Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Romeo and Juliet (Modern)
  • Editor: Roger Apfelbaum
  • ISBN: 1-55058-299-2

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Roger Apfelbaum
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Romeo and Juliet (Modern)

    [Romeo comes forward, Juliet entering above.]
    Romeo He jests at scars that never felt a wound.
    795But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
    It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
    Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
    Who is already sick and pale with grief
    That thou her maid art far more fair than she.
    800Be not her maid, since she is envious;
    Her vestal livery is but sick and green
    And none but fools do wear it. Cast it off.
    It is my lady. Oh, it is my love!
    Oh, that she knew she were!
    She speaks, yet she says nothing. What of that?
    805Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
    I am too bold; 'tis not to me she speaks:
    Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
    Having some business do entreat her eyes
    To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
    810What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
    The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars
    As daylight doth a lamp, her eye in heaven
    Would through the airy region stream so bright
    That birds would sing, and think it were not night.
    815See how she leans her cheek upon her hand.
    Oh, that I were a glove upon that hand,
    That I might touch that cheek!
    Ay me.
    [Aside] She speaks.
    820Oh speak again, bright angel, for thou art
    As glorious to this night, being o'er my head,
    As is a wingèd messenger of heaven
    Unto the white upturnèd wond'ring eyes
    Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him
    825When he bestrides the lazy puffing clouds
    And sails upon the bosom of the air.
    Juliet O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?
    Deny thy father and refuse thy name,
    Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
    830And I'll no longer be a Capulet.
    Romeo[Aside] Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?
    Juliet 'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
    Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
    What's Montague? It is nor hand nor foot,
    835Nor arm nor face, nor any other part
    Belonging to a man. Oh, be some other name!
    What's in a name? That which we call a rose
    By any other word would smell as sweet.
    So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called,
    840Retain that dear perfection which he owes
    Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
    And for thy name, which is no part of thee,
    Take all myself.
    I take thee at thy word.
    845Call me but love, and I'll be new baptized.
    Henceforth I never will be Romeo.
    Juliet What man art thou that, thus bescreened in night,
    So stumblest on my counsel?
    By a name
    850I know not how to tell thee who I am.
    My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself,
    Because it is an enemy to thee.
    Had I it written, I would tear the word.
    Juliet My ears have yet not drunk a hundred words
    855Of thy tongue's uttering, yet I know the sound.
    Art thou not Romeo and a Montague?
    Romeo Neither, fair maid, if either thee dislike.
    Juliet How cam'st thou hither, tell me, and wherefore?
    860The orchard walls are high and hard to climb,
    And the place death, considering who thou art,
    If any of my kinsmen find thee here.
    Romeo With love's light wings did I o'erperch these walls,
    865For stony limits cannot hold love out,
    And what love can do, that dares love attempt.
    Therefore thy kinsmen are no stop to me.
    Juliet If they do see thee, they will murder thee.
    Romeo Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye
    870Than twenty of their swords. Look thou but sweet,
    And I am proof against their enmity.
    Juliet I would not for the world they saw thee here.
    Romeo I have night's cloak to hide me from their eyes,
    And but thou love me, let them find me here.
    875My life were better ended by their hate
    Than death proroguèd, wanting of thy love.
    Juliet By whose direction found'st thou out this place?
    Romeo By love that first did prompt me to inquire.
    He lent me counsel, and I lent him eyes.
    880I am no pilot, yet wert thou as far
    As that vast shore washed with the farthest sea,
    I should adventure for such merchandise.
    Juliet Thou knowest the mask of night is on my face,
    Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek
    885For that which thou hast heard me speak tonight.
    Fain would I dwell on form; fain, fain deny
    What I have spoke, but farewell compliment.
    Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say "Ay,"
    And I will take thy word. Yet, if thou swearst,
    890Thou mayst prove false. At lovers' perjuries
    They say Jove laughs. O gentle Romeo,
    If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully;
    Or if thou think'st I am too quickly won,
    I'll frown and be perverse and say thee nay,
    895So thou wilt woo, but else not for the world.
