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Forsook his scene, and enter'd in a brake :
When I did him at this advantage take,
An ass's nowla I fixed on his head;
Anon, his Thisbe must be answered,
And forth my mimic comes : When they him spy,
As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye,
Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,
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 murther 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 briers and thorns at their apparel snatch;
Some, sleeves; some, hats; from yielders all things
I led them on in this distracted fear,
And left sweet Pyramus translated there :
When in that moment (so it came to pass)
Titania wak’d, and straightway lov'd an ass.
Obe. This falls out better than I could devise.
But hast thou yet latch'dc the Athenian's eyes
With the love-juice, as I did bid thee do?
Puck. I took him sleeping,--that is finish'd too,
And the Athenian woman by his side;
That when he wak'd of force she must be ey'd.
Enter DEMETRIUS and HERMIA.
Obe. Stand close; this is the same Athenian.
Puck. This is the woman, but not this the man.
Dem. O, why rebuke you him that loves you so ?
Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe.
Her. Now I but chide, but I should use thee worse; For thou, I fear, hast given me cause to curse. Nowl-noll, head.
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 bor'd; and that the moon
May through the centre creep, and so displease
Her brother's noontide with the Antipodes.
It cannot be but thou hast murther'd him;
So should a murtherer look; so dead, so grim.
Dem. So should the murther'd look; and so should I,
Pierc'd through the heart with your stern cruelty :
you, the murtherer, look as bright, as clear, As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere.
Her. What 's this to my Lysander? where is he? Ah, good Demetrius, wilt thou give him me?
Dem. I'd rather give his carcase to my hounds.
Her. Out, dog! out, cur! thou driv'st me past the
Of maiden's patience. Hast thou slain him then ?
Henceforth be never number'd among men!
Oh! once tell true, tell true, even for my sake;
Durst thou have look'd upon him, being awake,
And hast thou kill'd him sleeping ? O brave touch!
Could not a worm, an adder, do so much?
An adder did it; for with doubler tongue
Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung.
Dem. You spend your passion on a mispris'd
I am not guilty of Lysander’s blood;
Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell.
Her. I pray thee, tell me then that he is well.
Dem. An if I could, what should I get therefore ?
Her. A privilege never to see
And from thy hated presence part I so:
See me no more, whether he be dead or no. [Exit.
Dem. There is no following her in this fierce vein ; Here, therefore, for a while I will remain. So sorrow's heaviness doth heavier grow For debt that bankrout sleep doth sorrow owe; Which now, in some slight measure, it will pay, If for his tender here I make some stay.
[Lies down. Obe. 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 Some true-love turn’d, and not a false turn'd true.
Puck. Then fate o'er-rules ; that one man holding troth, A million fail, confounding oath on oath.
Obe. About the wood go swifter than the wind,
And Helena of Athens look thou find :
All fancy-sick she is, and pale of cheer a
With sighs of love, that cost the fresh blood dear.
By some illusion see thou bring her here;
I'll charm his eyes against she doth appear.
Puck. I go, I go; look, how I go;
Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow. [Exit.
Obe. Flower of this purple die,
Hit with Cupid's archery,
Sink in apple of his eye!
When his love he doth espy
Let her shine as gloriously
As the Venus of the sky.
When thou wak'st, if she be by
Beg of her for remedy.
Puck. Captain of our fairy band,
Helena is here at hand,
And the youth, mistook by me,
Pleading for a lover's fee;
Shall we their fond pageant see?
Lord, what fools these mortals be!
Obe. 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 ;
And those things do best please me,
That befall preposterously.
Enter LYSANDER and HELENA.
Lys. 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,
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? Hel. You do advance your cunning more and more. When truth kills truth, O devilish-holy fray! These vows are Hermia's; Will you give her
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.
Lys. I had no judgment, when to her I swore.
Hel. Nor none, in my mind, now you give her
o'er. Lys. Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you. Dem. [awaking.] O Helen, goddess, nymph, per
fect, divine !
To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne?
Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show
Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!
That pure congealed white, high Taurus' snow,
Fann'd with the eastern wind, turns to a crow,
When thou hold'st up thy hand : 0, let me kiss
This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss!
Hel. O, spite! O, hell! I see you are all bent
To set against me, for your merriment.
If you were civil and knew courtesy,
You would not do me thus much injury.
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.
To vow, and swear, and superpraise my parts,
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,
To conjure tears up in a poor maid's eyes
With your derision! None of noble sort
Would so offend a virgin; and extort
poor soul's patience, all to make you sport.
Lys. 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 to my death.
Hel. Never did mockers waste more idle breath.
Dem. Lysander, keep thy Hermia ; I will none :
If e'er I lov'd her, all that love is gone.
My heart to her but as guest-wise sojourn'd;
And now to Helen it is home return'd,
There to remain.
Helen, it is not so.
Dem. Disparage not the faith thou dost not know,
Lest, to thy peril, thou aby it dear.-
Look, where thy love comes; yonder is thy dear.
Her. Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,
The ear more quick of apprehension makes ;
Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense,
It pays the hearing double recompense :