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  • Title: A Midsummer Night's Dream (Quarto 1, 1600)
  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 (Quarto 1, 1600)

    A Midsommer nightes dreame.
    What wicked and dissembling glasse, of mine,
    Made me compare with Hermias sphery eyen!
    755But, who is here? Lysander, on the ground?
    Dead, or a sleepe? I see no blood, no wound.
    Lysander, if you liue, good sir awake.
    Lys. And runne through fire, I will for thy sweete sake.
    Transparent Helena, nature shewes arte,
    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 sworde!
    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 doe repent
    The tedious minutes, I with her haue spent.
    Not Hermia, but Helena I loue.
    VVho will not change a Rauen for a doue?
    770The will of man is by his reason swai'd:
    And reason saies you are the worthier maide.
    Things growing are not ripe, vntill their season:
    So I, being young, till now ripe not to reason.
    And touching now, the point of humane skill,
    775Reason becomes the Marshall to my will,
    And leads mee 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, young 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 doe mee wrong (good sooth you doe)
    785In such disdainfull manner, mee to wooe.
    But, fare you well: perforce, I must confesse,
    I thought you Lord of more true gentlenesse.