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Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Suzanne Westfall
Not Peer Reviewed

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

A Midsommer nightes dreame.
O, once tell true: tell true, euen for my sake:
Durst thou haue lookt vpon him, being awake?
And hast thou kild him, sleeping? O braue tutch!
Could not a worme, an Adder do so much?
1095An Adder did it: For with doubler tongue
Then thyne (thou serpent) neuer Adder stung.
Deme. You spende your passion, on a mispris'd mood:
I am not guilty of Lysanders bloode:
Nor is he deade, for ought that I can tell.
1100Her. I pray thee, tell mee then, that he is well.
De. And if I could, what should I get therefore?
Her. A priuiledge, neuer to see mee more:
And from thy hated presence part I: see me no more;
Whether he be dead or no. Exit.
1105Deme. There is no following her in this fierce vaine.
Heere therefore, for a while, I will remaine.
So sorrowes heauinesse doth heauier growe.
For debt that bankrout slippe doth sorrow owe:
Which now in some slight measure it will pay;
1110If for his tender here I make some stay. Ly doune.
Ob. What hast thou done? Thou hast mistaken quite,
And laid the loue iuice on some true loues sight.
Of thy misprision, must perforce ensue
Some true loue turnd, and not a false turnd true.
1115Robi. Then fate orerules, that one man holding troth,
A million faile, confounding oath on oath.
Ob. About the wood, goe swifter then the winde,
And Helena of Athens looke thou finde.
All fancy sicke she is and pale of cheere,
1120With sighes of loue, that costs the fresh blood deare.
By some illusion see thou bring her here:
Ile charme his eyes, against she doe appeare.
Robin. I goe, I goe, looke how I goe.
Swifter then arrow, from the Tartars bowe.
1125Ob. Flower of this purple dy,