| | Search | | E-Mail | | News | | Weather | | Finance | | Directory | | Music | | Lottery Results | | Horoscopes | | Translation | | Games | | E-Cards | | Maps | | Jobs | | Magazines | | DVDs |

Home > Midsummer Night's Dream > ACT II - SCENE I. A wood near Athens.

Search: Midsummer Night's Dream

< (Previous) ACT I, SCENE IIACT II, SCENE II (Next) >

ACT II - SCENE I. A wood near Athens.
Enter, from opposite sides, a Fairy, and PUCK

1    How now, spirit! whither wander you?
2    Over hill, over dale,
3    Thorough bush, thorough brier,
4    Over park, over pale,
5    Thorough flood, thorough fire,
6    I do wander everywhere,
7    Swifter than the moon's sphere;
8    And I serve the fairy queen,
9    To dew her orbs upon the green.
10   The cowslips tall her pensioners be:
11   In their gold coats spots you see;
12   Those be rubies, fairy favours,
13   In those freckles live their savours:
14   I must go seek some dewdrops here
15   And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
16   Farewell, thou lob of spirits; I'll be gone:
17   Our queen and all our elves come here anon.
18   The king doth keep his revels here to-night:
19   Take heed the queen come not within his sight;
20   For Oberon is passing fell and wrath,
21   Because that she as her attendant hath
22   A lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king;
23   She never had so sweet a changeling;
24   And jealous Oberon would have the child
25   Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild;
26   But she perforce withholds the loved boy,
27   Crowns him with flowers and makes him all her joy:
28   And now they never meet in grove or green,
29   By fountain clear, or spangled starlight sheen,
30   But, they do square, that all their elves for fear
31   Creep into acorn-cups and hide them there.
32   Either I mistake your shape and making quite,
33   Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite
34   Call'd Robin Goodfellow: are not you he
35   That frights the maidens of the villagery;
36   Skim milk, and sometimes labour in the quern
37   And bootless make the breathless housewife churn;
38   And sometime make the drink to bear no barm;
39   Mislead night-wanderers, laughing at their harm?
40   Those that Hobgoblin call you and sweet Puck,
41   You do their work, and they shall have good luck:
42   Are not you he?
43   Thou speak'st aright;
44   I am that merry wanderer of the night.
45   I jest to Oberon and make him smile
46   When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
47   Neighing in likeness of a filly foal:
48   And sometime lurk I in a gossip's bowl,
49   In very likeness of a roasted crab,
50   And when she drinks, against her lips I bob
51   And on her wither'd dewlap pour the ale.
52   The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale,
53   Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me;
54   Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,
55   And 'tailor' cries, and falls into a cough;
56   And then the whole quire hold their hips and laugh,
57   And waxen in their mirth and neeze and swear
58   A merrier hour was never wasted there.
59   But, room, fairy! here comes Oberon.
60   And here my mistress. Would that he were gone!
61   Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania.
62   What, jealous Oberon! Fairies, skip hence:
63   I have forsworn his bed and company.
64   Tarry, rash wanton: am not I thy lord?
65   Then I must be thy lady: but I know
66   When thou hast stolen away from fairy land,
67   And in the shape of Corin sat all day,
68   Playing on pipes of corn and versing love
69   To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here,
70   Come from the farthest Steppe of India?
71   But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon,
72   Your buskin'd mistress and your warrior love,
73   To Theseus must be wedded, and you come
74   To give their bed joy and prosperity.
75   How canst thou thus for shame, Titania,
76   Glance at my credit with Hippolyta,
77   Knowing I know thy love to Theseus?
78   Didst thou not lead him through the glimmering night
79   From Perigenia, whom he ravished?
80   And make him with fair AEgle break his faith,
81   With Ariadne and Antiopa?
82   These are the forgeries of jealousy:
83   And never, since the middle summer's spring,
84   Met we on hill, in dale, forest or mead,
85   By paved fountain or by rushy brook,
86   Or in the beached margent of the sea,
87   To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind,
88   But with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our sport.
89   Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,
90   As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea
91   Contagious fogs; which falling in the land
92   Have every pelting river made so proud
93   That they have overborne their continents:
94   The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain,
95   The ploughman lost his sweat, and the green corn
96   Hath rotted ere his youth attain'd a beard;
97   The fold stands empty in the drowned field,
98   And crows are fatted with the murrion flock;
99   The nine men's morris is fill'd up with mud,
100  And the quaint mazes in the wanton green
101  For lack of tread are undistinguishable:
102  The human mortals want their winter here;
103  No night is now with hymn or carol blest:
104  Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
105  Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
106  That rheumatic diseases do abound:
107  And thorough this distemperature we see
108  The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
109  Far in the fresh lap of the crimson rose,
110  And on old Hiems' thin and icy crown
111  An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds
112  Is, as in mockery, set: the spring, the summer,
113  The childing autumn, angry winter, change
114  Their wonted liveries, and the mazed world,
115  By their increase, now knows not which is which:
116  And this same progeny of evils comes
117  From our debate, from our dissension;
118  We are their parents and original.
119  Do you amend it then; it lies in you:
120  Why should Titania cross her Oberon?
121  I do but beg a little changeling boy,
122  To be my henchman.
123  Set your heart at rest:
124  The fairy land buys not the child of me.
125  His mother was a votaress of my order:
126  And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,
127  Full often hath she gossip'd by my side,
128  And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands,
129  Marking the embarked traders on the flood,
130  When we have laugh'd to see the sails conceive
131  And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind;
132  Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait
133  Following,--her womb then rich with my young squire,--
134  Would imitate, and sail upon the land,
135  To fetch me trifles, and return again,
136  As from a voyage, rich with merchandise.
137  But she, being mortal, of that boy did die;
138  And for her sake do I rear up her boy,
139  And for her sake I will not part with him.
140  How long within this wood intend you stay?
141  Perchance till after Theseus' wedding-day.
142  If you will patiently dance in our round
143  And see our moonlight revels, go with us;
144  If not, shun me, and I will spare your haunts.
145  Give me that boy, and I will go with thee.
146  Not for thy fairy kingdom. Fairies, away!
147  We shall chide downright, if I longer stay.
Exit TITANIA with her train

