Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: A Midsummer Night's Dream (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Suzanne Westfall
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-465-3

    Copyright Suzanne Westfall. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Suzanne Westfall
    Not Peer Reviewed

    A Midsummer Night's Dream (Folio 1, 1623)

    154A Midsommer nights Dreame.
    1110If for his tender here I make some stay. Lie downe.
    Ob. What hast thou done? Thou hast mistaken quite
    And laid the loue iuyce on some true loues sight:
    Of thy misprision, must perforce ensue
    Some true loue turn'd, and not a false turn'd true.
    1115Rob. Then fate ore-rules, 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 bloud deare.
    By some illusion see thou bring her heere,
    Ile charme his eyes against she doth appeare.
    Robin. I go, I go, looke how I goe,
    Swifter then arrow from the Tartars bowe. Exit.
    1125Ob. Flower of this purple die,
    Hit with Cupids archery,
    Sinke in apple of his eye,
    When his loue he doth espie,
    Let her shine as gloriously
    1130As the Venus of the sky.
    When thou wak'st if she be by,
    Beg of her for remedy.

    Enter Pucke.
    Puck. Captaine of our Fairy band,
    1135Helena is heere at hand,
    And the youth, mistooke by me,
    Pleading for a Louers fee.
    Shall we their fond Pageant see?
    Lord, what fooles these mortals be!
    1140Ob. Stand aside: the noyse they make,
    Will cause Demetrius to awake.
    Puck. Then will two at once wooe one,
    That must needs be sport alone:
    And those things doe best please me,
    1145That befall preposterously.

    Enter Lysander and Helena.
    Lys. Why should you think yt I should wooe in scorn?
    Scorne and derision neuer comes in teares:
    Looke when I vow I weepe; and vowes so borne,
    1150In their natiuity all truth appeares.
    How can these things in me, seeme scorne to you?
    Bearing the badge of faith to proue them true.
    Hel. You doe aduance your cunning more & more,
    When truth kils truth, O diuelish holy fray!
    1155These vowes are Hermias. Will you giue her ore?
    Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing weigh.
    Your vowes to her, and me, (put in two scales)
    Will euen weigh, and both as light as tales.
    Lys. I had no iudgement, when to her I swore.
    1160Hel. Nor none in my minde, now you giue her ore.
    Lys. Demetrius loues her, and he loues not you. Awa.
    Dem. O Helen, goddesse, nimph, perfect, diuine,
    To what my, loue, shall I compare thine eyne!
    Christall is muddy, O how ripe in show,
    1165Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!
    That pure congealed white, high Tauruss now,
    Fan'd with the Easterne winde, turnes to a crow,
    When thou holdst vp thy hand. O let me kisse
    This Princesse of pure white, this seale of blisse.
    1170Hell. O spight! O hell! I see you are all bent
    To set against me, for your merriment:
    If you were ciuill, and knew curtesie,
    You would not doe me thus much iniury.
    Can you not hate me, as I know you doe,
    1175But you must ioyne in soules to mocke me to?
    If you are men, as men you are in show,
    You would not vse a gentle Lady so;
    To vow, and sweare, and superpraise my parts,
    When I am sure you hate me with your hearts.
    1180You both are Riuals, and loue Hermia;
    And now both Riuals to mocke Helena.
    A trim exploit, a manly enterprize,
    To coniure teares vp in a poore maids eyes,
    With your derision; none of noble sort,
    1185Would so offend a Virgin, and extort
    A poore soules patience, all to make you sport.
    Lysa. You are vnkind Demetrius; be not so,
    For you loue Hermia; this you know I know;
    And here with all good will, with all my heart,
    1190In Hermias loue I yeeld you vp my part;
    And yours of Helena, to me bequeath,
    Whom I do loue, and will do to my death.
    Hel. Neuer did mockers wast more idle breth.
    Dem. Lysander, keep thy Hermia, I will none:
    1195If ere I lou'd her, all that loue is gone.
    My heart to her, but as guest-wise soiourn'd,
    And now to Helen it is home return'd,
    There to remaine.
    Lys. It is not so.
    1200De. Disparage not the faith thou dost not know,
    Lest to thy perill thou abide it deare.
    Looke where thy Loue comes, yonder is thy deare.

    Enter Hermia.

    Her. Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,
    1205The eare more quicke of apprehension makes,
    Wherein it doth impaire the seeing sense,
    It paies the hearing double recompence.
    Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander found,
    Mine eare (I thanke it) brought me to that sound.
    1210But why vnkindly didst thou leaue me so?
    Lysan. Why should hee stay whom Loue doth presse (to go?
    Her. What loue could presse Lysander from my side?
    Lys. Lysanders loue (that would not let him bide)
    Faire Helena; who more engilds the night,
    1215Then all yon fierie oes, and eies of light.
    Why seek'st thou me? Could not this make thee know,
    The hate I bare thee, made me leaue thee so?
    Her. You speake not as you thinke; it cannot be.
    Hel. Loe, she is one of this confederacy,
    1220Now I perceiue they haue conioyn'd all three,
    To fashion this false sport in spight of me.
    Iniurous Hermia, most vngratefull maid,
    Haue you conspir'd, haue you with these contriu'd
    To baite me, with this foule derision?
    1225Is all the counsell that we two haue shar'd,
    The sisters vowes, the houres that we haue spent,
    When wee haue chid the hasty footed time,
    For parting vs; O, is all forgot?
    All schooledaies friendship, child-hood innocence?
    1230We Hermia, like two Artificiall gods,
    Haue with our needles, created both one flower,
    Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,
    Both warbling of one song, both in one key;
    As if our hands, our sides, voices, and mindes
    1235Had beene incorporate. So we grew together,
    Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
    But yet a vnion in partition,