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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    650Enter Queene of Fairies, with her traine.
    Queen. Come, now a Roundell, and a Fairy song;
    Then for the third part of a minute hence,
    Some to kill Cankers in the muske rose buds,
    Some warre with Reremise, for their leathern wings,
    655To make my small Elues coates, and some keepe backe
    The clamorous Owle that nightly hoots and wonders
    At our queint spirits: Sing me now asleepe,
    Then to your offices, and let me rest.
    Fairies Sing.
    You spotted Snakes with double tongue,
    Thorny Hedgehogges be not seene,
    Newts and blinde wormes do no wrong,
    Come not neere our Fairy Queene.
    Philomele with melodie,
    665 Sing in your sweet Lullaby.
    Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby,
    Neuer harme, nor spell, nor charme,
    Come our louely Lady nye,
    So good night with Lullaby.
    6702. Fairy. Weauing Spiders come not heere,
    Hence you long leg'd Spinners, hence:
    Beetles blacke approach not neere;
    Worme nor Snayle doe no offence.
    Philomele with melody, &c.
    6751. Fairy. Hence away, now all is well;
    One aloofe, stand Centinell.
    Shee sleepes.
    Enter Oberon.
    Ober. What thou seest when thou dost wake,
    Doe it for thy true Loue take:
    680Loue and languish for his sake.
    Be it Ounce, or Catte, or Beare,
    Pard, or Boare with bristled haire,
    In thy eye that shall appeare,
    When thou wak'st, it is thy deare,
    685Wake when some vile thing is neere.
    Enter Lisander and Hermia.
    Lis. Faire loue, you faint with wandring in ye woods,
    And to speake troth I haue forgot our way:
    Wee'll rest vs Hermia, if you thinke it good,
    690And tarry for the comfort of the day.
    Her. Be it so Lysander; finde you out a bed,
    For I vpon this banke will rest my head.
    Lys. One turfe shall serue as pillow for vs both,
    One heart, one bed, two bosomes, and one troth.
    695Her. Nay good Lysander, for my sake my deere
    Lie further off yet, doe not lie so neere.
    Lys. O take the sence sweet, of my innocence,
    Loue takes the meaning, in loues conference,
    I meane that my heart vnto yours is knit,
    700So that but one heart can you make of it.
    Two bosomes interchanged with an oath,
    So then two bosomes, and a single troth.
    Then by your side, no bed-roome me deny,
    For lying so, Hermia, I doe not lye.
    705Her. Lysander riddles very prettily;
    Now much beshrew my manners and my pride,
    If Hermia meant to say, Lysander lied.
    But gentle friend, for loue and courtesie
    Lie further off, in humane modesty,
    710Such separation, as may well be said,
    Becomes a vertuous batchelour, and a maide,
    So farre be distant, and good night sweet friend;
    Thy loue nere alter, till thy sweet life end.
    Lys. Amen, amen, to that faire prayer, say I,
    715And then end life, when I end loyalty:
    Heere is my bed, sleepe giue thee all his rest.
    Her. With halfe that wish, the wishers eyes be prest.
    Enter Pucke. They sleepe.
    Puck. Through the Forest haue I gone,
    720But Athenian finde I none,
    One whose eyes I might approue
    This flowers force in stirring loue.
    Night and silence: who is heere?
    Weedes of Athens he doth weare:
    725This is he (my master said)
    Despised the Athenian maide:
    And heere the maiden sleeping sound,
    A Midsomer nights Dreame. 151
    On the danke and durty ground.
    Pretty soule, she durst not lye
    730Neere this lacke-loue, this kill-curtesie.
    Churle, vpon thy eyes I throw
    All the power this charme doth owe:
    When thou wak'st, let loue forbid
    Sleepe his seate on thy eye-lid.
    735So awake when I am gone:
    For I must now to Oberon. Exit.
    Enter Demetrius and Helena running.
    Hel. Stay, though thou kill me, sweete Demetrius.
    De. I charge thee hence, and do not haunt me thus.
    740Hel. O wilt thou darkling leaue me? do not so.
    De. Stay on thy perill, I alone will goe.
    Exit Demetrius.
    Hel. O I am out of breath, in this fond chace,
    The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace,
    745Happy is Hermia, wheresoere she lies;
    For she hath blessed and attractiue eyes.
    How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt teares.
    If so, my eyes are oftner washt then hers.
    No, no, I am as vgly as a Beare;
    750For beasts that meete me, runne away for feare,
    Therefore no maruaile, though Demetrius
    Doe as a monster, flie my presence thus.
    What wicked and dissembling glasse of mine,
    Made me compare with Hermias sphery eyne?
    755But who is here? Lysander on the ground;
    Deade or asleepe? I see no bloud, no wound,
    Lysander, if you liue, good sir awake.
    Lys. And run through fire I will for thy sweet sake.
    Transparent Helena, nature her shewes art,
    760That through thy bosome makes me see thy heart.
    Where is Demetrius? oh how fit a word
    Is that vile name, to perish on my sword!
    Hel. Do not say so Lysander, say not so:
    What though he loue your Hermia? Lord, what though?
    765Yet Hermia still loues you; then be content.
    Lys. Content with Hermia? No, I do repent
    The tedious minutes I with her haue spent.
    Not Hermia, but Helena now I loue;
    Who will not change a Rauen for a Doue?
    770The will of man is by his reason sway'd:
    And reason saies you are the worthier Maide.
    Things growing are not ripe vntill their season;
    So I being yong, till now ripe not to reason,
    And touching now the point of humane skill,
    775Reason becomes the Marshall to my will,
    And leades me to your eyes, where I orelooke
    Loues stories, written in Loues richest booke.
    Hel. Wherefore was I to this keene mockery borne?
    When at your hands did I deserue this scorne?
    780Ist not enough, ist not enough, yong man,
    That I did neuer, no nor neuer can,
    Deserue a sweete looke from Demetrius eye,
    But you must flout my insufficiency?
    Good troth you do me wrong (good-sooth you do)
    785In such disdainfull manner, me to wooe.
    But fare you well; perforce I must confesse,
    I thought you Lord of more true gentlenesse.
    Oh, that a Lady of one man refus'd,
    Should of another therefore be abus'd. Exit.
    790Lys. She sees not Hermia: Hermia sleepe thou there,
    And neuer maist thou come Lysander neere;
    For as a surfeit of the sweetest things
    The deepest loathing to the stomacke brings:
    Or as the heresies that men do leaue,
    795Are hated most of those that did deceiue:
    So thou, my surfeit, and my heresie,
    Of all be hated; but the most of me;
    And all my powers addresse your loue and might,
    To honour Helen, and to be her Knight. Exit.
    800Her. Helpe me Lysander, helpe me; do thy best
    To plucke this crawling serpent from my brest.
    Aye me, for pitty; what a dreame was here?
    Lysander looke, how I do quake with feare:
    Me-thought a serpent eate my heart away,
    805And yet sat smiling at his cruell prey.
    Lysander, what remoou'd? Lysander, Lord,
    What, out of hearing, gone? No sound, no word?
    Alacke where are you? speake and if you heare:
    Speake of all loues; I sound almost with feare.
    810No, then I well perceiue you are not nye,
    Either death or you Ile finde immediately. Exit.