A Midsummer Night's Dream


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Oberon, King of Fairies


OBERON

I wonder if Titania be awaked;

Then what it was that next came in her eye,

Which she must dote on, in extremity.

Here comes my messenger.

Enter Puck

                         How now, mad spirit?

What night-rule now about this haunted grove?
night-rule (n.) night-time activity, nocturnal diversion


PUCK

My mistress with a monster is in love.

Near to her close and consecrated bower,
close (adj.) 2 private, secluded, sequestered

While she was in her dull and sleeping hour,

A crew of patches, rude mechanicals
mechanical (n.) manual worker, craftsman, menial
patch (n.) fool, clown; rogue, knave
rude (adj.) 6 ignorant, unlearned, uneducated
rude (adj.) 4 uncivilized, uncultivated, unrefined

That work for bread upon Athenian stalls,

Were met together to rehearse a play

Intended for great Theseus' nuptial day.

The shallowest thickskin of that barren sort,
barren (adj.) 2 stupid, empty-headed, dull
sort (n.) 2 pack, crowd, gang
thickskin, thick-skin (n.) brutishly built, dullard, blockhead

Who Pyramus presented, in their sport
sport (n.) 1 recreation, amusement, entertainment See Topics: Frequency count

Forsook his scene and entered in a brake,
brake (n.) 1 bush, thicket
scene (n.) 2 stage, performing area

When I did him at this advantage take.

An ass's nole I fixed on his head.
nole (n.) noddle, head

Anon his Thisbe must be answered,
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count

And forth my mimic comes. When they him spy –
mimic (n.) burlesque actor, performer, thespian

As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye,
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove See Topics: Frequency count

Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,
chough (n.) 1 jackdaw
russet-pated (adj.) with reddish-brown head; or: grey-headed
sort (n.) 2 pack, crowd, gang

Rising and cawing at the gun's report,

Sever themselves and madly sweep the sky –

So at his sight away his fellows fly,

And at our stamp here o'er and o'er one falls.

He ‘ Murder!’ cries, and help from Athens calls.

Their sense thus weak, lost with their fears thus strong,

Made senseless things begin to do them wrong.

For briars and thorns at their apparel snatch,
apparel (n.) clothes, clothing, dress See Topics: Frequency count

Some sleeves, some hats. From yielders all things catch.
catch (v.) 1 seize, get hold of, capture
yielder (n.) one who gives up, conceder

I led them on in this distracted fear,

And left sweet Pyramus translated there;
translate (v.) 1 transform, change, alter

When in that moment – so it came to pass –

Titania waked, and straightway loved an ass.


OBERON

This falls out better than I could devise!

But hast thou yet latched the Athenian's eyes
latch (v.) 3 fasten, secure; or: moisten [leach]

With the love juice, as I did bid thee do?


PUCK

I took him sleeping – that is finished too;

And the Athenian woman by his side,

That when he waked of force she must be eyed.

Enter Demetrius and Hermia


OBERON

Stand close. This is the same Athenian.


PUCK

This is the woman, but not this the man.


DEMETRIUS

O, why rebuke you him that loves you so?
rebuke (v.) repress, put down, check

Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe.
breath (n.) 1 utterance, speech, voice


HERMIA

Now I but chide; but I should use thee worse,
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove See Topics: Frequency count

For thou, I fear, hast given me cause to curse.

If thou hast slain Lysander in his sleep,

Being o'er shoes in blood, plunge in the deep,

And kill me too.

The sun was not so true unto the day

As he to me. Would he have stolen away

From sleeping Hermia? I'll believe as soon

This whole earth may be bored, and that the moon
whole (adj.) 2 unbroken, sound, intact

May through the centre creep, and so displease
centre (n.) 1 centre of the Earth, axis

Her brother's noontide with the Antipodes.

It cannot be but thou hast murdered him.

