Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Suzanne Westfall
Not Peer Reviewed

A Midsummer Night's Dream (Quarto 1, 1600)


A Midsommer nightes dreame.
And now, they neuer meete in groue, or greene,
By fountaine cleare, or spangled starlight sheene,
400But they doe square, that all their Elues, for feare,
Creepe into acorne cups, and hide them there.
Fa. Either I mistake your shape, and making, quite,
Or els you are that shrewde and knauish sprite,
Call'd Robin goodfellow. Are not you hee,
405That frights the maidens of the Villageree,
Skim milke, and sometimes labour in the querne,
And bootlesse make the breathlesse huswife cherne,
And sometime make the drinke to beare no barme,
Misselead nightwanderers, laughing at their harme?
410Those, that Hobgoblin call you, and sweete Puck,
You doe their worke, and they shall haue good luck.
Are not you hee?
Rob. Thou speakest aright; I am that merry wanderer of
415I ieast to Oberon, and make him smile,
When I a fat and beane-fed horse beguile;
Neyghing, in likenesse of a filly fole,
And sometime lurke I in a gossippes bole,
In very likenesse of a rosted crabbe,
420And when she drinkes, against her lips I bob,
And on her withered dewlop, poure the ale.
The wisest Aunt, telling the saddest tale,
Sometime, for three foote stoole, mistaketh mee:
Then slippe I from her bumme, downe topples she,
425And tailour cryes, and falles into a coffe;
And then the whole Quire hould their hippes, and loffe,
And waxen in their myrth, and neeze, and sweare
A merrier hower was neuer wasted there.
But roome Faery: here comes Oberon.
430Fa. And here, my mistresse. Would that he were gon.
Enter the King of Fairies, at one doore, with his traine;
and the Queene, at another, with hers.
Ob. Ill met by moonelight, proud Tytania.
Qu.