Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Suzanne Westfall
Not Peer Reviewed

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

A Midsommer nightes dreame.
65Her. I would my father lookt but with my eyes.
The. Rather your eyes must, with his iudgement, looke,
Her. I doe intreat your grace, to pardon mee.
I know not by what power, I am made bould;
Nor how it may concerne my modesty,
70In such a presence, here to plead my thoughts:
But I beseech your Grace, that I may knowe
The worst that may befall mee in this case,
If I refuse to wed Demetrius.
The. Either to dy the death, or to abiure,
75For euer, the society of men.
Therefore, faire Hermia, question your desires,
Knowe of your youth, examine well your blood,
Whether (if you yeelde not to your fathers choyce)
You can endure the liuery of a Nunne,
80For aye to be in shady cloyster, mew'd
To liue a barraine sister all your life,
Chaunting faint hymnes, to the colde fruitlesse Moone.
Thrise blessed they, that master so there bloode,
To vndergoe such maiden pilgrimage:
85But earthlyer happy is the rose distild,
Then that, which, withering on the virgin thorne,
Growes, liues, and dies, in single blessednesse.
Her. So will I growe, so liue, so die my Lord,
Ere I will yield my virgin Patent, vp
90Vnto his Lordshippe, whose vnwished yoake
My soule consents not to giue souerainty.
The. Take time to pawse, and by the next newe moone,
The sealing day, betwixt my loue and mee,
For euerlasting bond of fellowshippe,
95Vpon that day either prepare to dye,
For disobedience to your fathers will,
Or else to wed Demetrius, as he would,
Or on Dianaes altar to protest,
For aye, austeritie and single life.