So should a murderer look; so dead, so grim.
dead (adj.) 4 deadly, death-dealing, murderous


DEMETRIUS

So should the murdered look, and so should I,

Pierced through the heart with your stern cruelty.

Yet you, the murderer, look as bright, as clear,
clear (adj.) 3 serene, cheerful, unclouded

As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere.
sphere (n.) 1 celestial globe in which a heavenly body was thought to move, orbit See Topics: Cosmos


HERMIA

What's this to my Lysander? Where is he?

Ah, good Demetrius, wilt thou give him me?


DEMETRIUS

I had rather give his carcass to my hounds.


HERMIA

Out, dog! Out, cur! Thou drivest me past the bounds

Of maiden's patience. Hast thou slain him then?

Henceforth be never numbered among men.

O, once tell true – tell true, even for my sake.

Durst thou have looked upon him being awake?

And hast thou killed him sleeping? O, brave touch!
brave (adj.) 2 noble, worthy, excellent
touch (n.) 4 act, action, deed

Could not a worm, an adder do so much?
worm (n.) 1 serpent, snake

An adder did it; for with doubler tongue
double (adj.) 2 forked, divided

Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung.


DEMETRIUS

You spend your passion on a misprised mood.
misprised (adj.) mistaken, misguided, erroneous
mood (n.) 1 anger, fury, frenzy, fit of temper
passion (n.) 4 fit of anger, feeling of rage
spend (v.) 2 expend, express, give vent to

I am not guilty of Lysander's blood.

Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell.
aught (n.) anything, [with negative word] nothing See Topics: Frequency count


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
heavy (adj.) 3 pressing, weighty, overpowering

For debt that bankrupt sleep doth sorrow owe,

Which now in some slight measure it will pay,

If for his tender here I make some stay.
tender (n.) 1 offer, offering

He lies down and sleeps


OBERON

What hast thou done? Thou hast mistaken quite,

And laid the love juice on some true love's sight.

Of thy misprision must perforce ensue
misprision (n.) 1 mistake, error, misunderstanding, misconception
perforce (adv.) 2 of necessity, with no choice in the matter See Topics: Frequency count

Some true love turned, and not a false turned true.
false (adj.) 3 sham, spurious, not genuine, artificial
turn (v.) 1 change, transform, alter


PUCK

Then fate o'errules, that, one man holding troth,

A million fail, confounding oath on oath.


OBERON

About the wood go swifter than the wind,

And Helena of Athens look thou find.

All fancy-sick she is and pale of cheer
cheer (n.) 4 face, look, expression
fancy-sick (adj.) love-sick, infatuated, pining

With sighs of love, that costs the fresh blood dear.

By some illusion see thou bring her here.
illusion (n.) deception, delusion, deceit

I'll charm his eyes against she do appear.


PUCK

I go, I go – look how I go –

Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow.

Exit


OBERON

Flower of this purple dye,

Hit with Cupid's archery,

Sink in apple of his eye.
apple (n.) pupil, centre

He squeezes the flower on Demetrius's eyes

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.

Enter Puck


PUCK

Captain of our fairy band,

Helena is here at hand,

And the youth mistook by me,

Pleading for a lover's fee.
fee (n.) 2 payment, reward, recompense

Shall we their fond pageant see?
fond (adj.) 2 foolish, trifling, frivolous
pageant (n.) show, scene, spectacle, tableau

Lord, what fools these mortals be!


OBERON

Stand aside. The noise they make

Will cause Demetrius to awake.


PUCK

Then will two at once woo one –

That must needs be sport alone;
sport (n.) 1 recreation, amusement, entertainment See Topics: Frequency count

And those things do best please me

That befall preposterously.
befall (v.), past forms befallen, befell 1 happen, occur, take place, turn out See Topics: Frequency count
preposterously (adv.) out of the normal course of events, unnaturally, perversely

Enter Lysander and Helena


LYSANDER

Why should you think that I should woo in scorn?

Scorn and derision never come in tears.

Look when I vow, I weep; and vows so born,
look when (conj.) whenever, as soon as

In their nativity all truth appears.

How can these things in me seem scorn to you,

Bearing the badge of faith to prove them true?


HELENA

You do advance your cunning more and more.
advance (v.) 2 display, present, promote

When truth kills truth, O devilish-holy fray!

These vows are Hermia's. Will you give her o'er?
give over (v.) 1 desert, leave, abandon

Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing weigh.

Your vows to her and me, put in two scales,

Will even weigh, and both as light as tales.
tale (n.) 3 false rumour, story, tittle-tattle


LYSANDER

I had no judgement 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

(wakes)

O Helena, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine –

To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne?
eyne (n.) [archaism] eyes See Topics: Archaisms

Crystal is muddy! O, how ripe in show
ripe (adj.) 6 red and full like ripe fruit

Thy lips – those kissing cherries – tempting grow!

That pure congealed white, high Taurus' snow,

Fanned with the eastern wind, turns to a crow

When thou holdest up thy hand. O, let me kiss

This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss!
princess (n.) paragon, sovereign form, ideal
seal (n.) 2 pledge, promise, token, sign


HELENA

O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent
bent (adj.) 1 determined, intent, resolved

To set against me for your merriment.
set against (v.) be hostile to, make an attack on

If you were civil and knew courtesy
courtesy, cur'sy, curtsy (n.) 1 courteous service, polite behaviour, good manners

You would not do me thus much injury.
injury (n.) 2 insult, affront, slight

Can you not hate me – as I know you do –

But you must join in souls to mock me too?

If you were men – as men you are in show –

You would not use a gentle lady so,
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count

To vow, and swear, and superpraise my parts,
part (n.) 1 quality, attribute, gift, accomplishment [of mind or body]

When, I am sure, you hate me with your hearts.

You both are rivals, and love Hermia;

And now both rivals to mock Helena.

A trim exploit, a manly enterprise –
trim (adj.) 1 fine, excellent, smart

To conjure tears up in a poor maid's eyes
conjure up (v.) bring about [as if by magic], cause to appear

With your derision. None of noble sort
sort (n.) 1 class, level, social rank

Would so offend a virgin, and extort
extort (v.) 1 torture, abuse, wring

A poor soul's patience, all to make you sport.
sport (n.) 1 recreation, amusement, entertainment See Topics: Frequency count


LYSANDER

You are unkind, Demetrius. Be not so,

For you love Hermia – this you know I know.

And here: with all good will, with all my heart,

In Hermia's love I yield you up my part.

And yours of Helena to me bequeath,

Whom I do love, and will do till my death.


HELENA

Never did mockers waste more idle breath.


DEMETRIUS

Lysander, keep thy Hermia. I will none.

If e'er I loved her all that love is gone.

My heart to her but as guestwise sojourned,
guestwise (adv.) in the manner of a guest, as a visitor
sojourn (v.) 2 travel, journey, go to stay

And now to Helen is it home returned,

There to remain.


LYSANDER

                         Helen, it is not so.


DEMETRIUS

Disparage not the faith thou dost not know,

Lest to thy peril thou aby it dear.
aby (v.) suffer for, pay for, atone for

Look where thy love comes: yonder is thy dear.

Enter Hermia


HERMIA

Dark night that from the eye his function takes

The ear more quick of apprehension makes.
apprehension (n.) 4 perception, auditory reception

Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense

It pays the hearing double recompense.

Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander, found;

Mine ear – I thank it – brought me to thy sound.

But why unkindly didst thou leave me so?


LYSANDER

Why should he stay whom love doth press to go?


HERMIA

What love could press Lysander from my side?


LYSANDER

Lysander's love, that would not let him bide:

Fair Helena, who more engilds the night
engild (v.) gild, brighten, illuminate

Than all you fiery oes and eyes of light,
O (n.) 1 circle, orb, sphere

Why seekest thou me? Could not this make thee know

The hate I bear thee made me leave thee so?


HERMIA

You speak not as you think. It cannot be.


HELENA

Lo, she is one of this confederacy.

Now I perceive they have conjoined all three

To fashion this false sport in spite of me.
false (adj.) 7 unfair, unjust, double-crossing
fashion (v.) 3 arrange, contrive, manage
spite (n.) 1 annoyance, vexation, irritation
sport (n.) 1 recreation, amusement, entertainment See Topics: Frequency count

Injurious Hermia, most ungrateful maid,

Have you conspired, have you with these contrived

To bait me with this foul derision?
bait (v.) 1 harass, persecute, torment

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 all forgot?

All schooldays' friendship, childhood innocence?

We, Hermia, like two artificial gods
artificial (adj.) 1 showing creative artistry, artistically skilful

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,
key (n.) 2 accord, rapport, mind

As if our hands, our sides, voices, and minds

Had been incorporate. So we grew together
incorporate (adj.) united in one body, combined in one entity

Like to a double cherry, seeming parted

But yet an union in partition,

Two lovely berries moulded on one stem,

So with two seeming bodies but one heart,

Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,
coat (n.) 1 coat-of-arms
first (n.) 2 [heraldry] first tincture in a blazon

Due but to one, and crowned with one crest.
crest (n.) 3 heraldic device placed above the shield and helmet in a coat-of-arms

And will you rent our ancient love asunder,
rent (v.) rend, tear, pull to pieces

To join with men in scorning your poor friend?

It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly.

Our sex as well as I may chide you for it,
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove See Topics: Frequency count

Though I alone do feel the injury.


HERMIA

I am amazed at your passionate words.

I scorn you not; it seems that you scorn me.


HELENA

Have you not set Lysander, as in scorn,

To follow me and praise my eyes and face?

And made your other love, Demetrius –

Who even but now did spurn me with his foot –
spurn (v.) 2 kick, strike, stamp [on], dash

To call me goddess, nymph, divine and rare,

Precious, celestial? Wherefore speaks he this

To her he hates? And wherefore doth Lysander

Deny your love, so rich within his soul,

And tender me forsooth affection,
forsooth (adv.) in truth, certainly, truly, indeed See Topics: Frequency count

But by your setting on, by your consent?
set on (v.) 1 encourage, urge, incite

What though I be not so in grace as you,

So hung upon with love, so fortunate,

But miserable most, to love unloved:

This you should pity rather than despise.


HERMIA

I understand not what you mean by this.


HELENA

Ay, do! Persever, counterfeit sad looks,
counterfeit (v.) 2 pretend, feign, make believe See Topics: Frequency count
persever (v.) 1 persevere, persist, keep at it
sad (adj.) 1 serious, grave, solemn See Topics: Frequency count

Make mouths upon me when I turn my back,

Wink each at other, hold the sweet jest up.
hold up (v.) 1 continue, keep going, carry on

This sport well carried shall be chronicled.
carry (v.) 5 carry out, manage, conduct
chronicle (v.) 2 enter into a chronicle, record in history
sport (n.) 1 recreation, amusement, entertainment See Topics: Frequency count

If you have any pity, grace, or manners,

You would not make me such an argument.
argument (n.) 3 subject, point, theme, target

But fare ye well. 'Tis partly my own fault,

Which death or absence soon shall remedy.


LYSANDER

Stay, gentle Helena, hear my excuse,
gentle (adj.) 6 soft, tender, kind

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.

Thy threats have no more strength than her weak prayers.

Helen, I love thee. By my life, I do.

I swear by that which I will lose for thee

To prove him false that says I love thee not.
false (adj.) 4 wrong, mistaken


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

                         Lysander, whereto tends all this?


LYSANDER

Away, you Ethiope!


DEMETRIUS

                         No, no. He'll

Seem to break loose, take on as he would follow,
take on (v.) 1 behave, act; or: rage, rant

But yet come not. (To Lysander) You are a tame man, go.


