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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Not Peer Reviewed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.
Duke. No Epilogue, I pray you. For your Play needs no
excuse. Neuer excuse: For when the Players are all deade,
2140there neede none to be blamed. Mary, if hee that writ it,
had played Pyramus, and hangd himselfe in Thisbies gar-
ter, it would haue beene a fine tragedy: and so it is truely,
and very notably discharg'd. But come your Burgomaske:
let your Epilogue alone.
2145The iron tongue of midnight hath tolde twelue.
Louers to bed, tis almost Fairy time.
I feare we shall outsleepe the comming morne,
As much as wee this night haue ouerwatcht.
This palpable grosse Play hath well beguil'd
2150The heauie gate of night. Sweete friends, to bed.
A fortnight holde we this solemnitie,
In nightly Reuels, and new iollity. Exeunt.
Enter Pucke.
Puck. Now the hungry Lyons roares.
2155And the wolfe beholds the Moone;
Whilst the heauie ploughman snores,
All with weary taske foredoone.
Now the wasted brands doe glowe,
Whilst the scriech-owle, scrieching lowd,
2160Puts the wretch, that lyes in woe,
In remembrance of a shrowde.
Now it is the time of night,
That the graues, all gaping wide,
Euery one lets forth his spright,
2165In the Churchway paths to glide.
And wee Fairies, that doe runne,
By the triple Hecates teame,
From the presence of the Sunne,
Following darkenesse like a dreame,
2170Now are frollick: not a mouse
Shall disturbe this hallowed house.
I am sent, with broome, before,