A MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S DREAM
Now , fair Hippolyta , our nuptial
Draws on apace : four happy days bring in
Another moon ; but O ! methinks
This old moon wanes ; she lingers my desires ,
Like to a step dame , or a dowager
Long withering out a young man's revenue
Four days will quickly steep themselves in night ;
Four nights will quickly dream away the time ;
And then the moon , like to a silver bow
New-bent in heaven , shall behold the night
Of our solemnities .
Go , Philostrate ,
Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments ;
Awake the pert and nimble
spirit of mirth ;
forth to funerals ;
The pale companion
is not for our pomp .
Hippolyta , I woo'd thee with my sword ,
And won thy love doing thee injuries ;
But I will wed thee in another key ,
With pomp , with triumph
, and with revelling .
Happy be Theseus , our renowned
Thanks , good Egeus : what's the news with thee ?
Full of vexation
come I , with complaint
Against my child , my daughter Hermia .
Stand forth , Demetrius . My noble lord ,
This man hath my consent to marry her .
Stand forth , Lysander : and , my gracious
This man hath bewitch'd the bosom of my child :
Thou , thou , Lysander , thou hast given her rimes ,
And interchang'd love-tokens with my child ;
Thou hast by moonlight
at her window sung ,
With feigning voice , verses of feigning love ;
And stol'n the impression
of her fantasy
With bracelets of thy hair , rings , gawds , conceits ,
Knacks , trifles , nosegays , sweetmeats , messengers
Of strong prevailment in unharden'd youth ;
hast thou filch'd my daughter's heart ;
Turn'd her obedience
, which is due to me ,
harshness . And , my gracious
Be it so she will not here before your Grace
Consent to marry with Demetrius ,
I beg the ancient privilege
of Athens ,
As she is mine , I may dispose
of her ;
Which shall be either to this gentleman ,
Or to her death , according to our law
Immediately provided in that case .
What say you , Hermia ? be advis'd , fair maid .
To you , your father should be as a god ;
One that compos'd your beauties , yea , and one
To whom you are but as a form in wax
By him imprinted , and within his power
To leave the figure or disfigure
Demetrius is a worthy
So is Lysander .
In himself he is ;
But , in this kind , wanting
your father's voice ,
The other must be held the worthier .
I would my father look'd but with my eyes .
Rather your eyes must with his judgment look .
I do entreat
your Grace to pardon
I know not by what power I am made bold ,
Nor how it may concern my modesty
In such a presence here to plead my thoughts ;
But I beseech
your Grace , that I may know
The worst that may befall
me in this case ,
If I refuse to wed Demetrius .
Either to die the death , or to abjure
For ever the society of men .
Therefore , fair Hermia , question your desires ;
Know of your youth , examine well your blood ,
Whe'r , if you yield not to your father's choice ,
You can endure
of a nun ,
For aye to be in shady cloister
To live a barren
sister all your life ,
Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon .
they that master so their blood ,
But earthlier happy is the rose distill'd ,
Than that which withering on the virgin
Grows , lives , and dies , in single blessedness .
So will I grow , so live , so die , my lord ,
Ere I will yield my virginpatent
Unto his lordship
, whose unwished yoke
My soul consents not to give sovereignty
Take time to pause ; and , by the next new moon ,
The sealing-day betwixt my love and me
bond of fellowship
Upon that day either prepare to die
For disobedience to your father's will ,
Or else to wed Demetrius , as he would ;
Or on Diana's altar to protest
For aye austerity and single life .
Relent , sweet Hermia ; and , Lysander , yield
Thy crazed title to my certain right .
You have her father's love , Demetrius ;
Let me have Hermia's : do you marry him .
Scornful Lysander ! true , he hath my love ,
And what is mine my love shall render him ;
And she is mine , and all my right of her
I do estate
unto Demetrius .
I am , my lord , as well deriv'd as he ,
As well possess'd ; my love is more than his ;
My fortunes every way as fairly rank'd
If not with vantage
, as Demetrius' ;
And , which is more than all these boasts can be ,
I am belov'd of beauteous
Why should not I then prosecute
my right ?
Demetrius , I'll avouch it to his head ,
Made love to Nedar's daughter , Helena ,
And won her soul ; and she , sweet lady , dotes ,
Devoutly dotes , dotes in idolatry
Upon this spotted and inconstant man .
I must confess
that I have heard so much ,
And with Demetrius thought to have spoke thereof ;
But , being over-full of self-affairs ,
My mind did lose it . But , Demetrius , come ;
And come , Egeus ; you shall go with me ,
I have some private schooling for you both .
For you , fair Hermia , look you arm yourself
To fit your fancies to your father's will ,
Or else the law of Athens yields you up ,
Which by no means we may extenuate ,
To death , or to a vow of single life .
Come , my Hippolyta : what cheer , my love ?
