Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Suzanne Westfall
Not Peer Reviewed

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


A Midsommer nightes dreame.
Lys. Demetrius loues her: and he loues not you.
Deme. O Helen, goddesse, nymph, perfect diuine,
To what, my loue, shall I compare thine eyne!
Christall is muddy. O, how ripe, in showe,
1165Thy lippes, those kissing cherries, tempting growe!
That pure coniealed white, high Taurus snow,
Fand with the Easterne winde, turnes to a crowe,
When thou holdst vp thy hand. O, let me kisse
This Princesse of pure white, this seale of blisse.
1170Hel. O spight! O hell! I see, you all are bent
To set against mee, for your merriment.
If you were ciuill, and knew curtesie,
You would not doe mee thus much iniury.
Can you not hate mee, as I know you doe,
1175But you must ioyne, in soules, to mocke mee to?
If you were men, as men you are in showe,
You would not vse a gentle Lady so;
To vowe, and sweare, and superpraise my parts,
When I am sure, you hate mee with your hearts.
1180You both are Riuals, and loue Hermia:
And now both Riualles, to mock Helena.
A trim exploit, a manly enterprise,
To coniure teares vp, in a poore maides eyes,
With your derision None, of noble sort,
1185Would so offend a virgine, and extort
A poore soules patience, all to make you sport.
Lysand. You are vnkinde, Demetrius: be not so.
For you loue Hermia: this you know I know.
And heare, with all good will, with all my heart,
1190In Hermias loue I yeelde you vp my part:
And yours of Helena, to mee bequeath:
Whom I doe loue, and will do till my death.
Hel. Neuer did mockers waste more idle breath.
Deme. Lysander, keepe thy Hermia: I will none.
1195If ere I lou'd her, all that loue is gone.
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