Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Suzanne Westfall
Not Peer Reviewed

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

A Midsommer nightes dreame.
Vnknowne: the Poets penne turnes them to shapes,
And giues to ayery nothing, a locall habitation,
And a name. Such trickes hath strong imagination,
1810That if it would but apprehend some ioy,
It comprehends some bringer of that ioy.
Or in the night, imagining some feare,
How easie is a bush suppos'd a Beare?
Hyp. But, all the story of the night told ouer,
1815And all their minds transfigur'd so together,
More witnesseth than fancies images,
And growes to something of great constancy:
But howsoeuer, strange and admirable.
Enter Louers; Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia and
The. Here come the louers, full of ioy and mirth.
Ioy, gentle friends, ioy and fresh daies
Of loue accompany your hearts.
Lys. More then to vs, waite in your royall walkes, your
1825boorde, your bedde.
The. Come now: what maskes, what daunces shall wee
To weare away this long age of three hours, betweene
Or after supper, & bed-time? Where is our vsuall manager
1830Of mirth? What Reuels are in hand? Is there no play,
To ease the anguish of a torturing hower? Call Philostrate.
Philostrate. Here mighty Theseus.
1835The. Say, what abridgement haue you for this euening?
What maske, what musicke? How shall we beguile
The lazy tyme, if not with some delight?
Philost. There is a briefe, how many sports are ripe.
1840Make choyce, of which your Highnesse will see first.
The. The battell with the Centaures to be sung,
By an Athenian Eunuche, to the Harpe?
Weele none of that. That haue I tolde my loue,
In glory of my kinsman Hercules.
1845The ryot of the tipsie Bachanals,