SCENE I. A wood near Athens.
[Enter a FAIRY at One door, and PUCK at another.]
How now, spirit! whither wander you?
Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
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 favours,
In those freckles live their
I must go seek some dew-drops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's
Farewell, thou lob of spirits; I'll be gone:
Our queen and all her elves come here
The king doth keep his revels here to-night;
Take heed theqQueen come not
within his sight.
For Oberon is passing fell and wrath,
Because that she, as her
A lovely boy, stol'n from an Indian king;
She never had so sweet a
And jealous Oberon would have the child
Knight of his train, to trace the
But she perforce withholds the loved boy,
Crowns him with flowers, and
makes him all her joy:
And now they never meet in grove or green,
By fountain clear, or
spangled starlight sheen,
But they do square; that all their elves for fear
acorn cups, and hide them there.
Either I mistake your shape and making quite,
Or else you are that shrewd and
Call'd Robin Goodfellow: are not you he
That frights the maidens of the
Skim milk, and sometimes labour in the quern,
And bootless make the
breathless housewife churn;
And sometime make the drink to bear no barm;
night-wanderers, laughing at their harm?
Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet
You do their work, and they shall have good luck:
Are not you he?
Thou speak'st aright;
I am that merry wanderer of the night.
I jest to
Oberon, and make him smile,
When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
likeness of a filly foal;
And sometime lurk I in a gossip's bowl,
In very likeness of a
And, when she drinks, against her lips I bob,
And on her withered dewlap
pour the ale.
The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale,
Sometime for three-foot stool
Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,
And 'tailor' cries, and falls
into a cough;
And then the whole quire hold their hips and loffe,
And waxen in their
mirth, and neeze, and swear
A merrier hour was never wasted there.--
But room, fairy,
here comes Oberon.
And here my mistress.--Would that he were gone!
[Enter OBERON at one door, with his Train, and TITANIA, at another, with hers.]
Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania.
What, jealous Oberon! Fairies, skip hence;
I have forsworn his bed and
Tarry, rash wanton: am not I thy lord?
Then I must be thy lady; but I know
When thou hast stol'n away from
And in the shape of Corin sat all day,
Playing on pipes of corn, and versing
To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here,
Come from the farthest steep of India,
that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon,
Your buskin'd mistress and your warrior love,
Theseus must be wedded; and you come
To give their bed joy and prosperity.
How canst thou thus, for shame, Titania,
Glance at my credit with
Knowing I know thy love to Theseus?
Didst not thou lead him through the
From Perigenia, whom he ravish'd?
And make him with fair Aegle break
With Ariadne and Antiopa?
These are the forgeries of jealousy:
And never, since the middle summer's
Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead,
By paved fountain, or by rushy
Or on the beached margent of the sea,
To dance our ringlets to the whistling
But with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our sport.
Therefore the winds, piping to
us in vain,
As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea
Contagious fogs; which, falling
in the land,
Hath every pelting river made so proud
That they have overborne their
The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain,
The ploughman lost his
sweat; and the green corn
Hath rotted ere his youth attain'd a beard:
The fold stands
empty in the drowned field,
And crows are fatted with the murrion flock;
The nine men's
morris is fill'd up with mud;
And the quaint mazes in the wanton green,
For lack of
tread, are undistinguishable:
The human mortals want their winter here;
No night is now
with hymn or carol blest:--
Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
Pale in her
anger, washes all the air,
That rheumatic diseases do abound:
And thorough this
distemperature we see
The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
Fall in the fresh lap of
the crimson rose;
And on old Hyem's chin and icy crown
An odorous chaplet of sweet
Is, as in mockery, set: the spring, the summer,
The childing autumn, angry
Their wonted liveries; and the maz'd world,
By their increase, now knows
not which is which:
And this same progeny of evils comes
From our debate, from our
We are their parents and original.
Do you amend it, then: it lies in you:
Why should Titania cross her
I do but beg a little changeling boy
To be my henchman.
Set your heart at rest;
The fairy-land buys not the child of me.
mother was a vot'ress of my order:
And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,
hath she gossip'd by my side;
And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands,
embarked traders on the flood;
When we have laugh'd to see the sails conceive,
big-bellied with the wanton wind;
Which she, with pretty and with swimming
Following,--her womb then rich with my young squire,--
Would imitate; and sail upon
To fetch me trifles, and return again,
As from a voyage, rich with
But she, being mortal, of that boy did die;
And for her sake do I rear up
And for her sake I will not part with him.
