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Not Peer Reviewed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 I shall haue no power to follow you.
Deme. Doe I entise you? Doe I speake you faire?
Or rather doe I not in plainest truthe,
580Tell you I doe not, not I cannot loue you?
Hele. And euen, for that, do I loue you, the more:
I am your Spaniell: and, Demetrius,
The more you beat mee, I will fawne on you.
Vse me but as your Spaniell: spurne me, strike mee,
585Neglect mee, loose me: onely giue me leaue
(Vnworthie as I am) to follow you.
What worser place can I begge, in your loue
(And yet, a place of high respect with mee)
Then to be vsed as you vse your dogge.
590Deme. Tempt not, too much, the hatred of my spirit.
For I am sick, when I do looke on thee.
Hele. And I am sick, when I looke not on you.
Deme. You doe impeach your modestie too much,
To leaue the citie, and commit your selfe,
595Into the hands of one that loues you not,
To trust the opportunitie of night,
And the ill counsell of a desert place,
With the rich worth of your virginitie.
Hel. Your vertue is my priuiledge: For that
600It is not night, when I doe see your face.
Therefore, I thinke, I am not in the night,
Nor doth this wood lacke worlds of company.
For you, in my respect, are all the world.
Then, how can it be saide, I am alone,
605When all the world is here, to looke on mee?
Deme. Ile runne from thee, and hide me in the brakes,
And leaue thee to the mercy of wilde beastes.
Hel. The wildest hath not such a heart as you.
Runne when you will: The story shall be chaung'd:
610Apollo flies and Daphne holds the chase:
The Doue pursues the Griffon: the milde Hinde
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