    In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond,
    And therefore thou mayst think my havior light,
    But trust me, gentleman, I'll prove more true
    Than those that have more cunning to be strange.
    900I should have been more strange, I must confess,
    But that thou overheardst, ere I was ware,
    My true-love passion. Therefore pardon me,
    And not impute this yielding to light love,
    Which the dark night hath so discoverèd.
    905Romeo Lady, by yonder blessèd moon I vow,
    That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops --
    Juliet Oh, swear not by the moon th'inconstant moon,
    That monthly changes in her circled orb,
    Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.
    What shall I swear by?
    Do not swear at all;
    Or if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self,
    Which is the god of my idolatry,
    And I'll believe thee.
    If my heart's dear love --
    Juliet Well, do not swear. Although I joy in thee,
    I have no joy of this contract tonight.
    It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden,
    Too like the lightning which doth cease to be
    920Ere one can say "It lightens." Sweet, good night.
    This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath,
    May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.
    Good night, good night. As sweet repose and rest
    Come to thy heart, as that within my breast.
    925Romeo Oh, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?
    Juliet What satisfaction canst thou have tonight?
    Romeo Th'exchange of thy love's faithful vow for mine.
    Juliet I gave thee mine before thou didst request it,
    And yet I would it were to give again.
    930Romeo Wouldst thou withdraw it? For what purpose, love?
    Juliet But to be frank and give it thee again,
    And yet I wish but for the thing I have.
    My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
    935My love as deep. The more I give to thee,
    The more I have, for both are infinite. [The Nurse calls within.]
    I hear some noise within. Dear love, adieu. --
    Anon, good Nurse! -- Sweet Montague, be true.
    940Stay but a little, I will come again.
    Romeo O blessèd, blessèd night! I am afeard
    Being in night, all this is but a dream,
    Too flattering sweet to be substantial.
    [Enter Juliet again.]
    Juliet Three words, dear Romeo, 945and good night indeed.
    If that thy bent of love be honorable,
    Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow,
    By one that I'll procure to come to thee,
    Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite,
    950And all my fortunes at thy foot I'll lay
    And follow thee my lord throughout the world.
    [Nurse] [within] Madam!
    Juliet I come, anon! -- But if thou mean'st not well,
    I do beseech thee --
    [within]: Madam!
    By and by, I come! --
    To cease thy strife and leave me to my grief.
    Tomorrow will I send.
    Romeo So thrive my soul --
    Juliet A thousand times good night.
    960Romeo A thousand times the worse to want thy light.
    Love goes toward love as schoolboys from their books,
    But love from love, toward school with heavy looks.
    Enter Juliet again.
    Juliet Hist, Romeo, hist! O for a falc'ner's voice
    965To lure this tassel-gentle back again.
    Bondage is hoarse and may not speak aloud,
    Else would I tear the cave where Echo lies
    And make her airy tongue more hoarse than mine
    With repetition of "My Romeo."
    970Romeo It is my soul that calls upon my name.
    How silver-sweet sound lovers' tongues by night,
    Like softest music to attending ears.
    My nyas?
    What o'clock tomorrow
    Shall I send to thee?
    By the hour of nine.
    Juliet I will not fail. 'Tis twenty year till then.
    I have forgot why I did call thee back.
    980Romeo Let me stand here till thou remember it.
    Juliet I shall forget, to have thee still stand there,
    Rememb'ring how I love thy company.
    Romeo And I'll still stay, to have thee still forget,
    Forgetting any other home but this.
    985Juliet 'Tis almost morning. I would have thee gone,
    And yet no farther than a wanton's bird
    That lets it hop a little from his hand,
    Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves,
    And with a silken thread plucks it back again,
    990So loving-jealous of his liberty.
    I would I were thy bird.
    Sweet, so would I,
    Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing.
    Good night, good night. 995Parting is such sweet sorrow
    That I shall say good night till it be morrow.
    Romeo Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in thy breast.
    Would I were sleep and peace, so sweet to rest.
    Hence will I to my ghostly friar's close cell,
    His help to crave and my dear hap to tell.