LYSANDER

Hang off, thou cat, thou burr! Vile thing, let loose,
bur, burr (n.) 3 clinger, person difficult to shake off
hang off (v.) leave hold, stop clinging

Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent.


HERMIA

Why are you grown so rude? What change is this,

Sweet love?


LYSANDER

                         Thy love? – out, tawny Tartar, out;

Out, loathed medicine! O hated potion, hence!
potion (n.) 1 poison, deadly drink


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; for I perceive
bond (n.) 1 deed, contract, pledge

A weak bond holds you. I'll not trust your word.
bond (n.) 4 [physical] tie, restraint, constraint


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?

Hate me? Wherefore? O me, what news, my love?

Am not I Hermia? Are not you Lysander?

I am as fair now as I was erewhile.
erewhile (adv.) a short time ago, a while before

Since night you loved me; yet since night you left me.

Why then, you left me – O, the gods forbid! –

In earnest, shall I say?


LYSANDER

                         Ay, by my life;

And never did desire to see thee more.

Therefore be out of hope, of question, of doubt,

Be certain. Nothing truer – 'tis no jest

That I do hate thee and love Helena.


HERMIA

O me, you juggler, you canker-blossom,
canker-blossom (n.) grub that destroys the blossom [of love]
juggler (n.) 2 trickster, deceiver, fraud

You thief of love! What, have you come by night

And stolen my love's heart from him?


HELENA

                         Fine, i'faith.

Have you no modesty, no maiden shame,

No touch of bashfulness? What, will you tear

Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?
gentle (adj.) 4 peaceful, calm, free from violence

Fie, fie, you counterfeit, you puppet, you!
counterfeit (n.) 2 impostor, pretender, sham


HERMIA

Puppet? Why so? – Ay, that way goes the game.

Now I perceive that she hath made compare
compare (n.) comparison, simile, analogy

Between our statures. She hath urged her height,

And with her personage, her tall personage,

Her height, forsooth, she hath prevailed with him.
forsooth (adv.) in truth, certainly, truly, indeed See Topics: Frequency count

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. I was never curst.
curst (adj.) 1 bad-tempered, quarrelsome, shrewish, cross

I have no gift at all in shrewishness.

I am a right maid for my cowardice!
right (adj.) 1 typical, true, classic

Let her not strike me. You perhaps may think

Because she is something lower than myself
something (adv.) 1 somewhat, rather See Topics: Frequency count

That I can match her....


HERMIA

                         Lower? Hark, again!


HELENA

Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me.

I evermore did love you, Hermia;

Did ever keep your counsels, never wronged you,

Save that in love unto Demetrius

I told him of your stealth unto this wood.
stealth (n.) 1 stealing away, furtive journey, clandestine act

He followed you. For love I followed him.

But he hath chid me hence, and threatened me
chide (v.), past form chid 4 brusquely command, drive [away] with harsh words

To strike me, spurn me – nay, to kill me too.
spurn (v.) 2 kick, strike, stamp [on], dash

And now, so you will let me quiet go,

To Athens will I bear my folly back

And follow you no further. Let me go.

You see how simple and how fond I am.
fond (adj.) 2 foolish, trifling, frivolous


HERMIA

Why, get you gone! Who is't that hinders you?


HELENA

A foolish heart that I leave here behind.


HERMIA

What, with Lysander?


HELENA

                         With Demetrius.


LYSANDER

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


DEMETRIUS

No, sir, She shall not, though you take her part.


HELENA

O, when she is angry she is keen and shrewd.
keen (adj.) 1 sharp, cutting, severe
shrewd (adj.) 4 shrewish, bad-tempered, difficult

She was a vixen when she went to school,

And though she be but little, she is fierce.


HERMIA

Little again? Nothing but low and little?

Why will you suffer her to flout me thus?

Let me come to her.


