Libretto list

A Midsummer Night's Dream Libretto


A Midsummer Night's Dream


Music by Benjamin Britten


Cast:

OBERON
TITANIA
COBWEB
PEASEBLOSSOM
MUSTARDSEED
MOTH
TESEO
HIPOLITA
HERMIA
LISANDRO
DEMETRIO
ELENA
BOTTOM
QUINCE
FLUTE
SNUG
SNOUT
STARVELING
PUCK




ACT I


Introduction
(The wood. Deepening twilight.)

(Enter Fairies, first group with
Cobweb and Mustardseed, second
group with Peaseblossom and
Moth.)

FAIRIES
Over hill, over dale,
trough bush, through brier,
over park, over pale,
through flood, through fire,
we do wander everywhere,
swifter than the moon's sphere;
and we serve the fairy queen,
to dew her orbs upon the green.

FOUR SOLO FAIRIES
Cowslips tall her pensioners be
in their gold coats spots you see;
those be rubies, fairy favours,
in those freckles live their savours.

ALL FAIRIES
We must go seek
some dewdrops here
and hang a pearl
in every cowslip's ear

(Puck appears suddenly.)

PUCK
(calling):
How now spirits?

(The Fairies scatter to the side.)

FAIRIES
Or I mistake your shape
and making quite,
or are you not that shrewd
and knavish sprite
call'd Robin Goodfellow:
are not you he that frights
the maidens of the villagery,
skim milk, and sometimes
labour 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?
You do their work,
and they shall have good luck:
Those that Hobgoblin
call you and sweet Puck

PUCK
But, room, fairy!
here comes Oberon.

FAIRIES
And here our mistress.

COBWEB
Would that he were gone!

(Enter, slowly Oberon and Tytania,
with her train; from opposite sides)

FAIRIES
Oberon is passing fell and wrath,
because that she,
as her attendant hath a lovely boy,
stolen from an Indian king;
and jealous Oberon
would have the child

OBERON:
Ill met by moonlight,
proud Tytania

TYTANIA
Ill met by moonlight,
jealous Oberon!
Fairies, skip hence:
I have forsworn
his bed and company.

(The Fairies hide)

OBERON, TYTANIA
Therefore the winds
have suck'd up
from the sea contagious fogs.
Therefore the ox
hath stretch'd
his yoke in vain,
the fold stands empty
in the drowned field,
the crows are fatted
with the murrion flock;
the seasons alter:
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,
we are.

OBERON
Do you amend it then;
it lies in you:
I do but beg
a little changeling boy,
to be my henchman.

TYTANIA
Set your heart at rest:
The fairy land buys not
the child of me.
His mother was a votaress
of my order:
But she, being mortal,
of that boy did die;
and for her sake
I will not part with him.

OBERON
Give me that boy
and I will go with thee.

TYTANIA
Not for thy fairy kingdom.
Fairies, away!

(Exit Tytania 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.
(Puck approaches Oberon.)
Thou rememberest
the herb I shew'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.
Be it on lion, bear,
or wolf, or bull,
on meddling monkey,
or on busy ape.
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.

(He flies off.)

OBERON
Having once this juice,
I'll watch Tytania,
when she is asleep,
and drop the liquor
of it in her eyes;
and ere I take this charm
from off ther sight I'll make
her render up her page to me.

(Oberon disappears. Enter Lysander
and Hermia)

LYSANDER
How now, my love!
Why is your cheek so pale?
How chance the roses
there do fade so fast?

HERMIA
Belike for want of rain,
which I could well beteem them
from the tempest of my eyes.

LYSANDER
Ay me!
for aught that I could ever read,
could ever hear by tale or history,
the course of true love
never did run smooth; but,
either it was different in blood.

HERMIA, LYSANDER
O cross!
Too high to be enthrall'd to low.
Or else misgraffed
in respect of years.
O spite!
Too old to be engaged to young.
Or else it stood upon
the choice of friends.
O hell!
To choose love by another's eyes.
If then true lovers
have been ever cross'd,
it stands as an edict in destiny.

HERMIA
Then let us teach
our trial patience.

LYSANDER
A good persuasion:
therefore, 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,
compelling thee
to marry with Demetrius,
annot pursue us.
If thou lovest me then,
there will I go with thee.

HERMIA
My good Lysander!,
if thou lov'st me
I swear to thee,
by Cupid's strongest bow.

LYSANDER
I swear to thee,
by his best arrow
with the golden head.

HERMIA, LYSANDER
I swear to thee
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,
I swear, I swear...

(They slowly go out. Oberon
appears)

OBERON
Be it on lion, bear,
or wolf, or bull,
On meddling monkey, or on busy ape.
But who comes here?
I am invisible; and I will overhear
their conference.

(Enter Demetrius. Helena
pursuing 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;
and here am I,
and wode within this wood,
because I cannot meet my Hermia.
Hence, get thee gone,
and follow me no more.

HELENA
You draw me,
you hard-hearted adamant;
leave you your power to draw,
and I shall have no power
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?

HELENA
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 thee.

DEMETRIUS
Tempt not too much
the hatred of my spirit;
for I am sick when
I do look on thee.

HELENA
And I am sick when
I look not on thee.

DEMETRIUS
I'll run from thee
and hide me in the brakes,
and leave thee to the mercy
of wild beasts.

(He goes out.)

HELENA
(running out)
I'll follow you
and make a heav'n of hell
to die upon the hand
I love so well.

OBERON
Fare thee well, nymph:
ere he do leave this grove,
thou shalt fly him
and he shall seek thy love.
(Puck flies in.)
Welcome, wanderer!
Hast thou the flower there?
(Puck gives Oberon the flower and
lies at his feet.)
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 Tytania
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:
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.

(They disappear. Six rustics enter
cautiously.)

QUINCE
Is all our company here?

ALL
Ay, Ay.

BOTTOM
You were best to call them generally,
man by man, according to the script.

FLUTE
First, good Peter Quince,
say what the play treats on.

QUINCE
Marry, our play is,
the most lamentable comedy,
and most cruel death
of Pyramus and Thisby.

ALL
Of Pyramus and Thisby.

BOTTOM
A very good piece of work,
I assure you, and a merry.
Now, good Peter Quince,
call forth your actors
by the scroll.
Masters, spread yourselves.

QUINCE
Answer as I call you. Nick Bottom,
the weaver.

BOTTOM
Ready.
Name what part I am for,
and proceed.

QUINCE
You, Nick Bottom,
are set down for Pyramus.

BOTTOM
What is Pyramus?
a lover, or a tyrant?

QUINCE
A lover, that kills himself
most gallant for love.

BOTTOM
My chief humour is for a tyrant:
I could play Ercles rarely,
or a part to tear a cat in,
to make all split
the raging rocks;
and shivering shocks shall break
the locks of prison gates,
and Phibbus' car shall shine
from far, and make
and mar the foolish Fates.
This was lofty!
Now name the rest
of the players.

QUINCE
Francis Flute,
the bellows-mender.

BOTTOM
This is Ercle's vein,
a tyrant's vein;
a lover is more condoling.

FLUTE
Here, Peter Quince.

QUINCE
Flute, you must take Thisby on you.

FLUTE
What is Thisby?
a wandering knight?

QUINCE
It is the lady that Pyramus
must love.

FLUTE
Nay, faith,
let me not play a woman;
I have a beard coming.

QUINCE
That's all one:
you shall play it in a mask,
and you may speak
as small as you will.

BOTTOM
An I may hide my face,
let me play Thisby too,
I'll speak
in a monstrous little voice.
Thisne, thisne:"Ah, Pyramus,
lover dear! thy Thisby dear,
and lady dear!"

QUINCE
No, no; you must play Pyramus;
and, Flute, you Thisby.

BOTTOM
Well, proceed.

FLUTE
(practising to himself)
"Ah Pyramus, my lover dear,
thy Thisby dear, and Lady dear..."

QUINCE
Robin Starveling, the tailor.

STARVELING
Here, Peter Quince.

QUINCE
Robin Starveling,
you must play Thisby's mother.
Tom Snout, the tinker.

SNOUT
Here, Peter Quince.

QUINCE
You, Pyramus' father;
myself, Thisby's father;
Snug, the joiner;
you, the lion's part;
and, I hope,
here is a play fitted.

SNUG
Have you the lion's part written?
pray you, if it be, give it me,
for I am slow of study.

QUINCE
You may do it extempore,
for it is nothing but roaring.

BOTTOM
Let me play the lion too:
I will roar,
that I will do any man's heart
good to hear me; I will roar,
that I will make the duke say
"Let him roar again,
let him roar again"

FLUTE
An you should do it too terribly,
you would fright the duchess
and the ladies,
that they would shriek;
and that were enough to hang us all.

QUINCE, STARVELING,
SNOUT, SNUG
That would hang us,
ev'ry mother's son.

FLUTE
Ev'ry mother's son!

BOTTOM
But I will aggravate my voice so,
that I will roar you as gently
as any sucking dove;
I will roar you an 'twere
any nightingale.

QUINCE
You can play no part but Pyramus;
for Pyramus is a sweet-faced man;
a proper man,
as one shall see in a summer's day;
a most lovely gentleman-like man;
therefore you must needs
play Pyramus.

BOTTOM
Well, I will undertake it.

(General satisfaction.)

QUINCE
But masters
here are your parts;
and I am to entreat you,
request you and desire you,
to con them by tonight;
there will we rehearse anon.

BOTTOM
We will meet;
and there we may rehearse
most obscenely and courageously.
Take pains; be perfect: adieu.

QUINCE
At the duke's oak
we meet.

ALL
Adieu.

(Exeunt. 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.

HERMIA
Be it so, Lysander;
find you out a bed;
for I upon this bank
will rest my head.

LYSANDER
One turf shall serve
as pillow for us both;
One heart, one bed,
two bosoms and one troth.

HERMIA
Nay, good Lysander;
my sake, my dear,
lie further off yet,
do not lie so near.
So far be distant;
and, good night, sweet friend;
Thy love ne'er alter
till thy sweet life end!

LYSANDER, HERMIA
Amen to that fair prayer,
say I;
and then end life
when I end loyalty!

(They go to 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?
(coming upon the sleeping Lysander)
Weeds of Athens he doth wear;
this is he,
my master said,
despised the Athenian maid;
(He squeezes the juice on Lysander's
eyes.)
Churl, upon thy eyes I throw
all the power this charm doth owe.
So awake when I am gone;
for I must now to Oberon.

(Exit Puck.)

HERMIA
(in her sleep)
Amen, amen
to that fair prayer, say I.

(Enter Helena and Demetriud,
running)

HELENA
Stay, though thou kill me,
sweet Demetrius.

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

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

DEMETRIUS
Stay, on thy peril:
I alone will go.

(Running out)

HELENA
(following)
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;
for she hath blessed
and attractive eyes.
Alas, I am as ugly as a bear;
for beasts
that meet me
run away for fear;
(She sees Lysander.)
But who is here?
Lysander! on the ground!
Dead? or asleep?
I see no blood, no wound.
Lysander if you live,
good sir, awake.

LYSANDER
(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!

HELENA
Do not say so, Lysander;
say not so
what though he love your Hermia?
Lord, what though?
Yet 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;
who will not change a raven
for a dove?

HELENA
Wherefore was I to this keen
mockery born?
When at your hands did I deserve
this scorn?
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
(running out)
I thought you lord of more
true gentleness.

LYSANDER
She sees not Hermia.
Hermia, sleep thou there;
and never mayst thou come
Lysander near!
Sleep thou there;
and, all my powers,
address your love and might
To honour Helen
and to be her knight!

(running out)

HERMIA
(wakes up, calling)
Lysander, help me,
what a dream was here!
Lysander, look how I do quake
with fear;
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;
speak, of all loves!
I swoon almost with fear.
(running out)
Lysander, Lord...

(Enter Tytania, with Cobweb,
Peaseblossom, Mustardseed, Moth
and Fairies.)

TYTANIA
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.

SOLO FAIRIES
You spotted snakes
with double tongue,
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;

ALL FAIRIES
Lullaby,
never harm, nor spell nor charm,
come our lovely lady nigh;
so, good night, with lullaby.

SOLO FAIRIES
Weaving spiders, come not here
hence, you long-legg'd spinners,
hence!
Beetles black, approach not near;
worm nor snail, do no offence.
Philomel, with melody...

COBWEB
(whispered)
Hence, away! now all is well;
one aloof stand sentinel.

(Tytania sleeps. The Fairies, except
one standing sentry, slip out.
Oberon appears.)

