Lys. O take the sence sweet, of my innocence, Loue takes the meaning, in loues conference, I meane that my heart vnto yours is knit, So that but one heart can you make of it. Two bosomes interchanged with an oath, So then two bosomes, and a single troth. Then by your side, no bed-roome me deny, For lying so, Hermia, I doe not lye

Her. Lysander riddles very prettily; Now much beshrew my manners and my pride, If Hermia meant to say, Lysander lied. But gentle friend, for loue and courtesie Lie further off, in humane modesty, Such separation, as may well be said, Becomes a vertuous batchelour, and a maide, So farre be distant, and good night sweet friend; Thy loue nere alter, till thy sweet life end

Lys. Amen, amen, to that faire prayer, say I, And then end life, when I end loyalty: Heere is my bed, sleepe giue thee all his rest

Her. With halfe that wish, the wishers eyes be prest. Enter Pucke. They sleepe.

Puck. Through the Forest haue I gone, But Athenian finde I none, One whose eyes I might approue This flowers force in stirring loue. Nigh and silence: who is heere? Weedes of Athens he doth weare: This is he (my master said) Despised the Athenian maide: And heere the maiden sleeping sound, On the danke and durty ground. Pretty soule, she durst not lye Neere this lacke-loue, this kill-curtesie. Churle, vpon thy eyes I throw All the power this charme doth owe: When thou wak'st, let loue forbid Sleepe his seate on thy eye-lid. So awake when I am gone: For I must now to Oberon. Enter.

Enter Demetrius and Helena running.

Hel. Stay, though thou kill me, sweete Demetrius

De. I charge thee hence, and do not haunt me thus

Hel. O wilt thou darkling leaue me? do not so

De. Stay on thy perill, I alone will goe.

Exit Demetrius.

Hel. O I am out of breath, in this fond chace, The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace, Happy is Hermia, wheresoere she lies; For she hath blessed and attractiue eyes. How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt teares. If so, my eyes are oftner washt then hers. No, no, I am as vgly as a Beare; For beasts that meete me, runne away for feare, Therefore no maruaile, though Demetrius Doe as a monster, flie my presence thus. What wicked and dissembling glasse of mine, Made me compare with Hermias sphery eyne? But who is here? Lysander on the ground; Deade or asleepe? I see no bloud, no wound, Lysander, if you liue, good sir awake

Lys. And run through fire I will for thy sweet sake. Transparent Helena, nature her shewes art, That through thy bosome makes me see thy heart. Where is Demetrius? oh how fit a word Is that vile name, to perish on my sword! Hel. Do not say so Lysander, say not so: What though he loue your Hermia? Lord, what though? Yet Hermia still loues you; then be content

Lys. Content with Hermia? no, I do repent The tedious minutes I with her haue spent. Not Hermia, but Helena now I loue; Who will not change a Rauen for a Doue? The will of man is by his reason sway'd: And reason saies you are the worthier Maide. Things growing are not ripe vntill their season; So I being yong, till now ripe not to reason, And touching now the point of humane skill, Reason becomes the Marshall to my will. And leades me to your eyes, where I orelooke Loues stories, written in Loues richest booke

Hel. Wherefore was I to this keene mockery borne? When at your hands did I deserue this scorne? Ist not enough, ist not enough, yong man, That I did neuer, no nor neuer can, Deserue a sweete looke from Demetrius eye, But you must flout my insufficiency? Good troth you do me wrong (good-sooth you do) In such disdainfull manner, me to wooe. But fare you well; perforce I must confesse, I thought you Lord of more true gentlenesse. Oh, that a Lady of one man refus'd, Should of another therefore be abus'd. Enter

Lys. She sees not Hermia: Hermia sleepe thou there, And neuer maist thou come Lysander neere; For as a surfeit of the sweetest things The deepest loathing to the stomacke brings: Or as the heresies that men do leaue, Are hated most of those that did deceiue: So thou, my surfeit, and my heresie, Of all be hated; but the most of me; And all my powers addresse your loue and might, To honour Helen, and to be her Knight. Enter.

Her. Helpe me Lysander, helpe me; do thy best To plucke this crawling serpent from my brest. Aye me, for pitty; what a dreame was here? Lysander looke, how I do quake with feare: Me-thought a serpent eate my heart away, And yet sat smiling at his cruell prey. Lysander, What remoou'd? Lysander, Lord, What, out of hearing, gone? No sound, no word? Alacke where are you? speake and if you heare: Speake of all loues; I sound almost with feare. No, then I well perceiue you are not nye, Either death or you Ile finde immediately. Enter.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book