Romeo and Juliet: Act 2, Scene 6

           Enter FRIAR [LAURENCE]
           and ROMEO.

1. this holy act: i.e., the wedding of Romeo and Juliet.
2. after hours with sorrow chide us not: later times do not scold us by producing sorrow.
  1   So smile the heavens upon this holy act,
  2   That after hours with sorrow chide us not!

  3   Amen, amen! but come what sorrow can,
4. countervail: outweigh.
  4   It cannot countervail the exchange of joy
  5   That one short minute gives me in her sight.
6. close our hands with holy words: i.e., join our hands in marriage.
  6   Do thou but close our hands with holy words,
  7   Then love-devouring death do what he dare;
  8   It is enough I may but call her mine.

  9   These violent delights have violent ends
10-11. like  . . .  consume.: like a spark and gunpowder, which, the moment they touch each other, destroy both [in an explosion].
 10   And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
 11   Which as they kiss consume. The sweetest honey
 12   Is loathsome in his own deliciousness
13. in the taste confounds the appetite: as soon as it is tasted, it destroys the appetite [for all food].
15. Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow: going too fast comes short of the mark as much as going too slow does.
 13   And in the taste confounds the appetite.
 14   Therefore love moderately; long love doth so;
 15   Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.

           Enter JULIET.

 16   Here comes the lady. O, so light a foot
 17   Will ne'er wear out the everlasting flint;
18-19. A lover  . . .  air: a lover may walk upon fragments of spider threads that float randomly in the unpredictable summer breezes.
20. vanity: transitory earthly joy.
 18   A lover may bestride the gossamer
 19   That idles in the wanton summer air,
 20   And yet not fall; so light is vanity.

21. Good even: i.e., good afternoon. ghostly: spiritual.
 21   Good even to my ghostly confessor.

22. Romeo shall thank thee, daughter, for us both: Perhaps Romeo's way of thanking Juliet is to kiss her, and perhaps Juliet's reply, "As much to him, else is his thanks too much," indicates that she kisses him back.
 22   Romeo shall thank thee, daughter, for us both.

 23   As much to him, else is his thanks too much.

24-25. if . . . and that: if . . . and if also.
 24   Ah, Juliet, if the measure of thy joy
 25   Be heap'd like mine and that thy skill be more
26. blazon: proclaim.
27. This neighbour air: this air that we share. 28. Unfold the imagined happiness: express the happiness that is felt [by us both] but not expressed.
 26   To blazon it, then sweeten with thy breath
 27   This neighbour air, and let rich music's tongue
 28   Unfold the imagined happiness that both
 29   Receive in either by this dear encounter.

30. Conceit: understanding.
 30   Conceit, more rich in matter than in words,
31. Brags of: takes pride in.
 31   Brags of his substance, not of ornament:
 32   They are but beggars that can count their worth;
 33   But my true love is grown to such excess
34. sum up sum: calculate the total.
 34   I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth.

 35   Come, come with me, and we will make short work;
 36   For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone
 37   Till holy church incorporate two in one.