OBERON
(squeezing the juice from the
flower onto Tytania's eyelids.)
What thou seest
when thou dost wake,
do it for thy true-love take,
love and languish for his sake;
be it ounce, or cat, or bear,
pard, or boar with bristled hair,
in thine eye that shall appear
when thou wakest, it is thy dear;
wake when some vile thing is near.

(He slowly disappears and the
ligjhts fade on the sleeping
Tytania.)








ACT II




Introduction

(The wood. Tytania lying asleep.
Enter the six rustics.)

BOTTOM
Are we all met?

THE OTHERS
Pat, pat, pat

QUINCE
And here's a marvellous convenient
place for our rehearsal.

BOTTOM
Peter Quince?

QUINCE
What sayest thou, bully Bottom?

BOTTOM
There are things in this comedy
that will never please.
First, Pyramus must draw
a sword to kill himself;
which the ladies cannot abide.

THE OTHERS
By'r lakin, a parlous fear.

FLUTE
I believe we must leave the
killing out, when all is done.

BOTTOM
Not a whit:
I have a device to make all well.
Write me a prologue;
tell them, that I,
Pyramus, am not Pyramus,
but Bottom the weaver:
this will put them out of fear.

SNUG
Will not the ladies be afeard
of the Lion?

THE OTHERS
The Lion.

FLUTE
I fear it, I promise you.

BOTTOM
Therefore another Prologue
must tell them plainly
he is not a Lion
but Snug the joiner.

QUINCE
But there is two hard things;
that is, to bring the moonlight
into a chamber; for, you know,
Pyramus and Thisby meet by moonlight.

STARVELING
Doth the moon shine that night
we play our play?

BOTTOM
A calendar,
look in the almanac;
find out moonshine.

THE OTHERS
Moonshine, moonshine.

QUINCE
Then, there is another thing:
we must have a wall
in the great chamber.

SNOUT
You can never bring in a wall.

ALL
What say you, Bottom?

BOTTOM
Some man or other must present Wall,
and let him hold his fingers thus,
and through that cranny shall
Pyramus and Thisby whisper.

THE OTHERS
Then all is well.

QUINCE
Come, sit down,
every mother's son,
and rehearse your parts,
every one according to his cue.
Pyramus, you begin.

(Puck flies in.)

PUCK
What hempen home-spuns
have we swaggering here,
so near the cradle
the fairy queen?

QUINCE
Speak, Pyramus.
Thisby, stand forth.

BOTTOM
Thisby, the flowers
of odious savours sweet...

QUINCE
Odours, odours.

BOTTOM
Odours savours sweet:
So hath thy breath,
my dearest Thisby dear.
But Hark, a voice!
stay thou but here awhile,
And by and by I will to thee appear.

(Exit Bottom)

PUCK
I'll follow you,
I'll lead you about a round.

(He follows Bottom)

FLUTE
Must I speak now?

QUINCE
Ay, marry, must you;
for you must understand
he goes but to see a noise
he heard and is to come again.

FLUTE
Most radiant Pyramus,
most lily-white of hue,
of colour like the red rose
on triumphant brier,
most brisky juvenal
and eke most lovely Jew,
as true as truest horse
that yet would never tire,
I'll meet thee, Pyramus,
at Ninny's tomb.

QUINCE:
Why, you must not speak that yet;
that you answer to Pyramo:
you speak all your part at once,
cues and all.
Pyramus enter:
your cue is past;
it is, 'never tire'.

FLUTE
O, as true as truest horse,
that yet would never tire.

(Enter Puck and Bottom with an
ass's head upon his shoulders.)

BOTTOM
If I were fair, Thisby,
I were only thine.

(Puck flies off.)

THE OTHERS
O monstrous! O strange!
we are haunted.
Pray, masters! fly, masters!
Help!

(Exeunt Quince, Snug, Flute, Snout,
and Starveling.)

BOTTOM
Why do they run away?
this is a knavery
to make me afeard.

(Flute reappears.)

FLUTE
O Bottom, Bottom,
thou art changed!
what do I see on thee?

(Exit Flute.)

BOTTOM:
What do you see?
you see an asshead of your own,
do you?

(The rustics reappear from behind
the trees.)

ALL
Bless thee, Bottom! bless thee!
thou art translated.

(They desappear.)

BOTTOM
I see their knavery:
this is to make an ass of me;
to fright me, if they could.
But I will not stir from this place,
and I will sing, that they shall hear
I am not afraid.
(Singing)
The woosell cock, so black of hue,
with orange-tawny bill,
the throstle with his note so true,
the wren with little quill,...

TYTANIA
(awaking)
What angel wakes me
from my flowery bed?

BOTTOM
The finch, the sparrow and the lark,
the plain-song cuckoo gray,
whose note full many a man doth mark,
and dares not answer nay.

TYTANIA
I pray thee, gentle mortal,
sing again:
Mine ear is much enamour'd
of thy note; so is mine eye
enthralled to thy shape;
thou art as wise as
thou art beautiful.

BOTTOM
Not so, neither:
but if I had wit enough to get out
of this wood...

TYTANIA
Out of this wood do not desire to go:
Thou shalt remain here,
whether thou wilt or no.
I am a spirit of no common rate;
the summer still doth tend
upon my state;
I'll give thee Fairies
to attend on thee;
Peaseblossom!

PEASEBLOSSOM
(enters.)
Ready

TYTANIA
Cobweb!

COBWEB
(enters.)
And I.

TYTANIA
Moth!

MOTH
(enters.)
And I.

TYTANIA
Mustardseed!

MUSTARDSEED
(enters.)
And I.

FOUR SOLO FAIRIES
Whre shall we go?

TYTANIA
Be kind and courteous
to this gentleman; hop in his walks
and gambol in his eyes;
feed him with apricocks
and dewberries,
with purple grapes, green figs,
and mulberries; the honey-bags
steal from the humble-bees,
and for night-tapers crop
their waxen thighs
and light them at the fiery
glow-worm's eyes,
to have my love to bed and to arise;
nod to him, elves,
and do him courtesies.

FOUR SOLO FAIRIES
(bow deeply to Bottom)
Hail, mortal, hail!

BOTTOM:
I cry your worship's mercy,
your mercy, heartily.

FOUR SOLO FAIRIES
Hail, mortal, hail!

BOTTOM
I cry your worship's mercy.
I beseech your worship's name.

COBWEB
Cobweb.
Hail, mortal, hail!

