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ACT II


SCENE I

A wood near Athens.
Enter, from opposite sides, a FAIRY, and PUCK.

Puck.
How now, spirit! whither wander you?

Fai.
Over hill, over dale,

Thorough bush, thorough brier,

Over park, over pale,

Thorough flood, thorough fire,

I do wander every where,

Swifter than the moon's sphere;

And I serve the fairy queen,

To dew her orbs upon the green. (10)

The cowslips tall her pensioners be:

In their gold coats spots you see;

Those be rubies, fairy favors,

In those freckles live their savors:

I must go seek some dewdrops here

And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.

Farewell, thou lob of spirits; I'll be gone:

Our queen and all our elves come here anon.

Puck.
The king doth keep his revels here to-night:

Take heed the queen come not within his sight; (20)

For Oberon is passing fell and wrath,

Because that she as her attendant hath

A lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king;

She never had so sweet a changeling;

And jealous Oberon would have the child

Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild;

But she perforce withholds the loved boy,

Crowns him with flowers and makes him all her joy:

And now they never meet in grove or green,

By fountain clear, or spangled starlight sheen,

But they do square, that all their elves for fear (31)

Creep into acorn-cups and hide them there.

Fai.
Either I mistake your shape and making quite,

Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite

Call'd Robin Goodfellow: are not you he

That frights the maidens of the viilagery;

Skim milk, and sometimes labor in the quern

And bootless make the breathless housewife churn;

And sometime make the drink to bear no barm;

Mislead night-wanderers, laughing at their harm ?

Those that Hobgoblin call you and sweet Puck,

You do their work, and they shall have good luck:

Are not you he?

Puck.
Thou speak'st aright;

I am that merry wanderer of the night.

I jest to Oberon and make him smile

When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,

Neighing in likeness of a filly foal:

And sometime lurk I in a gossip's bowl,

In very likeness of a roasted crab,

And when she drinks, against her lips I bob (50)

And on her wither'd dewlap pour the ale.

The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale,

Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me;

Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,

And 'tailor' cries, and falls into a cough;

And then the whole quire hold their hips and laugh,

And waxen in their mirth and neeze and swear

A merrier hour was never wasted there.

But, room, fairy! here comes Oberon.

Fai.
And here my mistress. Would that he were gone! Enter, from one side, OBERON, with his train; from the other, TITANIA, with hers.


Obe.
Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania. (61)

Tita.
What, jealous Oberon! Fairies, skip hence:

I have forsworn his bed and company.

Obe.
Tarry, rash wanton: am not I thy lord?

Tita.
Then I must be thy lady: but I know

When thou hast stolen away from fairy land,

And in the shape of Corin sat all day,

Playing on pipes of corn and versing love

To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here,

Come from the farthest steppe of India? (70)

But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon,

Your buskin'd mistress and your warrior love,

To Theseus must be wedded, and you come

To give their bed joy and prosperity.

Obe.
How canst thou thus for shame, Titania,

Glance at my credit with Hippolyta,

Knowing I know thy love to Theseus?

Didst thou not lead him through the glimmering night

From Perigenia, whom he ravished?

And make him with fair AEgle break his faith, (80)

With Ariadne and Antiopa?

Tita.
These are the forgeries of jealousy:

And never, since the middle summer's spring,

Met we on hill, in dale, forest or mead,

By paved fountain or by rushy brook,

Or in the beached margent of the sea,

To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind,

But with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our sport.

Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,

As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea (90)

Contagious fogs; which falling in the land

Have every pelting river made so proud

That they have overborne their continents:

The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain,

The ploughman lost his sweat, and the green corn

Hath rotted ere his youth attain'd a beard;

The fold stands empty in the drowned field,

And crows are fatted with the murrion flock;

The nine men's morris is fill'd up with mud,

And the quaint mazes in the wanton green (100)

For lack of tread are undistinguishable:

The human mortals want their winter here;

No night is now with hymn or carol blest:

Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,

Pale in her anger, washes all the air,

That rheumatic diseases do abound:

And thorough this distemperature we see

The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts

Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose,

And on old Hiems' thin and icy crown (110)

An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds

Is, as in mockery, set: the spring, the summer,

The childing autumn, angry winter, change

Their wonted liveries, and the mazed world,

By their increase, now knows not which is which:

And this same progeny of evils comes

From our debate, from our dissension;

We are their parents and original.

Obe.
Do you amend it then; it lies in you:

Why should Titania cross her Oberon? (120)

I do but beg a little changeling boy,

To be my henchman.

Tita.
Set your heart at rest:

The fairy land buys not the child of me.

His mother was a votaress of my order:

And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,

Full often hath she gossip'd by my side,

And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands,

Marking the embarked traders on the flood,

When we have laugh'd to see the sails conceive

And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind; (130)

Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait

Following,--her womb then rich with my young squire,--

Would imitate, and sail upon the land,

To fetch me trifles, and return again,

As from a voyage, rich with merchandise.

But she, being mortal, of that boy did die;

And for her sake do I rear up her boy,

And for her sake I will not part with him.

Obe.
How long within this wood intend you stay?

Tita.
Perchance till after Theseus' wedding-day. (140)

If you will patiently dance in our round

And see our moonlight revels, go with us;

If not, shun me, and I will spare your haunts.

Obe.
Give me that boy, and I will go with thee.

Tita.
Not for thy fairy kingdom. Fairies, away!

We shall chide downright, if I longer stay. [Exit Titania with her train.


Obe.
Well, go thy way: thou shalt not from this grove

Till I torment thee for this injury.

My gentle Puck, come hither. Thou remembrest (149)

Since once I sat upon a promontory,

And heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back

Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath

That the rude sea grew civil at her song

And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,

To hear the sea-maid's music.

Puck.
I remember.

Obe.
That very time I saw, but thou couldst not,

Flying between the cold moon and the earth,

Cupid all arm'd: a certain aim he took

At a fair vestal throned by the west,

And loosed his love-shaft smartly from his bow,

As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts; (161)

But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft

Quench'd in the chaste beams of the watery moon,

And the imperial votaress passed on,

In maiden meditation, fancy-free.

Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell:

It fell upon a little western flower,

Before milk-white, now purple with love's wound,

And maidens call it love-in-idleness.

Fetch me that flower; the herb I shew'd thee once: (170)

The juice of it on sleeping eye-lids laid

Will make or man or woman madly dote

Upon the next live creature that it sees.

Fetch me this herb; and be thou here again

Ere the leviathan can swim a league.

Puck.
I'll put a girdle round about the earth

In forty minutes. [Exit.


Obe.
Having once this juice,

I'll watch Titania when she is asleep,

And drop the liquor of it in her eyes.

The next thing then she waking looks upon, (180)

Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,

On meddling monkey, or on busy ape,

She shall pursue it with the soul of love:

And ere I take this charm from off her sight,

As I can take it with another herb,

I'll make her render up her page to me.

But who comes here? I am invisible;

And I will overhear their conference. Enter DEMETRIUS, HELENA following him.


Dem.
I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.

Where is Lysander and fair Hermia? (190)

The one I'll slay, the other slayeth me.

Thou told'st me they were stolen unto this wood;

And here am I, and wode within this wood,

Because I cannot meet my Hermia.

Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more.

Hel.
You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant;

But yet you draw not iron, for my heart

Is true as steel: leave you your power to draw,

And I shall have no power to follow you.

Dem.
Do I entice you? do I speak you fair? (200)

Or, rather, do I not in plainest truth

Tell you, I do not, nor I cannot love you?

Hel.
And even for that do I love you the more.

I am your spaniel; and, Demetrius,

The more you beat me, I will fawn on you:

Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me,

Neglect me, lose me; only give me leave,

Unworthy as I am, to follow you.

What worser place can I beg in your love,--

And yet a place of high respect with me,-- (210)

Than to be used as you use your dog?

Dem.
Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit;

For I am sick when I do look on thee.

Hel.
And I am sick when I look not on you.

Dem.
You do impeach your modesty too much,

To leave the city and commit yourself

Into the hands of one that loves you not;

To trust the opportunity of night

And the ill counsel of a desert place

With the rich worth of your virginity.

Hel.
Your virtue is my privilege; for that (221)

It is not night when I do see your face,

Therefore I think I am not in the night;

Nor doth this wood lack worlds of company,

For you in my respect are all the world:

Then how can it be said I am alone,

When all the world is here to look on me?

Dem.
I'll run from thee and hide me in the brakes,

And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.

Hel.
The wildest hath not such a heart as you.

Run when you will, the story shall be changed: (231)

Apollo flies, and Daphne holds the chase;

The dove pursues the griffin; the mild hind

Makes speed to catch the tiger; bootless speed,

When cowardice pursues and valor flies.

Dem.
I will not stay thy questions; let me go:

Or, if thou follow me, do not believe

But I shall do thee mischief in the wood.

Hel.
Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field,

You do me mischief. Fie, Demetrius! (240)

Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex:

We cannot fight for love, as men may do;

We should be woo'd and were not made to woo. [Exit Dem.


I'll follow thee and make a heaven of hell,

To die upon the hand I love so well. [Exit.


Obe.
Fare thee well, nymph: ere he do leave this grove,

Thou shalt fly him and he shall seek thy love. Re-enter PUCK.


Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wanderer.

Puck.
Ay, there it is.

Obe.
I pray thee, give it me.

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,

Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,

Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,

With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:

There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,

Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight;

And there the snake throws her enamell'd skin,

Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in:

And with the juice of this I'll streak her eyes,

And make her full of hateful fantasies.

Take thou some of it, and seek through this grove: (260)

A sweet Athenian lady is in love

With a disdainful youth: anoint his eyes;

But do it when the next thing he espies

May be the lady: thou shalt know the man

By the Athenian garments he hath on.

Effect it with some care, that he may prove

More fond on her than she upon her love:

And look thou meet me ere the first cock crow.

Puck.
Fear not, my lord, you servant shall do so. [Exeunt.


SCENE II

Another part of the wood.
Enter TITANIA, with her train.

Tita.
Come, now a roundel and a fairy song;

Then, for the third part of a minute, hence;

Some to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds,

Some war with rere-mice for their leathern wings,

To make my small elves coats, and some keep back

The clamorous owl that nightly hoots and wonders

At our quaint spirits. Sing me now asleep;

Then to your offices and let me rest.
The Fairies sing.


You spotted snakes with double tongue, (10)

Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen;

Newts and blind-worms, do no wrong,

Come not near our fairy queen.

Philomel, with melody

Sing in our sweet lullaby;

Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby:

Never harm,

Nor spell nor charm,

Come our lovely lady nigh;

So, good night, with lullaby.

Weaving spiders, conme not here;

Hence, kyou long-legg'd spinners, hence!

Beetles black, approach not near;

Worm nor snail, do no offence.

Philomel, with melody, &c.

Fai.
Hence, away! now all is well:

One aloof stand sentinel. [Exeunt Fairies. Titania sleeps.
Enter OBERON, and squeezes the flower on TITANIA'S eyelids.


Obe.
What thou seest when thou dost wake,

Do it for thy true-love take,

Love and languish for his sake: (30)

Be it ounce, or cat, or bear,

Pard, or boar with bristled hair,

In thy eye that shall appear

When thou wakest, it is thy dear:

Wake when some vile thing is near. [Exit.
Enter LYSANDER and HERMIA.


Lys.
Fair love, you faint with wandering is the wood;

And to speak troth, I have forgot our way:

We'll rest us, Hermia, if you think it good,

And tarry for the comfort of the day.

Her.
Be it so, Lysander: find you out a bed; (40)

For I upon this bank will rest my head.

Lys.
One turf shall serve as pillow for us both;

One heart, one bed, two bosoms and one troth.

Her.
Nay, good Lysander; for my sake, my dear,

Lie further off yet, do not lie so near.

Lys.
O, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence!

Love takes the meaning in love's conference.

I mean, that my heart unto yours is knit

So that but one heart we can make of it;

Two bosoms interchained with an oath; (50)

So then two bosoms and a single troth.

Then by your side no bed-room me deny;

For lying so, Hermia, I do not lie.

Her.
Lysander riddles very prettily:

Now much beshrew my manners and my pride,

If Hermia meant to say Lysander lied.

But, gentle friend, for love and courtesy

Lie further off; in human modesty,

Such separation as may well be said

Becomes a virtuous bachelor and a maid,

So far be distant; and, good night, sweet friend: (61)

Thy love ne'er alter till thy sweet life end!

Lys.
Amen, amen, to that fair prayer, say I;

And then end life when I end loyalty!

Here is my bed: sleep give thee all his rest!

Her.
With half that wish the wisher's eyes be press'd! [They sleep.
Enter PUCK.


Puck.
Through the forest have I gone,

But Athenian found I none,

On whose eyes I might approve

This flower's force in stirring love.

Night and silence.--Who is here?

Weeds of Athens he doth wear:

This is he, my master said,

Despised the Athenian maid;

And here the maiden, sleeping sound,

On the dank and dirty ground.

Pretty soul! she durst not lie

Near this lack-love, this kill-courtesy.

Churl, upon thy eyes I throw

All the power this charm doth owe. (80)

When thou wakest, let love forbid

Sleep his seat on thy eyelid:

So awake when I am gone;

For I must now to Oberon. [Exit.
Enter DEMETRIUS and HELENA, running.


Hel.
Stay, though thou kill me, sweet Demetrius.

Dem.
I charge thee, hence, and do not haunt me thus.

Hel.
O, wilt thou darkling leave me? do not so.

Dem.
Stay, on thy peril: I alone will go. [Exit.


Hel.
O, I am out of breath in this fond chase!

The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace. (90)

Happy is Hermia, wheresoe'er she lies;

For she hath blesssed and attractive eyes.

How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt tears:

If so, my eyes are oftener wash'd than hers.

No, no, I am as ugly as a bear;

For beasts that meet me run away for fear:

Therefore no marvel though Demetrius

Do, as a monster, fly my presence thus.

What wicked and dissembling glass of mine

Made me compare with Hermia's sphery eyne?

But who is here? Lysander! on the ground!

Dead? or asleep? I see no blood, no wound.

Lysander, if you live, good sir, awake.

Lys.
[Awaking]
And run through fire I will for thy sweet sake.

Transparent Helena! Nature shows art,

That through thy bosom makes me see thy heart.

Where is Demetrius? O, how fit a word

Is that vile name to perish on my sword!

Hel.
Do not say so, Lysander; say not so (109)

What though he love your Hermia? Lord, what though?

Yet Hermia still loves you: then be content.

Lys.
Content with Hermia! No; I do repent

The tedious minutes I with her have spent.

Not Hermia but Helena I love:

Who will not change a raven for a dove?

The will of man is by his reason sway'd;

And reason says you are the worthier maid.

Things growing are not ripe until their season:

So I, being young, till now ripe not to reason;

And touching now the point of human skill, (120)

Reason becomes the marshal to my will

And leads me to your eyes, where I o'erlook

Love's stories written in love's richest book.

Hel.
Wherefore was I to this keen mockery born?

When at your hands did I deserve this scorn?

Is't not enough, is't not enough, young man,

That I did never, no, nor never can,

Deserve a sweet look from Demetrius' eye,

But you must flout my insufficiency?

Good troth, you do me wrong, good sooth, you do, (130)

In such disdainful manner me to woo.

But fare you well: perforce I must confess

I thought you lord of more true gentleness.

O, that a lady, of one man refused,

Should of another therefore be abused! [Exit.


Lys.
She sees not Hermia. Hermia, sleep thou there:

And never mayst thou come Lysander near!

For as a surfeit of the sweetest things

The deepest loathing to the stomach brings,

Or as the heresies that men do leave (140)

Are hated most of those they did deceive,

So thou, my surfeit and my heresy,

Of all be hated, but the most of me!

And, all my powers, address your love and might

To honor Helen and to be her knight! [Exit.

Her.
[Awaking]

Help me, Lysander, help me! do thy best

To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast!

Ay me, for pity! what a dream was here!

Lysander, look how I do quake with fear:

Methought a serpent eat my heart away, (150)

And you sat smiling at his cruel prey.

Lysander! what, removed? Lysander! lord!

What, out of hearing? gone? no sound, no word?

Alack, where are you? speak, an if you hear;

Speak, of all loves! I swoon almost with fear.

No? then I well perceive you are not nigh:

Either death or you I'll find immediately. [Exit

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