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About this text

  • Title: A Midsummer Night's Dream (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Suzanne Westfall
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-465-3

    Copyright Suzanne Westfall. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Suzanne Westfall
    Not Peer Reviewed

    A Midsummer Night's Dream (Folio 1, 1623)

    A Midsommer nights Dreame.
    Pir. O kisse me through the hole of this vile wall.
    This. I kisse the wals hole, not your lips at all.
    2005Pir. Wilt thou at Ninnies tombe meete me straight
    This. Tide life, tide death, I come without delay.
    Wall. Thus haue I Wall, my part discharged so;
    And being done, thus Wall away doth go.
    Exit Clow.
    2010Du. Now is the morall downe between the two
    Dem. No remedie my Lord, when Wals are so wil-
    full, to heare without vvarning.
    Dut. This is the silliest stuffe that ere I heard.
    2015Du. The best in this kind are but shadowes, and the
    worst are no worse, if imagination amend them.
    Dut. It must be your imagination then, & not theirs.
    Duk. If wee imagine no worse of them then they of
    themselues, they may passe for excellent men. Here com
    2020two noble beasts, in a man and a Lion.

    Enter Lyon and Moone-shine.
    Lyon. You Ladies, you (whose gentle harts do feare
    The smallest monstrous mouse that creepes on floore)
    May now perchance, both quake and tremble heere,
    2025When Lion rough in wildest rage doth roare.
    Then know that I, one Snug the Ioyner am
    A Lion fell, nor else no Lions dam:
    For if I should as Lion come in strife
    Into this place, 'twere pittie of my life.
    2030Du. A verie gentle beast, and of good conscience.
    Dem. The verie best at a beast, my Lord, yt ere I saw.
    Lis. This Lion is a verie Fox for his valor.
    Du. True, and a Goose for his discretion.
    Dem. Not so my Lord: for his valor cannot carrie
    2035his discretion, and the Fox carries the Goose.
    Du. His discretion I am sure cannot carrie his valor:
    for the Goose carries not the Fox. It is well; leaue it to
    his discretion, and let vs hearken to the Moone.
    Moone. This Lanthorne doth the horned Moone pre-
    De. He should haue worne the hornes on his head.
    Du. Hee is no crescent, and his hornes are inuisible,
    within the circumference.
    Moon. This lanthorne doth the horned Moone pre-
    2045sent: My selfe, the man i'th Moone doth seeme to be.
    Du. This is the greatest error of all the rest; the man
    Should be put into the Lanthorne. How is it els the man
    i'th Moone?
    Dem. He dares not come there for the candle.
    2050For you see, it is already in snuffe.
    Dut. I am vvearie of this Moone; vvould he would
    Du. It appeares by his smal light of discretion, that
    he is in the wane: but yet in courtesie, in all reason, vve
    2055must stay the time.
    Lys. Proceed Moone.
    Moon. All that I haue to say, is to tell you, that the
    Lanthorne is the Moone; I, the man in the Moone; this
    thorne bush, my thorne bush; and this dog, my dog.
    2060Dem. Why all these should be in the Lanthorne: for
    they are in the Moone. But silence, heere comes Thisby

    Enter Thisby.
    This. This is old Ninnies tombe: where is my loue?
    Lyon. Oh.
    The Lion roares, Thisby runs off.
    Dem. Well roar'd Lion.
    Du. Well run Thisby.
    Dut. Well shone Moone.
    Truly the Moone shines with a good grace.
    2070Du. Wel mouz'd Lion.
    Dem. And then came Piramus.
    Lys. And so the Lion vanisht.

    Enter Piramus.
    Pyr. Sweet Moone, I thank thee for thy sunny beames,
    2075I thanke thee Moone, for shining now so bright:
    For by thy gracious, golden, glittering beames,
    I trust to taste of truest Thisbies sight.
    But stay: O spight! but marke, poore Knight,
    What dreadful dole is heere?
    2080Eyes do you see! How can it be!
    O dainty Ducke: O Deere!
    Thy mantle good; what staind with blood!
    Approch you Furies fell:
    O Fates! come, come: Cut thred and thrum,
    2085Quaile, crush, conclude, and quell.
    Du. This passion, and the death of a deare friend,
    Would go neere to make a man looke sad.
    Dut. Beshrew my heart, but I pittie the man.
    Pir. O wherefore Nature, did'st thou Lions frame?
    2090Since Lion vilde hath heere deflour'd my deere:
    Which is: no, no, which was the fairest Dame
    That liu'd, that lou'd, that lik'd, that look'd with cheere.
    Come teares, confound: Out sword, and wound
    The pap of Piramus:
    2095I, that left pap, where heart doth hop;
    Thus dye I, thus, thus, thus.
    Now am I dead, now am I fled, my soule is in the sky,
    Tongue lose thy light, Moone take thy flight,
    Now dye, dye, dye, dye, dye.
    2100Dem. No Die, but an ace for him; for he is but one.
    Lis. Lesse then an ace man. For he is dead, he is no-
    Du. With the helpe of a Surgeon, he might yet reco-
    uer, and proue an Asse.
    2105Dut. How chance Moone-shine is gone before?
    Thisby comes backe, and findes her Louer.

    Enter Thisby.

    Duke. She wil finde him by starre-light.
    Heere she comes, and her passion ends the play.
    2110Dut. Me thinkes shee should not vse a long one for
    such a Piramus: I hope she will be breefe.
    Dem. A Moth wil turne the ballance, which Piramus
    which Thisby is the better.
    Lys. She hath spyed him already, with those sweete
    2115Dem. And thus she meanes, videlicit.
    This. Asleepe my Loue? What, dead my Doue?
    O Piramus arise:
    Speake, Speake. Quite dumbe? Dead, dead? A tombe
    Must couer thy sweet eyes.
    2120These Lilly Lips, this cherry nose,
    These yellow Cowslip cheekes
    Are gone, are gone: Louers make mone:
    His eyes were greene as Leekes.
    O sisters three, come, come to mee,
    2125With hands as pale as Milke,
    Lay them in gore, since you haue shore
    With sheeres, his thred of silke.
    Tongue not a word: Come trusty sword:
    Come blade, my brest imbrue: