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As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts :
But I might seen young Cupid's fiery shaft
Quench'd in the chaste beams of the waťry moon :
And the imperial votaress pass'd on,
In maiden meditation, fancy free.
Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell ;
It fell upon a little western flower,
Before milk-white; now purple with love's wound,
And maidens call it Love-in-idleness.*
Fetch me that flower: the herb I showed thee once :
The juice of it on sleeping eyelids laid,
Will make or man or woman madly dote
Upon the next live creature that it sees.
Fetch me this herb: and be thou here again,
Ere the leviathan can swim a league.
Puck. I'll put a girdle round about the earth,
In forty minutes.
[Exit Puck. Ober.
Having once this juice,
I'll watch Titania when she is asleep,
And drop the liquor of it in her eyes :
The next thing then she waking looks upon
(Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,
Or meddling monkey, or on busy ape),
She shall pursue it with the soul of love,
And ere I take this charm off from her sight
(As I can take it with another herb),
I'll make her render up her page to me.
Another part of the Wood.
Enter TITANIA and her train.
Tit. Come, now a roundel, and a fairy song;
Then, for the third part of a minute, hence;
Some, to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds ;
Some, war with rear mice for their leathern wings,
To make my small elves' coats ; and some keep back
The clamorous owl, that nightly hoots, and wonders
At our quaint spirits : Sing me now asleep;
Then to your offices, and let me rest.
* Love-in-idleness.—The hearts-ease
1st Fai. You spotted snakes with double tongue,
Thorny hedge-hogs, be not seen.
Newts and blind worms, do no wrong ;
Come not near our fairy queen.
Chorus. Philomel with melody
Sing in our sweet lullaby,
Lulla, lulla, lullaby: lulla, lulla, lullaby;
Never harm, nor spell, nor charm,
Come our lovely lady nigh;
So, good night-with lullaby.
2d Fai. Weaving spiders, come not here;
Hence you long-legged spinners, hence:
Beetles black, approach not near;
Worm nor snail, do no offence.
Chorus. Philomel with melody, &c.
1st Fai. Hence, away; now all is well:
One, aloof, stand sentinel.
[Exeunt FAIRIES. TITANIA sleeps.
Ober.—What thou seest when thou dost awake
[Squeezes the flower on Titania's eyelids.
Do it for thy true love take;
Love and languish for his sake:
Be it ounce, or cat, or bear,
Pard, or boar with bristled hair,
In thy eye that shall appear
When thou wak’st, it is thy dear;
Wake, when some vile thing is near.
Enter Bottom, singing ; Puck having clapt on him an ass's head
Bot. The ousel-cock, so black of hue,
With orange-tawny bill,
The throstle with his note so true,
The wren with little quill-
Tit. What angel wakes me from my flowery bed ?
I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again ;
Mine ear is much epansardal of thy note;
So is mine eye enthrallèd to thy shape;
And thy fair virtue's force perforce doth move me,
On the first view, to say, to swear, I love thee.
Bot. Methinks, mistress, you should have little reason for that, and yet to
say the truth, reason and love keep little company together now-a-days.
The more the pity that some honest neighbors will not make them friends.
Nay, I can gleek* upon occasion.
Tit. Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful.
Bot. Not so neither; but if I had wit enough to get out of this wood, I have enough to serve mine own turn.
Tit. Out of this wood do not desire to go :
Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no.
I am a spirit of no common rate;
The summer still doth tend upon my state,
And I do love thee; therefore go with me;
I'll give thee fairies to attend on thee;
And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep,
And sing, while thou on pressèd flowers dost sleep:
And I will purge thy mortal grossness so,
That thou shalt like an airy spirit go,
Peas-blossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustard-seed !
Enter four Fairies.
1st Fai. Ready.
2nd Fai. And I.
Where shall we go?
Tit. Be kind and courteous to this gentleman;
Hop in his walks, and gambol in his eyes ;
Feed him with apricocks and dewberries,
With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries :
The honey-bags steal from the humble-bees,
And for night tapers crop their waxen thighs,
And light them at the fiery glow-worm's eyes,
To have my love to bed, and to arise :
And pluck the wings from painted butterflies,
To fan the moon-beams from his sleeping eyes ;
Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.
