Page images
PDF
EPUB

Lys. I will be with thee straight.
Puck.

Follow me, then,
To plainer ground. [Exit Lysander, as following the voice.

Re-enter DEMETRIUS.
Dem.

Lysander ! speak again :
Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled ?
Speak! In some bush? Where dost thou hide thy head?

Puck. Thou coward, art thou bragging to the stars,
Telling the bushes that thou look’st for wars,
And wilt not come ? Come, recreant; come, thou child;
I'll whip thee with a rod: he is defiled

410
That draws a sword on thee.
Dem.

Yea, art thou there?
Puck. Follow my voice: we 'll try no manhood here.

[Exeunt.
Re-enter LYSANDER.
Lys. He goes before me and still dares me on:
When I come where he calls, then he is gone.
The villain is much lighter-heel'd than I:
I follow'd fast, but faster he did fly;
That fallen am I in dark uneven way,
And here will rest me. [Lies down.] Come, thou gentle

day!
For if but once thou show me thy grey light,
I'll find Demetrius and revenge this spite.

[Sleeps.
Re-enter Puck and DEMETRIUS.
Puck. Ho, ho, ho! Coward, why comest thou not? 421

Dem. Abide me, if thou darest; for well I wot
Thou runn'st before me, shifting every place,
And darest not stand, nor look me in the face.
Where art thou now?
Puck.

Come hither: I am here.
Dem. Nay, then, thou mock'st me. Thou shalt buy this

dear,
If ever I thy face by daylight see:
Now, go thy way. Faintness constraineth me

[ocr errors]

431

To measure out my length on this cold bed.
By day's approach look to be visited. [Lies down and sleeps.

Re-enter HELENA.
Hel. O weary night, O long and tedious night,

Abate thy hours! Shine comforts from the east,
That I may back to Athens by daylight,

From these that my poor company detest : And sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow's eye, Steal me awhile from mine own company.

[Lies down and sleeps. Puck.

Yet but three? Come one more;
Two of both kinds makes up four.
Here she comes, curst and sad :
Cupid is a knavish lad,

440 Thus to make poor females mad.

Re-enter HERMIA.
Her. Never so weary, never so in woe,

Bedabbled with the dew and torn with briers,
I can no further crawl, no further go;

My legs can keep no pace with my desires, Here will I rest me till the break of day. Heavens shield Lysander, if they mean a fray!

[Lies down and sleeps. Puck. On the ground

Sleep sound:
I'll apply

To your eye,
Gentle lover, remedy.

[Squeezing the juice on Lysander's eyes.
When thou wakest,
Thou takest
True delight

In the sight
Of thy former lady's eye:
And the country proverb known,
That every man should take his own,
In your waking shall be shown :

450

460

Jack shall have Jill ;

Nought shall go ill ;
The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.

[Exit.

ACT IV.

SCENE I. The same. LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS, HELENA,

and HERMIA lying asleep.

Enter TITANIA and Bottom; PEASEBLOSSOM, COBWEB,

Moth, MUSTARDSEED, and other Fairies attending; OBERON behind unseen.

i

Tita.

Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed,
While I thy amiable cheeks do coy,
And stick musk-roses in thy sleek smooth head,

And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy.
Bot. Where's Peaseblossom
Peas. Ready.

Bot. Scratch my head, Peaseblossom. Where's Mounsieur
Cobweb?
Cob. Ready.

9 Bot. Mounsieur Cobweb, good mounsieur, get you your weapons in your hand, and kill me a red-hipped humble-bee on the top of a thistle ; and, good mounsieur, bring me the honey-bag. Do not fret yourself too much in the action, mounsieur; and, good mounsieur, have a care the honey-bag break not; I would be loath to have you overflown with a honey-bag, signior. Where's Mounsieur Mustardseed ?

Mus. Ready.

Bot. Give me your neaf, Mounsieur Mustardseed. Pray you, leave your courtesy, good mounsieur.

Mus. What's your will?

20

Bot. Nothing, good mounsieur, but to help Cavalery Cobweb to scratch. I must to the barber's, mounsieur; for methinks I am marvellous hairy about the face; and I am such a tender ass, if my hair do but tickle me, I must scratch.

Tita. What, wilt thou hear some music, my sweet love?

Bot. I have a reasonable good ear in music. Let's have the tongs and the bones.

Tita. Or say, sweet love, what thou desirest to eat.

Bot. Truly, a peck of provender: I could munch your good dry oats. Methinks I have a great desire to a bottle of hay: good hay, sweet hay, hath no fellow.

32 Tita. I have a venturous fairy that shall seek The squirrel's hoard, and fetch thee new nuts.

Bot. I had rather have a handful or two of dried peas. But, I pray you, let none of your people stir me; I have an exposition of sleep come upon me.

Tita. Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms. Fairies, be gone, and be all ways away. [Exeunt fairies. So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle

40 Gently entwist; the female ivy so Enrings the barky fingers of the elm. 0, how I love thee! how I dote on thee! [They sleep

Enter Puck.
Obe. [Advancing.] Welcome, good Robin. See'st thou

this sweet sight?
Her dotage now I do begin to pity:
For, meeting her of late behind the wood,
Seeking sweet favours for this hateful fool,
I did upbraid her and fall out with her;
For she his hairy temples then had rounded

50
With coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers;
And that same dew, which sometime on the buds
Was wont to swell like round and orient pearls,
Stood now within the pretty flowerets' eyes
Like tears that did their own disgrace bewail.

When I had at my pleasure taunted her
And she in mild terms begg'd my patience,
I then did ask of her her changeling child;
Which straight she gave me, and her fairy sent
To bear him to my bower in fairy land.

60
And now I have the boy, I will undo
This hateful imperfection of her eyes :
And, gentle Puck, take this transformed scalp
From off the head of this Athenian swain ;
That, he awaking when the other do,
May all to Athens back again repair
And think no more of this night's accidents
But as the fierce vexation of a dream.
But first I will release the fairy queen.
Be as thou wast wont to be;

70 See as thou wast wont to see: Dian's bud o'er Cupid's flower

Hath such force and blessed power. Now, my Titania; wake you, my sweet queen.

Tita. My Oberon! what visions have I seen!
Methought I was enamour'd of an ass!

Obe. There lies your love.
Tita.

How came these things to pass ? O, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now!

Obe. Silence awhile. Robin, take off this head. Titania, music call; and strike more dead

80 Than common sleep of all these five the sense.

Tita. Music, ho! music, such as charmeth sleep! [Music, still. Puck. Now, when thou wakest, with thine own fool's eyes

peep. Obe. Sound, music! Come, my queen, take hands with me, And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be. Now thou and I are new in amity And will to-morrow midnight solemnly Dance in Duke Theseus' house triumphantly And bless it to all fair prosperity :

« PreviousContinue »