BOTTOM
I shall desire you
of more acquaintance,
good Master Cobweb.
Your name, honest gentleman?

PEASEBLOSSOM
Peaseblossom.
Hail, mortal, hail!

BOTTOM
I pray you, commend me
to Mistress Squash,
your mother,
and to Master Peascod, your father.
Your name,
I beseech you, sir?

MUSTARDSEED
Mustardseed.
Hail, mortal, hail!

FOUR SOLO FAIRIES
Hail, mortal, hail!

BOTTOM
Your kindred hath made
my eyes water ere now,
good master Mustardseed.
I desire you more acquaintance.
Your name, sir?

MOTH
(comes forward)
Mo...

TYTANIA
(interrupting)
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.

(Tytania and Bottom settle down
on the bank.)

BOTTOM
Where's Peaseblossom?

PEASEBLOSSOM
Ready.

(He goes to Bottom.)

BOTTOM
Scratch my head Peaseblossom.
(Peaseblossom scratches Bottom's
head.)
Where's Monsieur Cobweb?

COBWEB
Ready.

(He goes to Bottom.)

BOTTOM
Monsieur Cobweb,
get you your weapons in your hand,
and kill me a red-hipped humble-bee,
and good Monsieur,
bring me the honey-bag.
(Cobweb finds a bee, catches it and
takes the honey to Bottom.)
Where's Monsieur Mustard-seed?

MUSTARDSEED
Ready.

BOTTOM
Give me your neaf,
Monsieur Mustardseed.
(Mustardseed shakes his hand
violently.)
Pray you, leave your courtesy,
good Monsieur.

MUSTARDSEED
What's your will?

BOTTOM
Nothing, good monsieur,
but to help Cavalery Cobweb
to scratch.
(Mustardseed helps Cobweb to
scratch Bottom's head.)
I am such a tender ass,
if my hair do but tickle me,
I must scratch.
Where's Monsieur Moth?

MOTH
I'm he...

TYTANIA
What, wilt thou hear some music,
my sweet love?

BOTTOM
I have a reas'nable
good ear in music.
La la la la...
Let's have the tongs and the bones.
(The Fairies take their instruments
and start to play.)
Ah! Ah! I have a reas'nable
good ear in music.
(Bottom gets up and begins to
dance.)
La la la la!
(He yawns.)
But, I pray you,
let none of your people stir me:
I have an exposition
of sleep come upon me.

TYTANIA
Sleep thou, and I will
wind thee in my arms.
Fairies, begone,
and be all ways away.
(The Fairies disappear.)
So doth the woodbine
the sweet honeysuckle
gently entwist;
the female ivy so enrings
the barky fingers of the elm.
How I love thee!
how I dote on thee!

(They sleep, and it grows dark.
Enter Oberon and Puck.)

OBERON
How now, mad spirit!
What night-rule now
about this haunted grove?

PUCK
See, see, my mistress
with a monster is in love.

OBERON
This falls out better than
I could devise.
But hast thou yet latch'd
the Athenian's eyes
with the love-juice,
as I did bid thee do?
(Enter Hermia and Demetrius.)
Stand close:
this is the same Athenian.

PUCK
This is the woman,
but not this the man.

(Oberon and Puck listen.)

DEMETRIUS
O, why rebuke you him
that loves you so?

HERMIA
If thou hast slain Lysander
in his sleep,
plunge in the deep,
and kill me too.
Ah, good Demetrius,
wilt thou give him me?

DEMETRIUS
I had rather give
his carcass to my hounds.

HERMIA
Out, dog, out, cur,
oh hast thou slain him, then?

DEMETRIUS
I am not guilty
of Lysander's blood.

HERMIA
I pray thee,
tell me then that he is well.

DEMETRIUS
An if I could,
what should I get therefore?

HERMIA
A privilege never to see me more.
And from thy hated presence part
I so. See me no more,
whether he be dead or no.

(Exit.)

DEMETRIUS
There is no following her
in this fierce vein:
Here therefore for a while
I will remain.
So sorrow's heaviness
doth heavier grow

(He lies down.)

OBERON
What hast thou done?
thou hast mistaken quite
and laid the love-juice
on some true-love's sight:
About the wood go swifter
than the wind,
and Helena of Athens look thou find.

PUCK
I go, I go; look how I go,
swifter than arrow
from the Tartar's bow.

(He flies off.)

OBERON
Flower of this purple dye,
hit with Cupid's archery,
sink in apple of his eye.
When his love he doth espy,
let her shine as gloriously
as the Venus of the sky.
When thou wakest, if she be by,
beg of her for remedy.

(Puck flies in.)

PUCK
Captain of our fairy band,
Helena is here at hand;
and the youth,
mistook by me,
shall we their fond pageant see?
Lord, what fools these mortals be!

(Enter Helena, Lysander following.
Oberon and Puck stand aside.)

LYSANDER
Why should you think that
I should woo in scorn?

HELENA
These vows are Hermia's.
Will you give her o'er?

LYSANDER
I had no judgment when to her
I swore.

HELENA
Nor none, in my mind,
now you give her o'er.

LYSANDER
Demetrius loves her,
and he loves not you.

(Demetrius awakes.)

DEMETRIUS
O Helena, goddess, nymph,
perfect, divine!
To what, my love,
shall I compare thine eyne?
Crystal is muddy.
O, how ripe in show thy lips,
those kissing cherries,
tempting grow!
That pure congealed white,
high Taurus' snow,
fann'd with the eastern wind,
turns to a crow when thou hold'st up
thy hand: O, let me kiss
this princess of pure white,
this seal of bliss!
O Helen!

HELENA
O spite!

DEMETRIUS
Goddess!

HELENA
O Hell!

DEMETRIUS
Nymph, perfect, divine!

HELENA
I see you all are bent
To set against me
for your merriment.

DEMETRIUS
(To Lysander)
Look, where thy love comes;
yonder is thy dear.

HERMIA
(entering)
Ah, Lysander,
why unkindly didst
thou leave me so?

HELENA
Injurious Hermia!
most ungrateful maid!
Have you conspired,
have you with these contrived
to bait me with this foul derision?
Is all the counsel that
we two have shared,
the sisters' vows,
the hours that we have spent,
when we have chid
the hasty-footed time
for parting us, O, is it all forgot?
All school-days' friendship,
childhood innocence?
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
have with our needles created
both one flower,
both on one sampler,
sitting on one cushion,
both warbling of one song,
both in one key;
two lovely berries moulded
on one stem;
so, with two seeming bodies,
but one heart;
and will you rent
our ancient love asunder,
to join with men
in scorning your poor friend?
It is not friendly,
'tis not maidenly:

HERMIA
I am amazed
at your passionate words.
I scorn you not:
it seems that you scorn me.

