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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Juliet alone.
    1645Juliet Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds,
    Towards Phoebus' lodging. Such a wagoner
    As Phaeton would whip you to the west
    And bring in cloudy night immediately.
    Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night,
    1650That runaways' eyes may wink, and Romeo
    Leap to these arms, untalked of and unseen.
    Lovers can see to do their amorous rites
    By their own beauties; or, if love be blind,
    It best agrees with night. Come, civil night,
    1655Thou sober-suited matron all in black,
    And learn me how to lose a winning match
    Played for a pair of stainless maidenhoods.
    Hood my unmanned blood, bating in my cheeks,
    With thy black mantle till strange love grow bold,
    1660Think true love acted simple modesty.
    Come night, come Romeo, come thou day in night,
    For thou wilt lie upon the wings of night
    Whiter then new snow upon a raven's back.
    Come gentle night, come loving black browed night,
    1665Give me my Romeo, and when I shall die
    Take him and cut him out in little stars,
    And he will make the face of heaven so fine
    That all the world will be in love with night
    And pay no worship to the garish sun.
    1670Oh, I have bought the mansion of a love
    But not possessed it, and though I am sold,
    Not yet enjoyed. So tedious is this day
    As is the night before some festival
    To an impatient child that hath new robes
    1675And may not wear them. Oh, here comes my nurse, Enter Nurse with cords.
    And she brings news, and every tongue that speaks
    But Romeo's name speaks heavenly eloquence.
    Now, Nurse, what news? What hast thou there?
    1680The cords that Romeo bid thee fetch?
    Ay, ay, the cords.
    Juliet Ay me, what news? Why dost thou wring thy hands?
    Nurse Ah weraday, he's dead, he's dead, he's dead!
    1685We are undone, lady, we are undone.
    Alack the day, he's gone, he's killed, he's dead.
    Can heaven be so envious?
    Romeo can,
    Though heaven cannot. O Romeo, Romeo,
    1690Whoever would have thought it? Romeo!
    Juliet What devil art thou that dost torment me thus?
    This torture should be roared in dismal hell.
    Hath Romeo slain himself? Say thou but "Ay,"
    1695And that bare vowel "I" shall poison more
    Than the death darting eye of cockatrice.
    I am not I if there be such an "I,"
    Or those eyes shut, that makes thee answer "Ay."
    If he be slain say "Ay," or if not, "No."
    1700Brief sounds determine my weal or woe.
    Nurse I saw the wound, I saw it with mine eyes,
    God save the mark, here on his manly breast.
    A piteous corse, a bloody piteous corse,
    Pale, pale as ashes, all bedaubed in blood,
    1705All in gore blood. I swoonèd at the sight.
    Juliet Oh, break, my heart, poor bankrupt, break at once!
    To prison, eyes, ne'er; look on liberty.
    Vile earth to earth resign, end motion here,
    1710And thou and Romeo press one heavy bier.
    Nurse O Tybalt, Tybalt, the best friend I had!
    O courteous Tybalt, honest gentleman,
    That ever I should live to see thee dead!
    Juliet What storm is this that blows so contrary?
    1715Is Romeo slaughtered and is Tybalt dead?
    My dearest cousin, and my dearer lord?
    Then dreadful trumpet sound the general doom,
    For who is living if those two are gone?
    Nurse Tybalt is gone and Romeo banishèd,
    1720Romeo that killed him, he is banishèd.
    Juliet O God, did Romeo's hand shed Tybalt's blood?
    Nurse It did, it did, alas the day, it did.
    Juliet O serpent heart, hid with a flow'ring face!
    1725Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?
    Beautiful tyrant, fiend angelical,
    Dove-feathered raven, wolvish-ravening lamb!
    Despisèd substance of divinest show,
    1730Just opposite to what thou justly seemst,
    A damnèd saint, an honorable villain.
    O nature, what hadst thou to do in hell
    When thou didst bower the spirit of a fiend
    In mortal paradise of such sweet flesh?
    1735Was ever book containing such vile matter
    So fairly bound? Oh, that deceit should dwell
    In such a gorgeous palace!
    There's no trust,
    No faith, no honesty in men; all perjured,
    All forsworn, all naught, all dissemblers.
    1740Ah, where's my man? Give me some aqua vitae.
    These griefs, these woes, these sorrows make me old.
    Shame come to Romeo!
    Blistered be thy tongue
    For such a wish! He was not born to shame.
    1745Upon his brow shame is ashamed to sit,
    For 'tis a throne where honor may be crowned
    Sole monarch of the universal earth.
    Oh, what a beast was I to chide at him!
    Nurse Will you speak well of him 1750that killed your cousin?
    Juliet Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband?
    Ah, poor my lord, what tongue shall smooth thy name
    When I, thy three-hours wife, have mangled it?
    But wherefore, villain, didst thou kill my cousin?
    1755That villain cousin would have killed my husband.
    Back, foolish tears, back to your native spring.
    Your tributary drops belong to woe,
    Which you, mistaking, offer up to joy.
    My husband lives, that Tybalt would have slain,
    1760And Tybalt's dead, that would have slain my husband.
    All this is comfort. Wherefore weep I then?
    Some word there was, worser than Tybalt's death,
    That murdered me. I would forget it fain,
    But oh, it presses to my memory
    1765Like damnèd guilty deeds to sinners' minds:
    "Tybalt is dead and Romeo banished."
    That "banishèd," that one word "banishèd,"
    Hath slain ten thousand Tybalts. Tybalt's death
    Was woe enough if it had ended there;
    1770Or, if sour woe delights in fellowship
    And needly will be ranked with other griefs,
    Why followed not when she said "Tybalt's dead,"
    "Thy father" or "thy mother," nay, or both,
    Which modern lamentation might have moved?
    1775But with a rearward following Tybalt's death,
    "Romeo is banished." To speak that word
    Is father, mother, Tybalt, Romeo, Juliet,
    All slain, all dead. "Romeo is banished."
    There is no end, no limit, measure, bound,
    1780In that word's death. No words can that woe sound.
    Where is my father and my mother, Nurse?
    Nurse Weeping and wailing over Tybalt's corse,
    Will you go to them? I will bring you thither.
    Juliet Wash they his wounds with tears? Mine shall be spent,
    1785When theirs are dry, for Romeo's banishment.
    Take up those cords. Poor ropes, you are beguiled,
    Both you and I, for Romeo is exiled.
    He made you for a highway to my bed,
    But I, a maid, die maiden-widowèd.
    1790Come cords, come Nurse, I'll to my wedding bed,
    And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead!
    Nurse Hie to your chamber. I'll find Romeo
    To comfort you. I wot well where he is.
    Hark ye, your Romeo will be here at night.
    1795I'll to him; he is hid at Laurence' cell.
    Juliet O find him, give this ring to my true knight
    And bid him come to take his last farewell.
    [They] Exit