Actus Secundus.

Enter a Fairie at one dore, and Robin goodfellow at another.

Rob. How now spirit, whether wander you? Fai. Ouer hil, ouer dale, through bush, through briar, Ouer parke, ouer pale, through flood, through fire, I do wander euerie where, swifter then y Moons sphere; And I serue the Fairy Queene, to dew her orbs vpon the green. The Cowslips tall, her pensioners bee, In their gold coats, spots you see, Those be Rubies, Fairie fauors, In those freckles, liue their sauors, I must go seeke some dew drops heere, And hang a pearle in euery cowslips eare. Farewell thou Lob of spirits, Ile be gon, Our Queene and all her Elues come heere anon

Rob. The King doth keepe his Reuels here to night, Take heed the Queene come not within his sight, For Oberon is passing fell and wrath, Because that she, as her attendant, hath A louely boy stolne from an Indian King, She neuer had so sweet a changeling, And iealous Oberon would haue the childe Knight of his traine, to trace the Forrests wilde. But she (perforce) with-holds the loued boy, Crownes him with flowers, and makes him all her ioy. And now they neuer meete in groue, or greene, By fountaine cleere, or spangled star-light sheene, But they do square, that all their Elues for feare Creepe into Acorne cups and hide them there

Fai. Either I mistake your shape and making quite, Or else you are that shrew'd and knauish spirit Cal'd Robin Good-fellow. Are you not hee, That frights the maidens of the Villagree, Skim milke, and sometimes labour in the querne, And bootlesse make the breathlesse huswife cherne, And sometime make the drinke to beare no barme, Misleade night-wanderers, laughing at their harme, Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Pucke, You do their worke, and they shall haue good lucke. Are not you he? Rob. Thou speak'st aright; I am that merrie wanderer of the night: I iest to Oberon, and make him smile, When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile, Neighing in likenesse of a silly foale, And sometime lurke I in a Gossips bole, In very likenesse of a roasted crab: And when she drinkes, against her lips I bob, And on her withered dewlop poure the Ale. The wisest Aunt telling the saddest tale, Sometime for three-foot stoole, mistaketh me, Then slip I from her bum, downe topples she, And tailour cries, and fals into a coffe. And then the whole quire hold their hips, and loffe, And waxen in their mirth, and neeze, and sweare, A merrier houre was neuer wasted there. But roome Fairy, heere comes Oberon

Fair. And heere my Mistris: Would that he were gone. Enter the King of Fairies at one doore with his traine, and the Queene at another with hers.

Ob. Ill met by Moone-light. Proud Tytania

Qu. What, iealous Oberon? Fairy skip hence. I haue forsworne his bed and companie

Ob. Tarrie rash Wanton; am not I thy Lord? Qu. Then I must be thy Lady: but I know When thou wast stolne away from Fairy Land, And in the shape of Corin, sate all day, Playing on pipes of Corne, and versing loue To amorous Phillida. Why art thou heere Come from the farthest steepe of India? But that forsooth the bouncing Amazon Your buskin'd Mistresse, and your Warrior loue, To Theseus must be Wedded; and you come, To giue their bed ioy and prosperitie

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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