Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Suzanne Westfall
Not Peer Reviewed

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


A Midsommer nightes dreame.
135Of some thing, nerely that concernes your selues.
Ege. With duety and desire, we follow you.
Exeunt.
Lysand. How now my loue? Why is your cheeke so pale?
How chance the roses there doe fade so fast?
140Her. Belike, for want of raine: which I could well
Beteeme them, from the tempest of my eyes.
Lis. Eigh me: for aught that I could euer reade,
Could euer here by tale or history,
The course of true loue neuer did runne smoothe:
145But either it was different in bloud;
Her. O crosse! too high to be inthrald to loue.
Lis. Or else misgraffed, in respect of yeares;
Her. O spight! too olde to be ingag'd to young.
Lis. Or else, it stoode vpon the choyce of friends;
150Her. O hell, to choose loue by anothers eyes!
Lys. Or, if there were a sympathy in choyce,
Warre, death or sicknesse, did lay siege to it;
Making it momentany, as a sound;
Swift, as a shadowe; short, as any dreame;
155Briefe, as the lightning in the collied night,
That (in a spleene) vnfolds both heauen and earth;
And, ere a man hath power to say, beholde,
The iawes of darkenesse do deuoure it vp:
So quicke bright things come to confusion.
160Her. If then true louers haue bin euer crost,
It stands as an edict, in destiny:
Then let vs teach our triall patience:
Because it is a customary crosse,
As dewe to loue, as thoughts, and dreames, and sighes,
165Wishes, and teares; poore Fancies followers.
Lys. A good perswasion: therefore heare mee, Hermia:
I haue a widowe aunt, a dowager,
Of great reuenew, and she hath no childe:
From Athens is her house remote, seauen leagues:
170And she respectes mee, as her only sonne:
A4
There,