Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Suzanne Westfall
Not Peer Reviewed

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


A Midsommer nightes dreame.
There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee:
And to that place, the sharpe Athenian law
Can not pursue vs. If thou louest mee, then
Steale forth thy fathers house, to morrow night:
175And in the wood, a league without the towne
(Where I did meete thee once with Helena
To do obseruance to a morne of May)
There will I stay for thee.
Her. My good Lysander,
180I sweare to thee, by Cupids strongest bowe,
By his best arrowe, with the golden heade,
By the simplicitie of Venus doues,
By that which knitteth soules, and prospers loues,
And by that fire, which burnd the Carthage queene,
185When the false Troian vnder saile was seene,
By all the vowes that euer men haue broke,
(In number more then euer women spoke)
In that same place thou hast appointed mee,
To morrow truely will I meete with thee.
190Lys. Keepe promise loue: looke, here comes Helena.
Enter Helena.
Her. God speede faire Helena: whither away?
Hel. Call you mee faire? That faire againe vnsay.
Demetrius loues your faire: o happy faire!
195Your eyes are loadstarres, and your tongues sweete aire
More tunable then larke, to sheepeheards eare,
When wheat is greene, when hauthorne buddes appeare.
Sicknesse is catching: O, were fauour so,
Your words I catch, faire Hermia, ere I goe,
200My eare should catch your voice, my eye, your eye,
My tongue should catch your tongues sweete melody.
Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated,
The rest ile giue to be to you translated.
O, teach mee how you looke, and with what Art,
205You sway the mot
ion of Demetrius heart.
I