HELENA
Ay, do, persever,
counterfeit sad looks,
make mouths upon me when
I turn my back;
wink each at other;
hold the sweet jest up:
(as if going)
But fare ye well:
'tis partly my own fault;
which death or absence
soon shall remedy.

LYSANDER
Stay, gentle Helena;
hear my excuse:
My love, my life my soul,
fair Helena!

HELENA
O excellent!

HERMIA
(to Lysander)
Sweet, do not scorn her so.

DEMETRIUS
If she cannot entreat,
I can compel.

LYSANDER
Thou canst compel no more
than she entreat:

DEMETRIUS
I say I love thee more
than he can do.

LYSANDER
If thou say so, withdraw,
and prove it too.

DEMETRIUS
Quick, come!

HERMIA
(holds Lysander)
Lysander,
whereto tends all this?

LYSANDER
Away, you Ethiope!

DEMETRIUS
No, no; sir, seem to break loose;
You are a tame man, go!

LYSANDER
Hang off, thou cat, thou burr!
vile thing, let loose,
or I will shake thee
from me like a serpent!

HERMIA
Why are you grown so rude?
what change is this? Sweet love?

DEMETRIUS
Seems to break loose;
take on as you would follow.

LYSANDER
Thy love!
out, tawny Tartar, out!

HERMIA
Sweet love.

DEMETRIUS
You are a tame man, go!

LYSANDER
Out, loathed medicine!
hated potion, hence!

HERMIA
Do you not jest?

HELENA
Yes, sooth; and so do you.

LYSANDER
Demetrius, I will keep
my word with thee.

DEMETRIUS
I would I had your bond;
I'll not trust your word.

LYSANDER
What, should I hurt her,
strike her, kill her dead?
Although I hate her,
I'll not harm her so.

HERMIA
What, can you do me
greater harm than hate?
Am not I Hermia?
are not you Lysander?
(To Helena)
O me! you juggler!
you canker-blossom!
You thief of love!

DEMETRIUS
Lysander, keep thy Hermia;
I will none:
If e'er I loved her,
all that love is gone.

LYSANDER
Ay, by my life;
be certain 'tis no jest,
That I do hate thee and love Helena.

HELENA
You both are rivals,
and love Hermia;
And now both rivals,
to mock
(furious to Hermia)
Fie, fie! you counterfeit,
you puppet, you!

HERMIA
Puppet? why so?
ay, that way goes the game.
Now I perceive that
she hath made compare
between our statures;
she hath urged her height;
and with her personage,
her tall personage,
her height, forsooth,
she hath prevail'd with him.
And are you grown so high
in his esteem;
because I am so dwarfish and so low?
How low am I,
thou painted Maypole? speak;
How low am I? I am not yet so low
but that my nails can reach
unto thine eyes.

HELENA
I pray you, though you mock me,
gentlemen, let her not hurt me;
you may perhaps think,
because she is something lower
than myself,
that I can match her.

HERMIA
Lower? Lower?
Hark, again!

HELENA
O, when she's angry,
she is keen and shrewd!
She was a vixen when
she went to school;
and though she be but little,
she is fierce...

HERMIA
Little again!

HELENA
...she is fierce.

HERMIA
Nothing but low and little?

HELENA
Get you gone, you dwarf.

HERMIA
Hark again!

HELENA
You minimus,
of hindering knot-grass made.

HERMIA
(to Lysander)
Why will you suffer her
to flout me thus?

HELENA
You bead!

HERMIA
Hark again!

HELENA
You acorn!

HERMIA
Let me come to her!

HELENA
You bead!

HERMIA
Why will you suffer her to flout me?

HELENA
Get you gone, you dwarf.

LYSANDER
Be not afraid;
she shall not harm thee, Helena.

DEMETRIUS
No, sir, she shall not,
though you take her part.

LYSANDER
You are too officious
in her behalf that scorns
your services.

DEMETRIUS
Let her alone: speak not of Helena.

LYSANDER
Now follow, if thou darest.

DEMETRIUS
Nay, I'll go with thee,
cheek by jowl...

LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS
...to try whose right,
or thine or mine is most in Helena.

(Exeunt Lysander and Demetrius.)

HELENA, HERMIA
You, mistress,
all this coil is 'long of you.

HERMIA
Nay, go not back.

HELENA
I will not trust you, I...

HELENA, HERMIA
...Nor longer stay
in your curst company.

HERMIA
Nay, go not back.

HELENA
Your hands than mine are quicker
for a fray,
my legs are longer though,
to run away.

(Helena goes out, followed by
Hermia. Oberon comes forward in a
rage, dragging Puck.)

PUCK
Ow! Oh! Ow!

OBERON
This is thy negligence:
still thou mistakest,
or else committ'st
thy knaveries wilfully.

PUCK
Believe me, king of shadows,
I mistook...
(Oberon shakes him.)
I mistook... Ah!

OBERON
Thou see'st these lovers seek
a place to fight:
hie therefore, Robin,
overcast the night;
and lead these testy rivals so astray
as one come not within
another's way.
Till o'er their brows
death-counterfeiting sleep
with leaden legs
and batty wings doth creep:
then crush this herb
into Lysander's eye;
when they next wake,
all this derision
shall seem a dream
and fruitless vision,
haste, Robin, haste;
make no delay:
we may effect this business
yet ere day.

(Oberon goes out)

PUCK
Up and down, up and down,
I will lead them up and down:
I am fear'd in field and town:
Goblin, lead them up and down.
Up and down, up and down,
Here comes one.

LYSANDER
(Enters, calling)
Where art thou, proud Demetrius?
speak thou now.

PUCK
(imitating Demetrius)
Here, villain;
drawn and ready.
Where art thou?
Follow me,
then to plainer ground.

DEMETRIUS
(calling)
Lysander! speak again:
Thou runaway, thou coward,
art thou fled?

PUCK
(imitating Lysander)
Art bragging to the stars
and wilt not come?

DEMETRIUS
Yea, art thou there?

PUCK
Follow my voice:
we'll try no manhood here.

(Exeunt. Enter Lysander.)

