Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Suzanne Westfall
Not Peer Reviewed

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


A Midsommer nightes dreame.
Lamenting some enforced chastitie.
1020Ty vp my louers tongue, bring him silently.
Exit.
Enter King of Fairies, and Robin goodfellow.
Ob. I wonder if Titania be awak't;
Then what it was, that next came in her eye,
Which she must dote on, in extreamitie.
Here comes my messenger. How now, mad spirit?
What nightrule now about this haunted groue?
Puck. My mistresse with a monster is in loue,
Neere to her close and consecrated bower.
1030While she was in her dull, and sleeping hower,
A crew of patches, rude Mechanicals,
That worke for bread, vpon Athenian stalles,
Were met together to rehearse a play,
Intended for great Theseus nuptiall day:
1035The shallowest thickskinne, of that barraine sort,
Who Pyramus presented, in their sport,
Forsooke his Scene, and entred in a brake,
VVhen I did him at this aduantage take:
An Asses nole I fixed on his head.
1040Anon his Thisbie must be answered,
And forth my Minnick comes. When they him spy;
As wilde geese, that the creeping Fouler eye,
Or russet pated choughes, many in sort
(Rysing, and cawing, at the gunnes report)
1045Seuer themselues, and madly sweepe the sky:
So, at his sight, away his fellowes fly,
And at our stampe, here ore and ore, one falles:
He murther cryes, and helpe from Athens cals.
Their sense, thus weake, lost with their feares, thus strong,
1050Made senselesse things begin to doe them wrong.
For, briers and thornes, at their apparell, snatch:
Some sleeues, some hats; from yeelders, all things catch.
I led them on, in this distracted feare,
And left sweete Pyramus translated there:
D4
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