How long within this wood intend you stay?
Perchance till after Theseus' wedding-day.
If you will patiently dance in
And see our moonlight revels, go with us;
If not, shun me, and I will spare
Give me that boy and I will go with thee.
Not for thy fairy kingdom. Fairies, away:
We shall chide downright if I
[Exit TITANIA with her Train.]
Well, go thy way: thou shalt not from this grove
Till I torment thee for
My gentle Puck, come hither: thou remember'st
Since once I sat upon a
And heard a mermaid, on a dolphin's back,
Uttering such dulcet and
That the rude sea grew civil at her song,
And certain stars shot
madly from their spheres
To hear the sea-maid's music.
That very time I saw,--but thou couldst not,--
Flying between the cold moon
and the earth,
Cupid, all arm'd: a certain aim he took
At a fair vestal, throned by the
And loos'd his love-shaft smartly from his bow,
As it should pierce a hundred
But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft
Quench'd in the chaste beams
of the watery moon;
And the imperial votaress passed on,
In maiden meditation,
Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell:
It fell upon a little western
Before milk-white, now purple with love's wound,--
And maidens call it
Fetch me that flower, the herb I showed thee once:
The juice of it on
sleeping eyelids laid
Will make or man or woman madly dote
Upon the next live creature
that it sees.
Fetch me this herb: and be thou here again
Ere the leviathan can swim a
I'll put a girdle round about the earth
In forty minutes.
Having once this juice,
I'll watch Titania when she is asleep,
And drop the
liquor of it in her eyes:
The next thing then she waking looks upon,--
Be it on lion,
bear, or wolf, or bull,
On meddling monkey, or on busy ape,--
She shall pursue it with
the soul of love.
And ere I take this charm from off her sight,--
As I can take it with
I'll make her render up her page to me.
But who comes here? I am
And I will overhear their conference.
[Enter DEMETRIUS, HELENA following him.]
I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.
Where is Lysander and fair
The one I'll slay, the other slayeth me.
Thou told'st me they were stol'n into
And here am I, and wood within this wood,
Because I cannot meet with
Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more.
You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant;
But yet you draw not iron, for my
Is true as steel. Leave you your power to draw,
And I shall have no power to
Do I entice you? Do I speak you fair?
Or, rather, do I not in plainest
Tell you I do not, nor I cannot love you?
And even for that do I love you the more.
I am your spaniel; and,
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
What worser place can I beg in your love,
And yet a place of high respect with
Than to be used as you use your dog?
Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit;
For I am sick when I do look
And I am sick when I look not on you.
You do impeach your modesty too much,
To leave the city, and commit
Into the hands of one that loves you not;
To trust the opportunity of
And the ill counsel of a desert place,
With the rich worth of your virginity.
Your virtue is my privilege for that.
It is not night when I do see your
Therefore I think I am not in the night;
Nor doth this wood lack worlds of
For you, in my respect, are all the world:
Then how can it be said I am
When all the world is here to look on me?
I'll run from thee, and hide me in the brakes,
And leave thee to the
mercy of wild beasts.
The wildest hath not such a heart as you.
Run when you will, the story shall
Apollo flies, and Daphne holds the chase;
The dove pursues the griffin; the
Makes speed to catch the tiger,--bootless speed,
When cowardice pursues and
I will not stay thy questions; let me go:
Or, if thou follow me, do not
But I shall do thee mischief in the wood.
Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field,
You do me mischief. Fie,
Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex:
We cannot fight for love as men may
We should be woo'd, and were not made to woo.
I'll follow thee, and make a heaven of
To die upon the hand I love so well.
[Exeunt DEMETRIUS and HELENA.]
Fare thee well, nymph: ere he do leave this grove,
Thou shalt fly him, and
he shall seek thy love.--
Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wanderer.
Ay, there it is.
I pray thee give it me.
I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows,
ox-lips and the nodding violet grows;
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
in these flowers with dances and delight;
And there the snake throws her enamell'd
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in:
And with the juice of this I'll streak her
And make her full of hateful fantasies.
Take thou some of it, and seek through
A sweet Athenian lady is in love
With a disdainful youth: anoint his
But do it when the next thing he espies
May be the lady: thou shalt know the
By the Athenian garments he hath on.
Effect it with some care, that he may
More fond on her than she upon her love:
And look thou meet me ere the first cock
Fear not, my lord; your servant shall do so.