LYSANDER
He goes before me
and still dares me on:

PUCK
(distant)
Lysander!

LYSANDER
When I come where he calls,
then he is gone.
And I am I fall'n
in dark uneven way,
and here will rest me.
Come, thou gentle day!
(He lies down.)
For if but once thou show me
thy grey light,
I'll find Demetrius
and revenge this spite.

(He sleeps. Enter Puck.)

PUCK
Ho, ho!
Coward, why comest thou not?

DEMETRIUS
(calling in off)
Abide me, if thou darest.
Where art thou now?

PUCK
Come hither: I am here.

(Enter Demetrius)

DEMETRIUS
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
to measure out my length
on this cold bed.
(He lies down.)
By day's approach look
to be visited.

(He sleeps. Enter Helena.)

HELENA
O weary night,
o long and tedious night,
abate thy hours! Shine comforts
from the east, and sleep,
that sometimes
shuts up sorrow's eye,
steal me awhile
from mine own company.

(She sleeps.)

PUCK
Yet but three? Come one more;
two of both kinds make up four.
(Enter Hermia.)
Here she comes,
curst and sad:
Cupid is a knavish lad,
thus to make poor females mad.

HERMIA
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!

(She sleeps. The Fairies come in
very stealthily.)

FAIRIES
On the ground, sleep sound:
he'll apply to your eye,
gentle lover, remedy.
When thou wakest, thou takest
true delight in the sight
of thy former lady's eye:
and the country proverb known,
in your waking shall be shown:
Jack shall have Jill;
nought shall go ill;
the man shall have his mare again,
and all shall be well.

(Exeunt Fairies. Puck squeezes the
juice on Lysander's eyes and goes
out.)










ACT III




Introduction

(The wood, early next morning.
Tytania with Bottom, and the four
lovers lie asleep. Puck and Oberon
appear.)

OBERON
(observing Tytania)
My gentle Robin;
see'st thou this sweet sight?
Her dotage now I do begin to pity.
And now I have the boy,
I will undo
this hateful imperfection
of her eyes:
Be as thou wast wont to be;
see as thou wast wont to see:
Dian's bud o'er Cupid's flower
hath such force and blessed power.
Be as thou wast wont to be;
now, my Tytania; wake you,
my sweet queen.

(Tytania wakes.)

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

OBERON
There lies your love.

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

OBERON
Silence awhile.
Robin, take off this head.
Tytania, music call;
and strike more dead than common
sleep of all these five the sense.

(Puck removes the ass's head.)

TYTANIA
Music, ho! music,
such as charmeth sleep!

(Enter some Fairies.)

OBERON
Sound, music! Come, my queen,
take hands with me,
and rock the ground whereon
these sleepers be.
(They dance.)
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.
There shall the pairs
of faithful lovers be wedded,
with Theseus, all in jollity.

PUCK
Fairy king, attend, and mark:
I do hear the morning lark.

(He disappears. Oberon, Tytania
and the Fairies disappear, still
dancing. Distant horns.)

DEMETRIUS
(waking)
Helena!

LYSANDER
(waking)
Hermia!

HELENA
(waking)
Demetrius!

HERMIA
(waking)
Lysander!

ALL FOUR
We are awake!

HELENA
And I have found Demetrius
like a jewel, mine own,
and not mine own.

DEMETRIUS
And I have found fair Helen
like a jewel, mine own,
and not mine own.

HERMIA
And I have found Lysander
like a jewel,
mine own, and not mine own.

LYSANDER
And I have found sweet Hermia
like a jewel,
mine own, and not mine own.

ALL FOUR
Why then we are awake; let's go
And by the way let us recount
our dreams.

(The lovers go out.)

BOTTOM
(slowly waking)
When my cue comes,
call me, and I will answer:
my next is, 'Most fair Pyramus.'
Heigh-ho! Peter Quince! Flute,
the bellows-mender?
Snout, the tinker? Starveling?
God's my life, stolen hence,
and left me asleep!
I have had a dream, past the wit
of man to say what dream it was.
Methought I was,
there is no man can tell what.
Methought I was,
and methought I had.
But man is but a patched fool,
if he will offer to say
what methought I had.
The eye of man hath not heard,
the ear of man hath not seen,
man's hand is not able to taste,
his tongue to conceive,
nor his heart to report,
what my dream was. My dream!
I will get Peter Quince
the carpenter to write
a ballad of this dream,
and it shall be called
Bottom's Dream,
because it hath no Bottom;
and I will sing it
in the latter end of a play,
before the duke.
Peradventure,
to make it the more gracious,
I shall sing it at her death.

(Exit. Enter Quince, Flute, Snout
and Starveling, gloomily.)

QUINCE
Have you sent to Bottom's house?
is he come home yet?

STARVELING
He cannot be heard of.
Out of doubt he is transported.

FLUTE
If he come not,
then the play is marred:
it goes not forward, doth it?

STARVELING
It is not possible:
you have not a man in all
Athens able to discharge
Pyramus but he.

SNOUT
No, he hath simply the best
wit of any handicraft man in Athens.

QUINCE:
Yes, and the best person too.

(Enter Snug.)

SNUG
Masters, the duke is coming
from the temple.
If our sport had gone forward,
we had all been made men.

FLUTE
sweet bully Bottom!
Thus hath he lost
sixpence a day during his life;
he could not have
'scaped sixpence a day:
an the duke had not given him
sixpence a day for playing Pyramus,
I'll be hanged;
he would have deserved it:
sixpence a day in Pyramus,
or nothing.

SNOUT
He could not have scaped it.

QUINCE
Sixpence.

STARVELING
He could not have scaped it.

QUINCE, SNOUT, STARVELING
Sixpence or nothing a day.

SNUG:
He could not have scaped it.

BOTTOM
(entering)
Where are these lads?

THE OTHERS
Bottom!

BOTTOM:
Where are these hearts?

THE OTHERS
most courageous day! Bottom!

BOTTOM:
Masters,
I am to discourse wonders:
but ask me not what.

THE OTHERS
Let us hear, sweet Bottom.

BOTTOM:
Not a word of me.
All that I will tell you is,
that the duke hath dined
and our play is preferred.

THE OTHERS
Our play is preferred.
Most dear actors get
your apparel together,
good strings to your beards,
new ribbons to your pumps;
and every man look o'er his part.
Let Thisby have clean linen;
let not the lion
pare his nails;
eat no onions no garlic,
no onions,
that all may say:
It is a sweet comedy.