LYSANDER

                         Get you gone, you dwarf,

You minimus of hindering knot-grass made,
knot-grass (n.) species of creeping weed
minimus (n.) tiniest of creatures, insignificant being

You bead, you acorn.
bead (n.) 1 tiny thing, smallest of objects


DEMETRIUS

                         You are too officious

In her behalf that scorns your services.

Let her alone. Speak not of Helena,

Take not her part; for if thou dost intend

Never so little show of love to her,

Thou shalt aby it.
aby (v.) suffer for, pay for, atone for


LYSANDER

                         Now she holds me not.

Now follow – if thou darest – to try whose right

Of thine or mine is most in Helena.


DEMETRIUS

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

Exeunt Demetrius and Lysander


HERMIA

You, mistress – all this coil is 'long of you.
coil (n.) turmoil, disturbance, fuss

Nay – go not back.


HELENA

                         I will not trust you, I,

Nor longer stay in your curst company.
curst (adj.) 1 bad-tempered, quarrelsome, shrewish, cross

Your hands than mine are quicker for a fray.

My legs are longer, though, to run away!

Exit


HERMIA

I am amazed, and know not what to say!

Exit

Oberon and Puck come forward
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count


OBERON

This is thy negligence. Still thou mistakest,

Or else committest thy knaveries wilfully.
knavery (n.) 1 roguish trick, rouguery, trickery


PUCK

Believe me, King of shadows, I mistook.
shadow (n.) 5 spirit, phantom, spectre, ghost

Did not you tell me I should know the man

By the Athenian garments he had on?

And so far blameless proves my enterprise

That I have 'nointed an Athenian's eyes.

And so far am I glad it so did sort,
sort (v.) 6 turn out, fall out, come about

As this their jangling I esteem a sport.
sport (n.) 4 subject of sport


OBERON

Thou seest these lovers seek a place to fight.

Hie therefore, Robin, overcast the night.
hie (v.) hasten, hurry, speed See Topics: Frequency count

The starry welkin cover thou anon
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count
welkin (n.) sky, firmament, heavens

With drooping fog as black as Acheron,

And lead these testy rivals so astray

As one come not within another's way.

Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue,

Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong,
wrong (n.) 2 insult, offence, slight

And sometime rail thou like Demetrius;
rail (v.) rant, rave, be abusive [about] See Topics: Frequency count
sometime (adv.) 2 sometimes, now and then

And from each other look thou lead them thus

Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep
brow (n.) 4 forehead [often plural, referring to the two prominences of the forehead]

With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep.
batty (adj.) bat-like

Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye –

Whose liquor hath this virtuous property,
virtuous (adj.) 1 potent, powerful, efficacious

To take from thence all error with his might,

And make his eyeballs roll with wonted sight.
wonted (adj.) accustomed, usual, customary

When they next wake, all this derision

Shall seem a dream and fruitless vision,

And back to Athens shall the lovers wend

With league whose date till death shall never end.
date (n.) 1 duration, period of existence

Whiles I in this affair do thee employ

I'll to my Queen and beg her Indian boy,

And then I will her charmed eye release
charmed (adj.) 1 bewitched, enchanted, placed under a spell

From monster's view, and all things shall be peace.


PUCK

My fairy lord, this must be done with haste,

For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,

And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger,
harbinger (n.) forerunner, herald, precursor

At whose approach ghosts wandering here and there

Troop home to churchyards. Damned spirits all

That in crossways and floods have burial
crossway (n.) cross-road

Already to their wormy beds are gone.

For fear lest day should look their shames upon

They wilfully themselves exile from light,

And must for aye consort with black-browed night.
aye (adv.) always, ever, for eternity
consort (v.) accompany, attend, go with


OBERON

But we are spirits of another sort.
sort (n.) 1 class, level, social rank

I with the morning's love have oft made sport,
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count
sport (n.) 3 sexual recreation, intercourse, amorous dalliance

And like a forester the groves may tread

Even till the eastern gate all fiery red

Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams

Turns into yellow gold his salt green streams.