148  Well, go thy way: thou shalt not from this grove
149  Till I torment thee for this injury.
150  My gentle Puck, come hither. Thou rememberest
151  Since once I sat upon a promontory,
152  And heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back
153  Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath
154  That the rude sea grew civil at her song
155  And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,
156  To hear the sea-maid's music.
157  I remember.
158  That very time I saw, but thou couldst not,
159  Flying between the cold moon and the earth,
160  Cupid all arm'd: a certain aim he took
161  At a fair vestal throned by the west,
162  And loosed his love-shaft smartly from his bow,
163  As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts;
164  But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft
165  Quench'd in the chaste beams of the watery moon,
166  And the imperial votaress passed on,
167  In maiden meditation, fancy-free.
168  Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell:
169  It fell upon a little western flower,
170  Before milk-white, now purple with love's wound,
171  And maidens call it love-in-idleness.
172  Fetch me that flower; the herb I shew'd thee once:
173  The juice of it on sleeping eye-lids laid
174  Will make or man or woman madly dote
175  Upon the next live creature that it sees.
176  Fetch me this herb; and be thou here again
177  Ere the leviathan can swim a league.
178  I'll put a girdle round about the earth
179  In forty minutes.

180  Having once this juice,
181  I'll watch Titania when she is asleep,
182  And drop the liquor of it in her eyes.
183  The next thing then she waking looks upon,
184  Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,
185  On meddling monkey, or on busy ape,
186  She shall pursue it with the soul of love:
187  And ere I take this charm from off her sight,
188  As I can take it with another herb,
189  I'll make her render up her page to me.
190  But who comes here? I am invisible;
191  And I will overhear their conference.
Enter DEMETRIUS, HELENA, following him

192  I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.
193  Where is Lysander and fair Hermia?
194  The one I'll slay, the other slayeth me.
195  Thou told'st me they were stolen unto this wood;
196  And here am I, and wode within this wood,
197  Because I cannot meet my Hermia.
198  Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more.
199  You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant;
200  But yet you draw not iron, for my heart
201  Is true as steel: leave you your power to draw,
202  And I shall have no power to follow you.
203  Do I entice you? do I speak you fair?
204  Or, rather, do I not in plainest truth
205  Tell you, I do not, nor I cannot love you?
206  And even for that do I love you the more.
207  I am your spaniel; and, Demetrius,
208  The more you beat me, I will fawn on you:
209  Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me,
210  Neglect me, lose me; only give me leave,
211  Unworthy as I am, to follow you.
212  What worser place can I beg in your love,--
213  And yet a place of high respect with me,--
214  Than to be used as you use your dog?
215  Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit;
216  For I am sick when I do look on thee.
217  And I am sick when I look not on you.
218  You do impeach your modesty too much,
219  To leave the city and commit yourself
220  Into the hands of one that loves you not;
221  To trust the opportunity of night
222  And the ill counsel of a desert place
223  With the rich worth of your virginity.
224  Your virtue is my privilege: for that
225  It is not night when I do see your face,
226  Therefore I think I am not in the night;
227  Nor doth this wood lack worlds of company,
228  For you in my respect are all the world:
229  Then how can it be said I am alone,
230  When all the world is here to look on me?
231  I'll run from thee and hide me in the brakes,
232  And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.
233  The wildest hath not such a heart as you.
234  Run when you will, the story shall be changed:
235  Apollo flies, and Daphne holds the chase;
236  The dove pursues the griffin; the mild hind
237  Makes speed to catch the tiger; bootless speed,
238  When cowardice pursues and valour flies.
239  I will not stay thy questions; let me go:
240  Or, if thou follow me, do not believe
241  But I shall do thee mischief in the wood.
242  Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field,
243  You do me mischief. Fie, Demetrius!
244  Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex:
245  We cannot fight for love, as men may do;
246  We should be wood and were not made to woo.
247  I'll follow thee and make a heaven of hell,
248  To die upon the hand I love so well.

249  Fare thee well, nymph: ere he do leave this grove,
250  Thou shalt fly him and he shall seek thy love.
Re-enter PUCK
251  Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wanderer.
252  Ay, there it is.
253  I pray thee, give it me.
254  I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
255  Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
256  Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
257  With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
258  There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
259  Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight;
260  And there the snake throws her enamell'd skin,
261  Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in:
262  And with the juice of this I'll streak her eyes,
263  And make her full of hateful fantasies.
264  Take thou some of it, and seek through this grove:
265  A sweet Athenian lady is in love
266  With a disdainful youth: anoint his eyes;
267  But do it when the next thing he espies
268  May be the lady: thou shalt know the man
269  By the Athenian garments he hath on.
270  Effect it with some care, that he may prove
271  More fond on her than she upon her love:
272  And look thou meet me ere the first cock crow.
273  Fear not, my lord, your servant shall do so.

< (Previous) ACT I, SCENE IIACT II, SCENE II (Next) >
Scene Index

  • ACT II


  • ACT IV

  • ACT V

  • ©1999-. All rights reserved.Contact
    Part of the Network.Add Bookmark