1st Fai. Hail, mortal!
2nd Fai. Hail !
3rd Fai. Hail !
4th Fai. Hail ! Bot. I cry your worship’s mercy, heartily. I beseech your worship's
Bot. I shall desire you of more acquaintance, good Master Cobweb. If I cut my finger, I shall make bold with you. Your name, honest gentle man ?
Bot. I pray you commend me to Mistress Squash, your mother, and to Master Peascod, your father. Good Master Peas-Blossom, I shall desire you of more acquaintance toc Your name, I beseech you, sir?
Bot. Good Master Mustard-seed, I know your patience well That same cowardly, giant-like ox-beef hath devoured many gentlemen of your house. I promise you your kindred hath made my eyes water ere now. I desire you more acquaintance, good Master Mustard-seed.
OBERON enters unseen.
Tit. Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed,
While I thy amiable cheeks do coy
And stick musk-roses in thy sleek smooth head,
And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy.
Bot. Where's Peas-blossom?
Bot. Scratch my head, Peas-blossom. Where's Monsieur Cobweb?
Cob. Ready. Bot. Monsieur Cobweb, good monsieur, get up your weapons in your hands, and kill me a red-hipped humble bee on the top of a thistle ; and, good monsieur, bring me the honey-bag. Do not fret yourself too much with the action, monsieur; and, good monsieur, have a care the honey-bag break not; I would be loth to have you overflown with a honey-bag, signior.-Where's Monsieur Mustard-seed ?
Bot. Give me your neif,* Monsieur Mustard-seed. Pray you, leave your courtesy, good monsieur.
Must. What's your will ?
Bot. Nothing, good monsieur, but to help Cavaliero Cobweb to scratch. I must to the barber's, monsieur ; for methinks I am marvellous hairy about the face ; and I am such a tender ass, if my hair do but tickle me I must scratch.
Tit. What, wilt thou hear some music, my sweet love?
Bot. I have a reasonable ear in music : let us have the tongs and the bones
Tit. Or say, sweet love, what thou desirest to eat.
Bot. Truly a peck of provender. I could munch your good dry oats. Methinks I have a great desire to a bottle of hay. Good hay, sweet hay, hath no fellow.
Tit I have a venturous fairy, that shall seek the squirrel's hoard, and fetch thee new nuts.
Bot. I had rather have a handful or two of dried peas :--but, I pray you, let none of your people stir me; I have an exposition of sleep come upon me.
Tit. Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms.
Fairies, begone, and be all ways away.
So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle
Gently entwist ;- the female ivy so
Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.
0, how I love thee! How I dote on thee!
OBERON advances. Enter PUCK.
Ober. Welcome, good Robin. See'st thou this sweet sight?
Her dotage now I do begin to pity :
For meeting her of late behind the wood,
Seeking sweet savors for this hateful fool,
I did upbraid her, and fall out with her:
For she his hairy temples then had rounded
With coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers ;
And that same dew, which sometimes on the buds
Was wont to swell, like round and orient pearls,
Stood now within the pretty flowret's eyes,
Like tears, that did their own disgrace bewail.
When I had, at my pleasure, taunted her,
And she, in mild tones, begged my patience,
I then did ask of her my changeling child ;
Which straight she gave me, and her fairy sent
To bear him to my bower in fairy land.
And now I have the boy, I will undo
This hateful imperfection of her eyes.
And, gentle Puck, take this transformed scalp
From off the head of this Athenian swain;
That she awaking when the other do,
May all to Athens back again repair,
And think no more of this night's accidents,
But as the fierce vexation of a dream.*
But first, I will release the fairy queen.
Be as thou wert wont to be;
(Touching her eyes with a herb)
See, as thou were wont to see;
Dian's bud o'er Cupid's flower
* But as the fierce vexation of a dream.-This fine stray verse comes looking in among the rest like a stern face through flowers.