BOTTOM:
No more words,
no more words.

THE OTHERS
It is a sweet comedy

BOTTOM
(pushes them out)
To the Palace, go, away.

THE OTHERS
It is a sweet comedy.

BOTTOM
Go, go away, go!

(They all leave excitedly. The
lights go down on the wood and
up again in Theseus' palace. Enter
Theseus and Hippolyta with their
court.)

Orchestral March

THESEUS
Now, fair Hippolyta,
our nuptial hour draws on apace;
this happy day bring in
Another moon:
but, O, methinks, how slow
this old moon wanes!
she lingers my desires,
like to a step-dame or a dowager
long withering out
a young man's revennew.

HIPPOLYTA
This day will quickly steep
itself in night;
This night 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.

THESEUS
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.

(Enter Lysander, Demetrius, Helena
and Hermia. They kneel to Theseus)

ALL FOUR
Pardon, my Lord.

THESEUS
I pray you all stand up.
(They rise.)
I know you two
are rival enemies:
How comes this gentle concord
in the world?

LYSANDER
My lord, I shall reply amazedly,
I went with Hermia hither:
our intent was to be gone
from Athens, where we might,
without the peril
of the Athenian law.

DEMETRIUS
My lord, fair Helen told me
of their stealth,
of this their purpose hither
to this wood;
and I in fury hither follow'd them,
Fair Helena in fancy following me.
But, my good lord...

THESEUS
Fair lovers,
of this discourse
we more will hear anon.
Hermia, I will overbear
your father's will;
for in the temple by and by with us
These couples shall eternally
be knit.

THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA
Joy, gentle friends!
Joy and fresh days of love
accompany your hearts!

(The lovers embrace.)

THESEUS
Come now; what masques,
what dances shall we have,
To wear away this long age
of three hours
between our after-supper,
and bed-time?

(Enter Quince with play bill. He
hands it to Hippolyta and bows.)

HIPPOLYTA
(reading)
A tedious brief scene
of young Pyramus
and his love Thisby;
very tragical mirth.

DEMETRIUS
Merry and tragical?
tedious and brief?

LYSANDER
That is, hot ice
and wondrous strange snow.

THESEUS
What are they that do play it?

HIPPOLYTA
Hard-handed men
that work in Athens here,
which never labour'd
in their minds till now.

THESEUS
I will hear that play.
(Exit Quince.)
For never anything can be amiss,
when simpleness
and duty tender it.
Take your places, ladies.

(Enter the rustics.)

RUSTICS
If we offend,
it is with our good will.
That you should think,
we come not to offend,
but with good will.
To show our simple skill,
that is the true beginning
of our end.
Consider then we come
but in despite.
We do not come
as minding to content you,
our true intent is.
All for your delight
we are not here.
That you should here repent you,
the actors are at hand
and by their show you shall know
all that you are like to know.

THESEUS
This fellow doth not stand
upon points.

HIPPOLYTA
Their speech was like
a tangled chain,
nothing impaired,
but all disordered.

LYSANDER
They hath rid his prologue
like a rough colt;
they knows not the stop.

DEMETRIUS
Indeed they hath played
on his prologue like
a child on a recorder.

HELENA
A sound, but not in government.

HERMIA
It is not enough to speak,
but to speak true.

PROLOGUE (Quince)
Gentles... Gentles...

THESEUS
Who is next?

PROLOGUE
Gentles, perchance you wonder
at this show; but wonder on,
till truth make all things plain.
This man is Pyramus,
if you would know;
this beauteous lady
Thisby is certain.
This man, with lime and rough-cast,
doth present Wall,
that vile Wall which did
these lovers sunder;
this man, with lanthorn, dog,
and bush of thorn,
presenteth Moonshine;
this grisly beast,
is Lion hight by name.
For all the rest,
let Lion, Moonshine, Wall,
and lovers twain at large discourse,
while here they do remain.

(Exeunt all but Wall.)

HELENA
I wonder if the lion be to speak.

DEMETRIUS
No wonder, my lord:
one lion may,
when many asses do.

WALL (Snout)
In this same interlude
it doth befall that I,
one Snout by name, present a wall;
and such a wall,
as I would have you think,
that had in it
a crannied hole or chink,
(He holds up two fingers.)
And this the cranny is,
right and sinister,
through which
the fearful lovers are to whisper.

HERMIA
Would you desire lime
and hair to sing better?

LYSANDER
It is the wittiest partition
that ever I heard discourse.

THESEUS
Pyramus draws near the wall:
silence!

(Enter Pyramus.)

PYRAMUS
(Bottom)
Grim-look'd night!
O night with hue so black! night,
which ever art when day is not!
night, O night!
alack, alack, alack,
I fear my Thisby's
promise is forgot!
And thou, o wall, o sweet,
o lovely wall,
that stand'st between her father's
ground and mine!
Thou wall, o wall,
o sweet and lovely wall,
show me thy chink,
to blink through with mine eye!
Thanks, courteous wall:
Jove shield thee well for this!
But what see I? No Thisby do I see.
Wicked wall, through whom
I see no bliss!
Cursed be thy stones
for thus deceiving me!

THESEUS
The wall, methinks,
being sensible,
should curse again.

BOTTOM
(to theseus)
No, in truth, sir, he should not.
"Deceiving me" is Thisby's cue;
yonder she comes.

(Enter Thisby.)

THISBY
(Flute)
Wall, full often hast
thou heard my moans,
for parting my fair Pyramus and me!
My cherry lips have often
kiss'd thy stones,
thy stones with lime
and hair knit up in thee.

PYRAMUS
I see a voice:
now will I to the chink,
to spy an I can hear
my Thisby's face. Thisby!

THISBY
My love thou art, my love I think.

PYRAMUS
Think what thou wilt,
I am thy lover's grace.

THISBY
My love thou art, my love I think.

PYRAMUS
Think what thou wilt:
O, kiss me through the hole
of this vile wall!
kiss me.

(They kiss.)

THISBY
I kiss the wall's hole,
not your lips at all.

PYRAMUS
Oh, wilt thou at Ninny's tomb
meet me straightway?

(Exit.)

THISBY
'Tide life, tide death,
I come without delay.

(Exit.)

WALL
Thus have I, Wall,
my part discharged so;
and, being done,
thus Wall away doth go,
away, away, away doth go.

