Enter a FAIRY at one door
and ROBIN GOODFELLOW [PUCK]
1 How now, spirit! whither wander you?
Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere,
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:
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favors,
In those freckles live their savors.
14 I must go seek some dewdrops here
15 And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
16 Farewell, thou lob of spirits; I'll be gone:
17 Our queen and all our elves come here anon.
18 The king doth keep his revels here tonight:
19 Take heed the queen come not within his sight;
20 For Oberon is passing fell and wrath,
21 Because that she as her attendant hath
22 A lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king;
23 She never had so sweet a changeling;
24 And jealous Oberon would have the child
25 Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild;
26 But she perforce withholds the loved boy,
27 Crowns him with flowers and makes him all her joy.
28 And now they never meet in grove or green,
29 By fountain clear, or spangled starlight sheen,
30 But, they do square, that all their elves for fear
31 Creep into acorn-cups and hide them there.
32 Either I mistake your shape and making quite,
33 Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite
34 Call'd Robin Goodfellow: are not you he
35 That frights the maidens of the villagery;
36 Skim milk, and sometimes labor in the quern
37 And bootless make the breathless huswife churn;
38 And sometime make the drink to bear no barm;
39 Mislead night-wanderers, laughing at their harm?
40 Those that Hobgoblin call you and sweet Puck,
41 You do their work, and they shall have good luck:
42 Are not you he?
42 Thou speak'st aright;
43 I am that merry wanderer of the night.
44 I jest to Oberon and make him smile
45 When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
46 Neighing in likeness of a filly foal:
47 And sometime lurk I in a gossip's bowl,
48 In very likeness of a roasted crab,
49 And when she drinks, against her lips I bob
50 And on her wither'd dewlap pour the ale.
51 The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale,
52 Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me;
53 Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,
54 And "tailor" cries, and falls into a cough;
55 And then the whole quire hold their hips and laugh,
56 And waxen in their mirth and neeze and swear
57 A merrier hour was never wasted there.
58 But, room, fairy! here comes Oberon.
59 And here my mistress. Would that he were gone!
Enter the King of Fairies [OBERON]
at one door with his TRAIN, and the
Queen [TITANIA] at another with hers.
60 Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania.
61 What, jealous Oberon! Fairies, skip hence:
62 I have forsworn his bed and company.
63 Tarry, rash wanton: am not I thy lord?
64 Then I must be thy lady: but I know
65 When thou hast stolen away from fairy land,
66 And in the shape of Corin sat all day,
67 Playing on pipes of corn and versing love
68 To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here,
69 Come from the farthest steep of India?
70 But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon,
71 Your buskin'd mistress and your warrior love,
72 To Theseus must be wedded, and you come
73 To give their bed joy and prosperity.
74 How canst thou thus for shame, Titania,
75 Glance at my credit with Hippolyta,
76 Knowing I know thy love to Theseus?
77 Didst thou not lead him through the glimmering night
78 From Perigenia, whom he ravished?
79 And make him with fair Aegles break his faith,
80 With Ariadne and Antiopa?
81 These are the forgeries of jealousy:
82 And never, since the middle summer's spring,
83 Met we on hill, in dale, forest or mead,
84 By paved fountain or by rushy brook,
85 Or in the beached margent of the sea,
86 To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind,
87 But with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our sport.
88 Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,
89 As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea
90 Contagious fogs; which falling in the land
91 Have every pelting river made so proud
92 That they have overborne their continents:
93 The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain,
94 The ploughman lost his sweat, and the green corn
95 Hath rotted ere his youth attain'd a beard;
96 The fold stands empty in the drowned field,
97 And crows are fatted with the murrion flock;
98 The nine men's morris is fill'd up with mud,
99 And the quaint mazes in the wanton green
100 For lack of tread are undistinguishable:
101 The human mortals want their winter here;
102 No night is now with hymn or carol blest:
103 Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
104 Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
105 That rheumatic diseases do abound:
106 And thorough this distemperature we see
107 The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
108 Far in the fresh lap of the crimson rose,
109 And on old Hiems' thin and icy crown
110 An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds
111 Is, as in mockery, set: the spring, the summer,
112 The childing autumn, angry winter, change
113 Their wonted liveries, and the mazed world,
114 By their increase, now knows not which is which:
115 And this same progeny of evils comes
116 From our debate, from our dissension;
117 We are their parents and original.
118 Do you amend it then; it lies in you:
119 Why should Titania cross her Oberon?
120 I do but beg a little changeling boy,
121 To be my henchman.
121 Set your heart at rest:
122 The fairy land buys not the child of me.
123 His mother was a votaress of my order:
124 And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,
125 Full often hath she gossip'd by my side,
126 And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands,
127 Marking the embarked traders on the flood,
128 When we have laugh'd to see the sails conceive
129 And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind;
130 Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait
131 Following,her womb then rich with my young squire,
132 Would imitate, and sail upon the land,
133 To fetch me trifles, and return again,
134 As from a voyage, rich with merchandise.
135 But she, being mortal, of that boy did die;
136 And for her sake do I rear up her boy,
137 And for her sake I will not part with him.
138 How long within this wood intend you stay?
139 Perchance till after Theseus' wedding-day.
140 If you will patiently dance in our round
141 And see our moonlight revels, go with us;
142 If not, shun me, and I will spare your haunts.
143 Give me that boy, and I will go with thee.
144 Not for thy fairy kingdom. Fairies, away!
145 We shall chide downright, if I longer stay.
Exeunt [TITANIA with her TRAIN].
