With good brown cake and bacon slice, intent
        To cheer his hunger after labor hard.
      - [Home]

'Tis now the raven's bleak abode;
  'Tis now the apartment of the toad;
    And there the fox securely feeds;
      And there the poisonous adder breeds,
        Conceal'd in ruins, moss and weeds;
          While, ever and anon, there falls
            Huge heaps of hoary moulder'd walls.
              Yet time has seen, which lifts the low,
                And level lays the lofty brow,
                  Has seen the broken pile complete,
                    Big with the vanity of state;
                      But transient is the smile of fate!
                        A little rule, a little sway,
                          A sunbeam in a winter's day,
                            Is all the proud and mighty have
                              Between the cradle and the grave.
      - [Ruins]

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.
      - My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is [Contentment]

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 lack my mind supplies.
        Lo! thus I triumph like a king,
          My mind's content with anything.
      - My Mind to me a Kingdom Is [Contentment]

My mynde to me a kingdome is,
  Such preasent joyes therein I fynde
    That it excells all other blisse
      That earth afforde or growes by kynde
        Though muche I wante which moste would have
          Yet still my mynde forbiddes to crave.
      - Rawlinson MSS. (85, p. 17),
        found in the Bodleian Library at Oxford
        [Mind]


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