Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Suzanne Westfall
Not Peer Reviewed

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

A Midsommer nightes dreame.
The. This fellow doth not stand vpon points.
Lys. He hath rid his Prologue, like a rough Colte: hee
knowes not the stoppe. A good morall my Lord. It is not
enough to speake; but to speake true.
1920Hyp. Indeed he hath plaid on this Prologue, like a child
on a Recorder, a sound; but not in gouernement.
The. His speach was like a tangled Chaine; nothing im-
paired, but all disordered. Who is next?
Enter Pyramus, and Thisby, and Wall, and Moone-
1925shine, and Lyon.
Prologue. Gentles, perchance you wonder at this show.
But, wonder on, till truthe make all things plaine.
This man is Pyramus, if you would knowe:
This beautious Lady Thsby is certaine.
1930This man, with lyme and roughcast, doth present
Wall, that vile wall, which did these louers sunder:
And through wals chinke, poore soules, they are content
To whisper. At the which, let no man wonder.
This man, with lanterne, dogge, and bush of thorne,
1935Presenteth moone-shine. For if you will know,
By moone-shine did these louers thinke no scorne
To meete at Ninus tombe, there, there to wooe.
This grizly beast (which Lyon hight by name)
The trusty Thysby, comming first by night,
1940Did scarre away, or rather did affright:
And as she fled, her mantle she did fall:
Which Lyon vile with bloody mouth did staine.
Anon comes Pyramus, sweete youth, and tall,
And findes his trusty Thisbyes mantle slaine:
1945Whereat, with blade, with bloody blamefull blade,
He brauely broacht his boyling bloody breast.
And Thisby, tarying in Mulberry shade,
His dagger drewe, and dyed. For all the rest,
Let Lyon, Moone-shine, Wall, and louers twaine,
1950At large discourse, while here they doe remaine.