Ob. That very time I say (but thou couldst not) Flying betweene the cold Moone and the earth, Cupid all arm'd; a certaine aime he tooke At a faire Vestall, throned by the West, And loos'd his loue-shaft smartly from his bow, As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts, But I might see young Cupids fiery shaft Quencht in the chaste beames of the watry Moone; And the imperiall Votresse passed on, In maiden meditation, fancy free. Yet markt I where the bolt of Cupid fell. It fell vpon a little westerne flower; Before, milke-white: now purple with loues wound, And maidens call it, Loue in idlenesse. Fetch me that flower; the hearb I shew'd thee once, The iuyce of it, on sleeping eye-lids laid, Will make or man or woman madly dote Vpon the next liue creature that it sees. Fetch me this hearbe, and be thou heere againe, Ere the Leuiathan can swim a league

Pucke. Ile put a girdle about the earth, in forty minutes

Ober. Hauing once this iuyce, Ile watch Titania, when she is asleepe, And drop the liquor of it in her eyes: The next thing when she waking lookes vpon, (Be it on Lyon, Beare, or Wolfe, or Bull, On medling Monkey, or on busie Ape) Shee shall pursue it, with the soule of loue. And ere I take this charme off from her sight, (As I can take it with another hearbe) Ile make her render vp her Page to me. But who comes heere? I am inuisible, And I will ouer-heare their conference. Enter Demetrius, Helena following him.

Deme. I loue thee not, therefore pursue me not, Where is Lysander, and faire Hermia? The one Ile stay, the other stayeth me. Thou toldst me they were stolne into this wood; And heere am I, and wood within this wood, Because I cannot meet my Hermia. Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more

Hel. You draw me, you hard-hearted Adamant, But yet you draw not Iron, for my heart Is true as steele. Leaue you your power to draw, And I shall haue no power to follow you

Deme. Do I entice you? do I speake you faire? Or rather doe I not in plainest truth, Tell you I doe not, nor I cannot loue you? Hel. And euen for that doe I loue thee the more; I am your spaniell, and Demetrius, The more you beat me, I will fawne on you. Vse me but as your spaniell; spurne me, strike me, Neglect me, lose me; onely giue me leaue (Vnworthy as I am) to follow you. What worser place can I beg in your loue, (And yet a place of high respect with me) Then to be vsed as you doe your dogge

Dem. Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit, For I am sicke when I do looke on thee

Hel. And I am sicke when I looke not on you

Dem. You doe impeach your modesty too much, To leaue the Citty, and commit your selfe Into the hands of one that loues you not, To trust the opportunity of night. And the ill counsell of a desert place, With the rich worth of your virginity

Hel. Your vertue is my priuiledge: for that It is not night when I doe see your face. Therefore I thinke I am not in the night, Nor doth this wood lacke worlds of company, For you in my respect are all the world. Then how can it be said I am alone, When all the world is heere to looke on me? Dem. Ile run from thee, and hide me in the brakes, And leaue thee to the mercy of wilde beasts

Hel. The wildest hath not such a heart as you; Runne when you will, the story shall be chang'd: Apollo flies and Daphne holds the chase; The Doue pursues the Griffin, the milde Hinde Makes speed to catch the Tyger. Bootlesse speede, When cowardise pursues, and valour flies

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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