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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Enter Friar Laurence alone with a basket
    Friar Laurence The grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night,
    Checking the eastern clouds with streaks of light,
    And fleckled darkness like a drunkard reels
    From forth day's path and Titan's fiery wheels:
    1010Now ere the sun advance his burning eye,
    The day to cheer and night's dank dew to dry,
    I must upfill this osier cage of ours
    With baleful weeds and precious-juicèd flowers.
    The earth that's nature's mother is her tomb;
    1015What is her burying grave, that is her womb;
    And from her womb children of divers kind
    We sucking on her natural bosom find,
    Many for many virtues excellent,
    None but for some, and yet all different.
    1020Oh, mickle is the powerful grace that lies
    In plants, herbs, stones, and their true qualities;
    For naught so vile, that on the earth doth live
    But to the earth some special good doth give;
    Nor aught so good but, strained from that fair use,
    1025Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse.
    Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied,
    And vice sometime by action dignified. Enter Romeo.
    Within the infant rind of this weak flower
    1030Poison hath residence and medicine power:
    For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part;
    Being tasted, slays all senses with the heart.
    Two such opposèd kings encamp them still
    In man as well as herbs, grace and rude will;
    1035And where the worser is predominant,
    Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.
    Good morrow father.
    Friar Laurence
    What early tongue so sweet saluteth me?
    1040Young son, it argues a distempered head
    So soon to bid good morrow to thy bed.
    Care keeps his watch in every old man's eye,
    And where care lodges, sleep will never lie;
    But where unbruisèd youth with unstuffed brain
    1045Doth couch his limbs, there golden sleep doth reign.
    Therefore thy earliness doth me assure
    Thou art uproused with some distemp'rature,
    Or if not so, then here I hit it right,
    Our Romeo hath not been in bed tonight.
    1050Romeo That last is true; the sweeter rest was mine.
    Friar Laurence God pardon sin! Wast thou with Rosaline?
    Romeo With Rosaline, my ghostly father? No,
    I have forgot that name and that name's woe.
    Friar Laurence That's my good son; but where hast thou been then?
    1055Romeo I'll tell thee ere thou ask it me again.
    I have been feasting with mine enemy,
    Where on a sudden one hath wounded me
    That's by me wounded. Both our remedies
    Within thy help and holy physic lies.
    1060I bear no hatred, blessèd man: for lo,
    My intercession likewise steads my foe.
    Friar Laurence Be plain, good son, and homely in thy drift.
    Riddling confession finds but riddling shrift.
    Romeo Then plainly know my heart's dear love is set
    1065On the fair daughter of rich Capulet.
    As mine on hers, so hers is set on mine,
    And all combined, save what thou must combine
    By holy marriage. When and where and how,
    We met, we wooed, and made exchange of vow
    1070I'll tell thee as we pass, but this I pray,
    That thou consent to marry us today.
    Friar Laurence Holy Saint Francis what a change is here!
    Is Rosaline, that thou didst love so dear,
    So soon forsaken? Young men's love then lies
    1075Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.
    Jesu Maria, what a deal of brine
    Hath washed thy sallow cheeks for Rosaline!
    How much salt water thrown away in waste
    To season love, that of it doth not taste.
    1080The sun not yet thy sighs from heaven clears,
    Thy old groans yet ring in mine ancient ears.
    Lo, here upon thy cheek the stain doth sit
    Of an old tear that is not washed off yet.
    If e're thou wast thyself, and these woes thine,
    1085Thou and these woes were all for Rosaline.
    And art thou changed? Pronounce this sentence then:
    Women may fall when there's no strength in men.
    Romeo Thou chid'st me oft for loving Rosaline.
    Friar Laurence For doting, not for loving, pupil mine.
    And bad'st me bury love.
    Friar Laurence
    Not in a grave,
    To lay one in another out to have.
    Romeo I pray thee, chide me not. Her I love now
    Doth grace for grace and love for love allow.
    1095The other did not so.
    Friar Laurence
    Oh, she knew well
    Thy love did read by rote, that could not spell.
    But come, young waverer, come, go with me,
    In one respect I'll thy assistant be;
    1100For this alliance may so happy prove
    To turn your households' rancor to pure love.
    Romeo Oh, let us hence. I stand on sudden haste.
    Friar Laurence Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast.