A Midsummer Night's Dream Text and Translation - Act II

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Act II

Scene I

Original Text Modern Translation

[A wood near Athens]

Enter a Fairy at one door, and Robin Goofellow [Puck]at another.]

PUCK:
How now, spirit! whither wander you?
PUCK:
Hey, spirit! Where are you going?
FAIRY:
Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,(5)
I do wander every where,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the fairy queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green.
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;(10)
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.(15)
Farewell, thou lob of spirits; I'll be gone.
Our queen and all her elves come here anon.
FAIRY:
Over hill, over dale,
Through bush, through brier,
Over park, over pale,
Through flood, through fire,
I am going everywhere,
Quicker than the moon goes through the sky;
And I serve the fairy queen,
To put dewdrops into her eyes upon the green.
Her tenants are the tall cowslips.
You can see spots in their gold coats;
Those spots are rubies, fairy favors,
Fairy treats live in those freckles;
I have to find some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
Farewell, you group of spirits; I have to get going.
Our queen and all her elves are coming here any minute!
PUCK:
The king doth keep his revels here tonight;
Take heed the queen come not within his sight;
For Oberon is passing fell and wrath,(20)
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;(25)
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(30)
Creep into acorn cups and hide them there.
PUCK:
The king of Fairies is having a party here tonight;
Watch out so that the Queen doesn’t come anywhere near him.
Oberon is really angry and annoyed,
Because she, just like her attendant, has
A lovely boy, that was stolen from an Indian king;
She has never had so sweet a baby that was stolen.
And jealous Oberon wanted to have that child so that he could be the
Knight of his train, to map out the wild forests.
But she withholds the loved boy for a very good reason,
Crowns the boy with flowers, and makes him the center of her affection.
And now Titania and Oberon can never meet in the grove or on green,
By a clear fountain, or spangled shiny starlight,
But they refuse to settle the issue, so that all their elves
Creep into acorn cups, and hide them there, because they’re so frightened.
FAIRY:
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 villagery,(35)
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,(40)
You do their work, and they shall have good luck.
Are not you he?
FAIRY:
I might be mistaken, but I think I’ve seen you before,
But I think you are that shrewd and knavish sprite
Called Robin Goodfellow. aren’t you the guy
That scares the maidens of the village;
Skims cream from milk, and sometimes works the churn,
And, bootless, makes the breathless housewife churn even harder;
And sometimes makes the drink so that it doesn’t have a yeasty foam;
Misleads wanderers who are out at night, laughing at their getting lost?
Those that call you Hobgoblin, and sweet Puck,
You do their work, and they shall have good luck. Aren’t you he?
PUCK:
Thou speakest aright:
I am that merry wanderer of the night.
I jest to Oberon, and make him smile,(45)
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 withered 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;(55)
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.
PUCK:
You got it!!!;
I am that merry wanderer of the night.
I am jester to Oberon and make him smile, as
When I trick a fat horse that’s been eating beans into
Neighing like a newborn female;
And sometimes, I hide near to the town gossip's beer mug,
Looking like a roasted crab;
And, when the gossip drinks, I bob up, against her lips,
And pour the ale on the withered skin of her neck skin all the way down.
The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale,
Sometimes mistakes me for three-legged stool;
Then I slip down past her backside, she topples down,
And cries, “tailor,” and falls into a cough;
And then the whole group hold their hips and laugh,
And their laughter grows, and sneeze, and swear
A happier party was never wasted there.—
But go, fairy, here comes Oberon.
FAIRY:
And here my mistress. Would that he were gone!(60)
FAIRY:
And I hear my mistress.—I wish that he were gone!

Enter the King of Fairies, [Oberon] at one door, with his train,

and the Queen of Fairies, [Titania] at another, with hers.]

OBERON:
Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania.
OBERON:
How unfortunate to meet you by moonlight, proud Titania.
TITANIA:
What, jealous Oberon! Fairies, skip hence;
I have forsworn his bed and company.
TITANIA:
Well, well, jealous Oberon! Fairies, let’s go;
I have sworn not to go to his bed or to keep his company.
OBERON:
Tarry, rash wanton; am not I thy lord?
OBERON:
Hold on there, unthinking and hasty woman. am not I your lord?
TITANIA:
Then I must be thy lady; but I know(65)
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 steep 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?
TITANIA:
Then I must be your lady; but I also know that,
When you have stolen away from fairy-land,
And, taking the shape of Corin, the shepherd,
You have sat all day, playing on pipes of corn,
And speaking love poems to amorous Phillida.
Why are you here, coming all the way from the mountains of India,
It must be that the bouncing Amazon,
Your mistress dressed in suede and your warrior love,
Must be married to Theseus; and you’re here
To give their wedding night joy and prosperity.
OBERON:
How canst thou thus, for shame, Titania,(75)
Glance at my credit with Hippolyta,
Knowing I know thy love to Theseus?
Didst not thou lead him through the glimmering night
From Perigouna, whom he ravished?
And make him with fair Aegle break his faith,(80)
With Ariadne and Antiopa?
OBERON:
How can you say these things, for shame, Titania,
Give me a little more credit than that with Hippolyta,
Knowing I know all about your love for Theseus?
Didn’t you lead him through the glimmering night
From Perigenia, the girl he had just raped?
And make him break his promise with fair Aegle,
Not to mention with Ariadne and Antiopa?
TITANIA:
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,(85)
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,
Hath 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(95)
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,(105)
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.(115)
And this same progeny of evils comes
From our debate, from our dissension;
We are their parents and original.
TITANIA:
These are the lies of your jealousy.
And never, since the second-half of the summer,
Whether we meet on hill, in dale, forest, or field,
By paved fountain, or by rushing brook,
Or on the beaches that ring the sea,
To let our ringlets dance in the whistling wind,
But you have disturbed our fun with your snide comments.
Then the winds suck up a sickening fog from the sea,
Calling to us even though we can’t hear them.
These fogs which, falling in the land,
Have made every rough river so high
That they have flooded the continents where they flow.
The ox strains to pull the plow and gets nowhere,
The farmer works for nothing; and the green corn
Rots before it can grow and ripen.
The pen for the sheep stands empty in the drowned field,
And crows get fat feeding on the dead flock;
The field where the men play their games is covered in mud;
And the pretty mazes in the garden,
Are all overgrown because no one walks through them.
The human mortals want their winter here;
Blessed hymns and carols are sung every night—
The moon that controls the flow of the floods,
Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
But there are still many bad diseases.
And throughout this upheaval, we see
The seasons change. ice-cold frosts
Freeze the fresh crimson roses;
And on the old God of Harmony’s chin and icy crown,
Is set a circle of sweet summer buds
Almost in mockery of the frost. The spring, the summer,
The pregnant autumn, and angry winter change
Their usual clothes; and the amazed world,
Now doesn’t know which is which by their apparel.
And this birth of evils of an upside-down world is caused
By our arguments, from our disagreements.
We are their parents and the cause.
OBERON:
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.
OBERON:
Then fix it. it’s all up to you!
Why should Titania cross her Oberon?
I’m only asking for a little boy that has been taken by your fairies
To be my personal attendant.
TITANIA:
Set your heart at rest;
The fairy land buys not the child of me.
His mother was a votaress of my order;(125)
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,(130)
And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind;
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,(135)
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.
TITANIA:
Well, don’t worry about that.
The fairies didn’t take the boy for me.
His mother was a devout worshipper of me,
And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,
She often gossiped with me,
And sat with me on the yellow beaches,
Commenting on the trading ships as they set sail on the ocean,
When we laughed to see the sails open up
And get really billowy with the wandering wind,
Which she would imitate, with pretty and with awkward walking —
She was very pregnant with my young squire—
She would go throughout the land,
To fetch me the little things I wanted, and return again,
As the trading ships from a voyage, full of all kinds of things.
But she, because she was mortal, died giving birth to the boy;
And, for her sake, I am raising him,
And, for her sake, I will not part with him.
OBERON:
How long within this wood intend you stay?(140)
OBERON:
How long do you intend to stay within this forest?
TITANIA:
Perchance till after Theseus' wedding-day.
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.
TITANIA:
Maybe until after Theseus' wedding-day.
If you will patiently join our dances,
And see our moonlight parties, go with us;
If not, leave me alone, and I won’t comment on where you’re going.
OBERON:
Give me that boy, and I will go with thee.(145)
OBERON:
Give me that boy and I will go with you.
TITANIA:
Not for thy fairy kingdom. Fairies, away.
We shall chide downright if I longer stay.
TITANIA:
Not for your entire fairy kingdom. Fairies, let’s go.
This will only lead to another argument if I stay longer.

Exeunt [Titania with her train]

OBERON:
Well, go thy way; thou shalt not from this grove
Till I torment thee for this injury.
My gentle Puck, come hither. Thou rememberest(150)
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(155)
To hear the sea-maid's music.
OBERON:
Well, go your merry way. But you’re not leaving this forest
Until I torment you for this insult.
My gentle Puck, come here. You remember
That time I sat on a big rock by the ocean,
And heard a mermaid, on a dolphin's back,
Singing such a sweet and melodious song
That the rough sea became calm when it heard it,
And certain stars shot madly out of their orbits
To hear the sea-maid's music?
PUCK:
I remember.
PUCK:
I remember.
OBERON:
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(160)
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;
But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft
Quench'd in the chaste beams of the watery moon;(165)
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,(170)
And maidens call it love-in-idleness.
Fetch me that flower, the herb I show'd thee once.
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.(175)
Fetch me this herb, and be thou here again
Ere the leviathan can swim a league.
OBERON:
At that very time I saw —but you couldn’t —
Cupid flying between the cold moon and the earth,
With all his arrows. He took aim
At a fair virgin, sitting facing the sunset,
And let the arrow fly directly from his bow,
As if it was supposed to pierce a hundred thousand hearts.
But I could see young Cupid's fiery arrow
Put out by the pure beams of the watery moon.
And the queenly virgin went on her way,
Thinking the thoughts of youth, fancy-free.
But I watched and noted where Cupid’s arrow fell.
It fell upon a little western flower —
Which had been milk-white, but was now purple with love's wound —
Young women call this flower “love-in-idleness.”
Fetch me that flower, I showed you the herb once.
Putting the juice of it on sleeping eyelids
Will make or man or woman madly fall in love
With the next live creature that it sees.
Fetch me this herb and come right back
Before a huge sea creature can swim three miles.
PUCK:
I'll put a girdle round about the earth
In forty minutes.
PUCK:
I'll make my trip around the world
In forty minutes.

[Exit Puck]

OBERON:
Having once this juice,(180)
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,
Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,
On meddling monkey, or on busy ape,(185)
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;(190)
And I will overhear their conference.
OBERON:
Once I have this juice,
I'll find Titania when she is asleep,
And drop it into her eyes.
The next thing she looks upon, when she wakes up —
Whether it’s a lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,
Or meddling monkey or a busy ape —
She shall pursue that animal with the soul of love.
And before I remove this charm from her sight —
Because I have another herb that is the antidote —
I'll make her give that boy to me.
But who’s coming here? I’ll make myself invisible,
And I eavesdrop on their conversation.

Enter Demetrius, Helena following him.

DEMETRIUS:
I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.
Where is Lysander and fair Hermia?
The one I'll slay, the other slayeth me.
Thou told'st me they were stolen unto this wood,(195)
And here am I, and wood within this wood,
Because I cannot meet my Hermia.
Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more.
DEMETRIUS:
I don’t love you, so stop following me.
Where are Lysander and fair Hermia?
I’ll kill him, and she kills me.
You told me they snuck into this forest,
And I’m here and wander within this forest,
Because I cannot meet Hermia.
Listen, get going and, once and for all, stop following me!
HELENA:
You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant;
But yet you draw not iron, for my heart(200)
Is true as steel. Leave you your power to draw,
And I shall have no power to follow you.
HELENA:
You pull me to you, you hard-hearted hard man.
But you don’t pull any iron, for my heart
Is true as steel. Even if you didn’t have the power to pull me,
I would still be powerless not to follow you.
DEMETRIUS:
Do I entice you? Do I speak you fair?
Or, rather, do I not in plainest truth
Tell you I do not nor I cannot love you?(205)
DEMETRIUS:
Do I encourage you? Do I talk to you sweetly?
Or, rather, do I not, in plainest truth,
Tell you I do not and cannot love you?
HELENA:
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,(210)
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,—
Than to be used as you use your dog?
HELENA:
And even for that, I love you all the more.
I am your spaniel, and, Demetrius,
The more you beat me, the more I will wag my tail for you.
Use me only as your spaniel. Spurn me, strike me,
Neglect me, lose me. All I ask,
Unworthy as I am, is to follow you.
What worse place can I beg in your love,
And still keep my self-respect —
Than to be used as you would use your dog?
DEMETRIUS:
Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit;(215)
For I am sick when I do look on thee.
DEMETRIUS:
Don’t try my patience and push me too hard,
Because the sight of you makes me sick.
HELENA:
And I am sick when I look not on you.
HELENA:
And I am sick when I don’t look at you.
DEMETRIUS:
You do impeach your modesty too much
To leave the city and commit yourself
Into the hands of one that loves you not;(220)
To trust the opportunity of night,
And the ill counsel of a desert place,
With the rich worth of your virginity.
DEMETRIUS:
You are really putting your virginity at risk,
To leave the city, and surrender yourself
To the hands of someone who doesn’t love you,
To go night thinking that nothing can happen,
And to come to a deserted place,
With something as rich as your virginity.
HELENA:
Your virtue is my privilege. For that
It is not night when I do see your face,(225)
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?(230)
HELENA:
I trust your virtue as a man.
It isn’t night whenever I see your face,
So I don’t think it’s night,
And this forest doesn’t lack worlds of company,
For you, in my respect, are all the world.
Then how can it be said I am alone
When the entire world is here to look at me?
DEMETRIUS:
I'll run from thee and hide me in the brakes,
And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.
DEMETRIUS:
I'll run from you, and hide in the bushes,
And leave you to the mercy of wild beasts.
HELENA:
The wildest hath not such a heart as you.
Run when you will; the story shall be changed:
Apollo flies, and Daphne holds the chase;(235)
The dove pursues the griffin; the mild hind
Makes speed to catch the tiger; bootless speed,
When cowardice pursues and valour flies.
HELENA:
The wildest beast doesn’t have a heart like yours.
Run wherever you will, the story is always the same.
Apollo flies, and Daphne chases him;
The dove pursues the vulture; the mild deer
Runs faster to catch the tiger — helpless speed,
When cowardice chases and courage flies.
DEMETRIUS:
I will not stay thy questions; let me go;
Or, if thou follow me, do not believe(240)
But I shall do thee mischief in the wood.
DEMETRIUS:
I will not put up with this; let me go.
Or, if you do follow me, don’t think
That I won’t do something to you in the forest.
HELENA:
Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field,
You do me mischief. Fie, Demetrius!
Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex.
We cannot fight for love as men may do;(245)
We should be woo'd, and were not made to woo.

[Exit Demetrius]

I'll follow thee, and make a heaven of hell,
To die upon the hand I love so well.
HELENA:
Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field,
You do something to me. Shame on you, Demetrius!
What you’re doing to me just underlines the weakness of my sex.
We cannot fight for love as men do.
We should be courted, and were not made to court.
I'll follow you, and make a heaven of hell,
To die by the hand that I love so well.

Exit [Helena]

OBERON:
Fare thee well, nymph; ere he do leave this grove,
Thou shalt fly him, and he shall seek thy love.(250)

[Re-]enter Puck

Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wanderer.
OBERON:
Goodbye, lady. Before he leaves this grove, You shall run away from him, and he will look for your love.— Do you have the flower there? Welcome, wanderer.
PUCK:
Ay, there it is.
PUCK:
Yes, there it is.
OBERON:
I pray thee give it me.
I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,(255)
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,(260)
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:
A sweet Athenian lady is in love(265)
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(270)
More fond on her than she upon her love.
And look thou meet me ere the first cock crow.
OBERON:
Please give it to me.
I know a bank of a river where the wild thyme blows,
Where daisies and nodding violets grow,
It is quite over-grown with luscious vines,
With sweet musk roses, and with honeysuckle.
Sometimes, Titania sleeps there at night,
Relaxed by these flowers and with dances and delights,
And there the snake sheds her hardened skin
All over in order to catch a fairy.
I’ll put the juice of this flower into her eyes,
And make her full of hateful fantasies.
You take some of it, and look throughout this grove.
A sweet Athenian lady is in love
With a youth who rejects her. Put the juice into his eyes;
But do it when the next thing he sees
May be the lady. You’ll be able to identify the man
By the Athenian garments he has on.
Please do this carefully, that he will be
more in love with her than she is with him.
And meet me before the first rooster crows at dawn.
PUCK:
Fear not, my lord; your servant shall do so.
PUCK:
You have nothing to be afraid of, my lord; I’ll do it.

Exeunt

Scene II

Original Text Modern Translation

[Another part of the wood]

Enter Titania, Queen of Fairies, with her train

TITANIA:
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(5)
The clamorous owl that nightly hoots and wonders
At our quaint spirits. Sing me now asleep;
Then to your offices, and let me rest.
TITANIA:
Come, now a dance and a fairy song,
Then, for the third part of a minute, leave here,
Some to kill bugs in the musk-rose buds,
Some to kill red-mice for their leather wings,
To make my small elves coats; and some to quiet
The noisy owl, that nightly hoots and wonders
About us. Sing me now to sleep,
Then go to your tasks, and let me rest.

The Fairies Sing

FIRST FAIRY:
[song]
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.
CHORUSPhilomel with melody
Sing in our sweet lullaby.(15)
Lulla, lulla, lullaby; lulla, lulla, lullaby.
Never harm
Nor spell nor charm
Come our lovely lady nigh.
So good night, with lullaby.(20)
FIRST FAIRY:
You spotted snakes, with double tongue,
Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen;
Newts and blindworms 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 goodnight, with lullaby.
SECOND FAIRY:
Weaving spiders, come not here;
Hence, you long-legg'd spinners, hence.
Beetles black, approach not near;
Worm nor snail do no offence.
CHORUSPhilomel with melody, &c.(25)
SECOND FAIRY:
Weaving spiders, come not here;
Hence, you long-legged spinners, hence;
Beetles black, approach not near;
Worm nor snail do no offence. 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 goodnight, with lullaby.
FIRST FAIRY:
Hence away; now all is well.
One aloof stand sentinel.
FIRST FAIRY:
Let’s go; now all is well.
One of you, stand sentinel over there.

[Exeunt Fairies, Titania] Sleeps

Enter Oberon [and squeezes the flower on Titania's eyelids]

OBERON:
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.(35)
OBERON:
What you see when you wake,
[Squeezes the flower on TITANIA'S eyelids.]
Take for your true-love;
Love and languish for his sake;
Whether it’s a cheetah, or a cat, or a bear,
A panther, or a boar with bristled hair,
When you wake, whatever you see,
It is your dear.
Wake when some vile thing is near.

[Exit]

Enter Lysander and Hermia

LYSANDER:
Fair love, you faint with wandering in 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.
LYSANDER:
Fair love, you are exhausted with wandering in the forest.
And, to tell the truth, I’m lost.
If you think it’s OK, Hermia, let’s rest
And wait for daylight to move on.
HERMIA:
Be it so, Lysander: find you out a bed,(40)
For I upon this bank will rest my head.
HERMIA:
OK, Lysander. You find yourself a bed,
And I will rest my head upon this bank.
LYSANDER:
One turf shall serve as pillow for us both;
One heart, one bed, two bosoms, and one troth.
LYSANDER:
One bit of land will be a pillow for us both;
One heart, one bed, two bosoms, and one trust.
HERMIA:
Nay, good Lysander; for my sake, my dear,
Lie further off yet; do not lie so near.(45)
HERMIA:
No, good Lysander, for my sake, my dear,
Lie down over there away from me. Do not lie so near.
LYSANDER:
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.
LYSANDER:
Oh, sweetheart, take what I said in an innocent sense.
Love takes the meaning in love's conversation.
I mean that my heart is knit with yours,
So that we can make one heart of it.
Two bosoms intertwined with an oath,
So that there are two bosoms but one promise.
Then don’t tell me not to sleep by your side,
Because in sleeping near you, Hermia, I do not lie.
HERMIA:
Lysander riddles very prettily.
Now much beshrew my manners and my pride,(55)
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,(60)
So far be distant; and good night, sweet friend.
Thy love ne'er alter till thy sweet life end!
HERMIA:
Lysander riddles very prettily.
Now curse my manners and my pride
If Hermia meant to say Lysander lied!
But, gentle friend, lie over there
for love and courtesy. In human modesty,
Such a separation may well be called appropriate
For a virtuous bachelor and a maid.
So please, just lie over there; and good night, sweet friend.
May your love never change until your sweet life ends!
LYSANDER:
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!(65)
LYSANDER:
Amen, amen, I say to that fair prayer,
And then my life end when I end loyalty!
Here is my bed. Sleep give you all his rest!
HERMIA:
With half that wish the wisher's eyes be press'd!
HERMIA:
May only half as much sleep do!

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?(70)
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.(75)
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:
When thou wakest let love forbid(80)
Sleep his seat on thy eyelid.
So awake when I am gone;
For I must now to Oberon.
PUCK:
I’ve gone through the whole forest,
But I haven’t found any Athenian
On whose eyes I might pour
This flower's juice to stir his love.
Night and silence! Who’s here?
He’s got Athenian clothes on.
This is the guy, as my master said,
Who despises the Athenian maid,
And here is the maiden, sleeping sound,
On the dank and dirty ground.
Pretty soul! she doesn’t dare lie
Near this lack-love, this kill-courtesy.
Rude man, I throw on your eyes
All the power that this charm has.
When you wake, let love forbid
You get any sleep.
So awake when I am gone;
For I must go now to Oberon.

Exit

Enter Demetrius and Helena, running

HELENA:
Stay, though thou kill me, sweet Demetrius.
HELENA:
Stay, though you kill me, sweet Demetrius.
DEMETRIUS:
I charge thee, hence, and do not haunt me thus.(85)
DEMETRIUS:
I order you, get far away from me and do not haunt me thus.
HELENA:
O, wilt thou darkling leave me? Do not so.
HELENA:
Oh, will you, a dark-natured man, leave me? Don’t.
DEMETRIUS:
Stay on thy peril; I alone will go.
DEMETRIUS:
Stay here at your own risk; I will go on alone.

Exit Demetrius

HELENA:
O, I am out of breath in this fond chase!
The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace.
Happy is Hermia, wheresoe'er she lies,(90)
For she hath blessed and attractive eyes.
How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt tears;
If so, my eyes are oft'ner wash'd than hers.
No, no, I am as ugly as a bear,
For beasts that meet me run away for fear;(95)
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!(100)
Dead, or asleep? I see no blood, no wound.
Lysander, if you live, good sir, awake.
HELENA:
Oh, I am out of breath in this happy chase!
The more I pray, the less grace I have.
Hermia is happy, wherever she lies,
Because she has blessed and attractive eyes.
How did her eyes come to be so bright? Not with crying.
If so, my eyes are more often washed with tears than hers.
No, no, I am as ugly as a bear;
Because beasts that meet me run away afraid.
Therefore, it’s no marvel that Demetrius
As a monster, flies away from being with me.
What wicked and lying mirror of mine
Made me compare my eyes with Hermia's?
But who’s here?—Lysander! on the ground!
Dead? or asleep? I see no blood, no wound.
Lysander, if you live, good sir, wake up!
LYSANDER:
[Waking] And run through fire I will for thy sweet
sake.
Transparent Helena! Nature shows art,(105)
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!
LYSANDER:
[Waking.]
And I will run through fire, I will, for your sweet sake.
Transparent Helena! Nature has made it so that
I can see through your chest all the way to your heart.
Where is Demetrius? Oh, how fitting it is that
That vile name should perish on my sword!
HELENA:
Do not say so, Lysander; say not so.
What though he love your Hermia?(110)
Lord, what though?
Yet Hermia still loves you; then be content.
HELENA:
Don’t say that, Lysander, don’t say that.
So what if he loves your Hermia? Lord, so what?
Hermia still loves you. Then be content.
LYSANDER:
Content with Hermia! No: I do repent
The tedious minutes I with her have spent.
Not Hermia but Helena I love:(115)
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;(120)
And touching now the point of human skill,
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.
LYSANDER:
Content with Hermia? No! I am sorry for
The tedious minutes I have spent with her.
I don’t love Hermia, but Helena.
Who will not exchange a raven for a dove?
The will of man is persuaded by his reason,
And reason says you are the worthier maid.
Things that grow are not ripe until it’s their season to be ripe,
So I, being young, have not been ripened in reason,
And touching the point of human skill now,
Reason has become the commander of my will,
And it leads me to your eyes, where I see
Love's stories, written in love's richest book.
HELENA:
Wherefore was I to this keen mockery born?(125)
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?(130)
Good troth, you do me wrong, good sooth, you do,
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(135)
Should of another therefore be abused!
HELENA:
Why was I born to this keen mockery?
When did I earn this scorn at your hands?
Isn’t it enough, isn’t it enough, young man,
That I never did, no, nor never can
Deserve a sweet look from Demetrius' eye,
But you must joke about what I’m lacking?
Good lord, you do me wrong— good lord, you do—
To court me In such disdainful manner.
But goodbye. Of necessity, I must confess that
I thought you were the lord of more true gentleness.
Oh, that a lady of one man refused
Should therefore be abused by another!

Exit

LYSANDER:
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,(140)
Or as the heresies that men do leave
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(145)
To honor Helen, and to be her knight!
LYSANDER:
She doesn’t see Hermia.—Hermia, you keep sleeping there;
And may you never come near Lysander!
Because, just as eating too many sweets
Gives you an upset stomach just to look at them,
Or just as the lies that men tell
Are the most hated by those hearing them,
So you, my eating too much and my lie,
Will be hated by all but most of all by me!
And, all my powers, use your love and power
To honor Helena and to be her knight!

Exit

HERMIA:
[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.(150)
Methought a serpent eat my heart away,
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;(155)
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.
HERMIA:
[Starting.]
Help me, Lysander, help me! Do your best
To get this crawling serpent off my breast!
Ay me, for pity!—What a dream I had!
Lysander, look how I shake with fear!
I thought a serpent ate my heart away,
And you sat smiling at me.—
Lysander! what, gone? Lysander! lord!
What, can’t hear me? Gone? No sound, no word?
O my, where are you? Speak, if you hear me;
Speak, of all loves! I almost faint with fear.
No?—then I can see that you’re not near.
I'll find either death or you immediately.

Exit