Demetrius and Egeus , go along :
I must employ you in some business
Against our nuptial
, and confer with you
Of something nearly that concerns yourselves .
With duty and desire we follow you .
How now , my love ! Why is your cheek so pale ?
How chance the roses there do fade so fast ?
Belike for want of rain , which I could well
Beteem them from the tempest
of mine eyes .
Ay me ! for aught that ever I could read ,
Could ever hear by tale or history ,
The course of true love never did run smooth ;
But , either it was different in blood ,
O cross ! too high to be enthrall'd to low .
Or else misgraffed in respect of years ,
O spite ! too old to be engag'd to young .
Or else it stood upon the choice of friends ,
O hell ! to choose love by another's eye .
Or , if there were a sympathy
in choice ,
War , death , or sickness
did lay siege to it ,
Making it momentany as a sound ,
Swift as a shadow , short as any dream ,
Brief as the lightning
in the collied night ,
That , in a spleen , unfolds both heaven and earth ,
And ere a man hath power to say , 'Behold !'
The jaws of darkness do devour
it up :
So quick bright things come to confusion
If then true lovers have been ever cross'd ,
It stands as an edict in destiny
Then let us teach our trial patience
Because it is a customary
As due to love as thoughts and dreams and sighs ,
Wishes and tears , poor fancy's followers .
A good persuasion
, hear me , Hermia .
I have a widow aunt , a dowager
Of great revenue
, and she hath no child :
From Athens is her house remote
seven leagues ;
And she respects me as her only son .
There , gentle Hermia , may I marry thee ,
And to that place the sharp Athenian law
us . If thou lov'st me then ,
Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night ,
And in the wood , a league
without the town ,
Where I did meet thee once with Helena ,
To do observance
to a morn of May ,
There will I stay for thee .
My good Lysander !
I swear to thee by Cupid's strongest bow ,
By his best arrow with the golden head ,
By the simplicity
of Venus' doves ,
By that which knitteth souls and prospers loves ,
And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage queen ,
When the false Troyan under sail was seen ,
By all the vows that ever men have broke ,
In number more than ever women spoke ,
In that same place thou hast appointed me ,
To-morrow truly will I meet with thee .
Keep promise , love . Look , here comes Helena .
God speed fair Helena ! Whither away ?
Call you me fair ? that fair again unsay .
Demetrius loves your fair : O happy fair !
Your eyes are lode-stars ! and your tongue's sweet air
More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear ,
When wheat is green , when hawthorn
buds appear .
Sickness is catching : O ! were favour so ,
Yours would I catch , fair Hermia , ere I go ;
My ear should catch your voice , my eye your eye ,
My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet melody
Were the world mine , Demetrius being bated ,
The rest I'd give to be to you translated .
O ! teach me how you look , and with what art
You sway the motion
of Demetrius' heart .
I frown upon him , yet he loves me still .
O ! that your frowns would teach my smiles such skill .
I give him curses , yet he gives me love .
O ! that my prayers could such affection
The more I hate , the more he follows me .
The more I love , the more he hateth me .
His folly , Helena , is no fault of mine .
None , but your beauty : would that fault were mine !
Take comfort : he no more shall see my face ;
Lysander and myself will fly this place .
Before the time I did Lysander see ,
Seem'd Athens as a paradise
to me :
O ! then , what graces in my love do dwell ,
That he hath turn'd a heaven unto a hell .
Helen , to you our minds we will unfold
To-morrow night , when Ph be doth behold
Her silver visage
in the wat'ry glass ,
Decking with liquid
pearl the bladed grass ,
A time that lovers' flights doth still conceal
Through Athens' gates have we devis'd to steal .
And in the wood , where often you and I
Upon faint primrose-beds were wont to lie ,
Emptying our bosoms of their counsel
There my Lysander and myself shall meet ;
from Athens turn away our eyes ,
To seek new friends and stranger companies .
Farewell , sweet playfellow : pray thou for us ;
And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius !
Keep word , Lysander : we must starve
From lovers' food till morrow
I will , my Hermia .
Helena , adieu :
As you on him , Demetrius dote on you !
How happy some o'er other some can be !
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she ;
But what of that ? Demetrius thinks not so ;
He will not know what all but he do know ;
And as he errs , doting on Hermia's eyes ,
So I , admiring of his qualities .
Things base and vile , holding
no quantity ,
Love can transpose to form and dignity
Love looks not with the eyes , but with the mind ,
is wing'd Cupid painted blind .
Nor hath Love's mind of any judgment taste ;
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste :
is Love said to be a child ,
Because in choice he is so oft beguil'd .
As waggish boys in game themselves forswear ,
So the boy Love is perjur'd every where ;
For ere Demetrius look'd on Hermia's eyne ,
He hail'd down oaths that he was only mine ;
And when this hail some heat from Hermia felt ,
So he dissolv'd , and showers of oaths did melt .