But notwithstanding, haste, make no delay;

We may effect this business yet ere day.

Exit


PUCK

Up and down, up and down,

I will lead them up and down.

I am feared in field and town.

Goblin, lead them up and down.

Here comes one.

Enter Lysander


LYSANDER

Where art thou, proud Demetrius? Speak thou now.


PUCK

(in Demetrius's voice)
drawn (adj.) 1 with sword drawn

Here, villain, drawn and ready! Where art thou?


LYSANDER

I will be with thee straight.


PUCK

(in Demetrius's voice)
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

                         Follow me then

To plainer ground.

Exit Lysander

Enter Demetrius


DEMETRIUS

                         Lysander, speak again.

Thou runaway, thou coward – art thou fled?

Speak. In some bush? Where dost thou hide thy head?


PUCK

(in Lysander's voice)

Thou coward, art thou bragging to the stars,

Telling the bushes that thou lookest for wars,

And wilt not come? Come, recreant. Come, thou child,
recreant (n.) 1 coward, faint-hearted individual

I'll whip thee with a rod. He is defiled

That draws a sword on thee.


DEMETRIUS

                         Yea, art thou there?


PUCK

(in Lysander's voice)

Follow my voice. We'll try no manhood here.

Exeunt Puck and Demetrius

Enter Lysander
dare (v.) 1 challenge, confront, defy
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count


LYSANDER

He goes before me, and still dares me on;

When I come where he calls, then he is gone.

The villain is much lighter-heeled than I.

I followed fast, but faster he did fly,

That fallen am I in dark uneven way,

And here will rest me. (He lies down) Come, thou gentle day,

For if but once thou show me thy grey light

I'll find Demetrius and revenge this spite.
spite (n.) 1 annoyance, vexation, irritation

He sleeps

Enter Puck and Demetrius


PUCK

(in Lysander's voice)

Ho, ho, ho, coward! Why comest thou not?


DEMETRIUS

Abide me if thou darest, for well I wot
abide (v.) 1 endure, undergo, face
wot (v.) 1 learn, know, be told See Topics: Frequency count

Thou runnest before me, shifting every place,

And darest not stand nor look me in the face.
stand (v.) 4 stand still, stop, cease moving

Where art thou now?


PUCK

(in Lysander's voice)

                         Come hither; I am here.


DEMETRIUS

Nay, then thou mockest me. Thou shalt buy this dear
buy (v.) pay for, suffer the consequences of

If ever I thy face by daylight see.

Now, go thy way. Faintness constraineth me

To measure out my length on this cold bed.

By day's approach look to be visited.

He lies down and sleeps

Enter Helena


HELENA

O weary night! O long and tedious night,

Abate thy hours, shine comforts from the East,
abate (v.) 2 shorten, lessen, reduce

That I may back to Athens by daylight

From these that my poor company detest.

And sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow's eye,

Steal me awhile from mine own company.

She lies down and sleeps


PUCK

Yet but three? Come one more,

Two of both kinds makes up four.

Here she comes, curst and sad.
curst (adj.) 1 bad-tempered, quarrelsome, shrewish, cross
sad (adj.) 2 dismal, morose, sullen

Cupid is a knavish lad

Thus to make poor females mad.

Enter Hermia


HERMIA

Never so weary, never so in woe,

Bedabbled with the dew, and torn with briars –

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 lies down and sleeps


PUCK

On the ground

Sleep sound.

I'll apply

To your eye,

Gentle lover, remedy.
gentle (adj.) 6 soft, tender, kind

He squeezes the juice on Lysander's eyes

When thou wakest,

Thou takest

True delight

In the sight

Of thy former lady's eye.

And the country proverb known,

That every man should take his own,

In your waking shall be shown.

Jack shall have Jill;

Naught shall go ill.
ill (adv.) 1 badly, adversely, unfavourably See Topics: Frequency count

The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.
act (n.) 6 play interval, interlude

Exit

 
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