(Exit.)

HIPPOLYTA
This is the silliest stuff
that ever I heard.

THESEUS
The best in this kind are
but shadows;
and the worst are no worse,
if imagination amend them.
Here come two noble beasts in,
a man and a lion.

(Enter Lion and Moonshine.)

LION (Snug)
You, ladies, you,
whose gentle hearts do fear,
the smallest monstrous mouse
that creeps on floor,
should know that I,
one Snug the joiner, am a lion-fell,
nor else no lion's dam.

HERMIA
A very gentle beast,
and of a good conscience.

DEMETRIUS
The very best at a beast
that e'er I saw.

THESEUS
But let us listen to the Moon.

MOONSHINE
(Starveling)
This lanthorn doth
the horned moon present.

LYSANDER
He should have worn
the horns on his head.

MOONSHINE
I, myself the man i' th'
Moon do seem to be.

THESEUS
The man should be put
into the lanthorn.
How is it else the man i'th' Moon?

MOONSHINE
This lanthorn doth the horn...

DEMETRIUS
He dares not come there
for the candle.

THESEUS
Proceed Moon.

MOONSHINE
All I have o tell you
that this lanthorn is the moon;
I, the man i'th' Moon;
this thorn-bush,
my thorn-bush;
and this dog, my dog.

HIPPOLYTA
I am weary of this moon:
would he would change!

ALL
But silence; here comes Thisby.

(Enter Thisby.)

THISBY
This is old Ninny's tomb.
Where is my love?

LION
Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!

(Lion chases Thisby out. She drops
her mantle.)

DEMETRIUS
Well roared, Lion.

THESEUS
Well run, Thisby.

LYSANDER
Well moused, Lion.

HIPPOLYTA
Well run, Thisby.

HELENA
Well shone, Moon.

(Enter Pyramus.)

PYRAMUS
Sweet Moon,
I thank thee for thy sunny beams;
I thank thee, Moon,
for shining now so bright;
but stay, O spite!
But mark, poor knight,
what dreadful dole is here?
Eyes, do you see?
How can it be!
dainty duck! O dear!
Thy mantle good,
what, stain'd with blood!
Approach, ye Furies fell!
Fates, come, come,
cut thread and thrum;
quail, crush, conclude, and quell!

HIPPOLYTA
Beshrew my heart,
but I pity the man.

PYRAMUS
wherefore, Nature,
didst thou lions frame?
Since lion vile hath here
deflower'd my dear which is:
no, no, which was the fairest dame
that lived, that loved, that liked,
that look'd with cheer.
Come, tears, confound;
out, sword, and wound
the pap of Pyramus;
thus die I, thus, thus, thus.
Now am I dead,
now am I fled;
my soul is in the sky:
tongue, lose thy light;
Moon take thy flight:
(Exit Moonshine.)
Now die, die, die, die, die.

(He dies.)

DEMETRIUS
With the help of a surgeon
he might yet recover,
and prove an ass.

(Enter Thisby.)

THESEUS
Here Thisby comes,
and her passion ends the play.

HIPPOLYTA
I hope she will be brief.

THISBY
Asleep, my love?
What, dead, my dove?
Pyramus, arise!
Speak, speak. Quite dumb?
Dead, dead? A tomb
must cover thy sweet eyes.
These lily lips, this cherry nose,
these yellow cowslip cheeks,
are gone, are gone:
Lovers, make moan:
His eyes were green as leeks.
Tongue, not a word:
Come, trusty sword;
come, blade, my breast imbrue:
And, farewell, friends;
thus Thisby ends:
(She stabs herself.)
Adieu, adieu, adieu.

THESEUS
Moonshine and Lion are left
to bury the dead.

LYSANDER
Ay, and Wall too.

BOTTOM
(raising himself)
No, I assure you;
the wall is down that
parted their fathers.
(Bottom and Flute get up.)
Will it please you
to see the epilogue,
or to hear a Bergomask dance?

THESEUS
No epilogue,
I pray you;
for your play needs no excuse.
Come, your Bergomask:

(The other Rustics come in and
arrange themselves for the dance.
They dance. Midnight sounds. The
rustics stop dancing, bow deeply to
the Duke. Hippolyta and the court,
and leave. The others rise.)

THESEUS
The iron tongue
of midnight hath told twelve:
Lovers, to bed;
'tis almost fairy time.
I fear we shall out-sleep
the coming morn as much as
we this night have overwatch'd.
Sweet friends, to bed.

ALL
Sweet friends, to bed.

(Enter Cobweb, Mustarseed,
Peaseblossom, and Moth.)

FOUR SOLO FAIRIES
Now the hungry lion roars,
and the wolf behowls the moon;
whilst the heavy ploughman snores,
all with weary task fordone.
Now the wasted brands do glow,
whilst the screech-owl,
screeching loud,
puts the wretch
that lies in woe
in remembrance of a shroud.
Now it is the time of night
that the graves all gaping wide,
every one lets forth his sprite,
in the church-way paths to glide:
And we fairies, that do run
by the triple Hecate's team,
from the presence of the sun,
following darkness like a dream,
now are frolic:
not a mouse shall disturb
this hallow'd house.

(Puck arrives with a broom and
chases the Fairies.)

PUCK
I am sent with broom before,
to sweep the dust
behind the door.

(Oberon and Tytania and the other
Fairies appear.)

OBERON
Through the house give
glimmering light,
every elf and fairy sprite
sing this ditty, after me,
sing, and dance it trippingly.

TYTANIA
First, rehearse your song by rote
to each word
a warbling note.

BOTH
Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
Will we sing, and bless this place.

OBERON, TYTANIA, FAIRIES
Now, until the break of day,
through this house each fairy stray.
To the best bride-bed will we,
which by us shall blessed be;
and the issue there create
ever shall be fortunate.
So shall all the couples three
ever true in loving be.
With this field-dew consecrate,
every fairy take his gait;
and each several chamber bless,
through this palace,
with sweet peace;
ever shall in safety rest,
and the owner of it blest.

OBERON
Trip away; make no stay;
meet me all by break of day.

(Exeunt all but Puck.)

PUCK
If we shadows have offended,
think but this,
and all is mended,
that you have but slumber'd here
while these visions did appear.
Gentles, do not reprehend:
If you pardon,
we will mend:
Else the Puck a liar call;
so, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands,
if we be friends,
and Robin shall restore amends.

(He claps his hands.)






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