146 Well, go thy way: thou shalt not from this grove
147 Till I torment thee for this injury.
148 My gentle Puck, come hither. Thou rememberest
149 Since once I sat upon a promontory,
150 And heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back
151 Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath
152 That the rude sea grew civil at her song
153 And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,
154 To hear the sea-maid's music.
154 I remember.
155 That very time I saw, but thou couldst not,
156 Flying between the cold moon and the earth,
157 Cupid all arm'd: a certain aim he took
158 At a fair vestal throned by the west,
159 And loosed his love-shaft smartly from his bow,
160 As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts;
161 But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft
162 Quench'd in the chaste beams of the watery moon,
163 And the imperial votaress passed on,
164 In maiden meditation, fancy-free.
165 Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell:
166 It fell upon a little western flower,
167 Before milk-white, now purple with love's wound,
168 And maidens call it love-in-idleness.
169 Fetch me that flower; the herb I shew'd thee once:
170 The juice of it on sleeping eye-lids laid
171 Will make or man or woman madly dote
172 Upon the next live creature that it sees.
173 Fetch me this herb; and be thou here again
174 Ere the leviathan can swim a league.
175 I'll put a girdle round about the earth
176 In forty minutes.
176 Having once this juice,
177 I'll watch Titania when she is asleep,
178 And drop the liquor of it in her eyes.
179 The next thing then she waking looks upon,
180 Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,
181 On meddling monkey, or on busy ape,
182 She shall pursue it with the soul of love:
183 And ere I take this charm from off her sight,
184 As I can take it with another herb,
185 I'll make her render up her page to me.
186 But who comes here? I am invisible;
187 And I will overhear their conference.
Enter DEMETRIUS, HELENA
188 I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.
189 Where is Lysander and fair Hermia?
190 The one I'll slay, the other slayeth me.
191 Thou told'st me they were stolen unto this wood;
192 And here am I, and wode within this wood,
193 Because I cannot meet my Hermia.
194 Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more.
195 You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant;
196 But yet you draw not iron, for my heart
197 Is true as steel: leave you your power to draw,
198 And I shall have no power to follow you.
199 Do I entice you? do I speak you fair?
200 Or, rather, do I not in plainest truth
201 Tell you, I do not, nor I cannot love you?
202 And even for that do I love you the more.
203 I am your spaniel; and, Demetrius,
204 The more you beat me, I will fawn on you:
205 Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me,
206 Neglect me, lose me; only give me leave,
207 Unworthy as I am, to follow you.
208 What worser place can I beg in your love,
209 And yet a place of high respect with me,
210 Than to be used as you use your dog?
211 Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit;
212 For I am sick when I do look on thee.
213 And I am sick when I look not on you.
214 You do impeach your modesty too much,
215 To leave the city and commit yourself
216 Into the hands of one that loves you not;
217 To trust the opportunity of night
218 And the ill counsel of a desert place
219 With the rich worth of your virginity.
220 Your virtue is my privilege. For that
221 It is not night when I do see your face,
222 Therefore I think I am not in the night;
223 Nor doth this wood lack worlds of company,
224 For you in my respect are all the world:
225 Then how can it be said I am alone,
226 When all the world is here to look on me?
227 I'll run from thee and hide me in the brakes,
228 And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.
229 The wildest hath not such a heart as you.
230 Run when you will, the story shall be changed:
231 Apollo flies, and Daphne holds the chase;
232 The dove pursues the griffin; the mild hind
233 Makes speed to catch the tiger bootless speed,
234 When cowardice pursues and valor flies.
235 I will not stay thy questions; let me go:
236 Or, if thou follow me, do not believe
237 But I shall do thee mischief in the wood.
238 Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field,
239 You do me mischief. Fie, Demetrius!
240 Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex:
241 We cannot fight for love, as men may do;
242 We should be woo'd and were not made to woo.
243 I'll follow thee and make a heaven of hell,
244 To die upon the hand I love so well.
245 Fare thee well, nymph: ere he do leave this grove,
246 Thou shalt fly him and he shall seek thy love.
247 Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wanderer.
248 Ay, there it is.
248 I pray thee, give it me.
249 I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
250 Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
251 Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
252 With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
253 There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
254 Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight;
255 And there the snake throws her enamell'd skin,
256 Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in:
257 And with the juice of this I'll streak her eyes,
258 And make her full of hateful fantasies.
259 Take thou some of it, and seek through this grove:
260 A sweet Athenian lady is in love
261 With a disdainful youth: anoint his eyes;
262 But do it when the next thing he espies
263 May be the lady: thou shalt know the man
264 By the Athenian garments he hath on.
265 Effect it with some care, that he may prove
266 More fond on her than she upon her love:
267 And look thou meet me ere the first cock crow.
268 Fear not, my lord, your servant shall do so.