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A Midsummer Night's Dream

by William Shakespeare

Act 2, Scene 2 Easiest-to-Read Edition

 

 

 

A Midsummer Night's Dream Act 2, Scene 2



Another part of the wood

Enter TITANIA, Queen of Fairies, with her train of FAIRIES

Enter TITANIA, Queen of Fairies, with her train of FAIRIES

TITANIA

Come now, a roundel and a fairy song.

roundel=dance in a circle

Then for the third part of a minute, hence—

third part of a minute=time in fairy talk

Some to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds,

cankers=a disease of roses

Some war with reremice for their leathern wings

reremice=bats

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.

offices=duties

 

TITANIA

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 reremice 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.

 

FAIRIES sing

FAIRIES sing

FIRST FAIRY

(sings)

You spotted snakes with double tongue,

double=forked

Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen.

Newts and blindworms, do no wrong.

blindworms=small snakes with tiny eyes

Come not near our fairy queen.

 

FIRST FAIRY

(sings)

You spotted snakes with double tongue,

Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen.

Newts and blindworms, do no wrong.

Come not near our fairy queen.

 

FAIRIES

(sing)

Philomel, with melody

Philomel=daughter of the king of Athens, transformed into a nightingale

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.

 

FAIRIES

(sing)

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.

 

FIRST FAIRY

(sings)

Weaving spiders, come not here.

Hence, you long-legged spinners, hence!

    Beetles black, approach not near.

Worm nor snail, do no offense.

 

FIRST FAIRY

(sings)

Weaving spiders, come not here.

Hence, you long-legged spinners, hence!

    Beetles black, approach not near.

Worm nor snail, do no offense.

 

FAIRIES (repetition intentional)

(sing)

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.

 

FAIRIES

(sing)

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.

 

TITANIA sleeps

TITANIA sleeps

SECOND FAIRY

Hence, away! Now all is well.

One aloof stand sentinel.

 

SECOND FAIRY

Hence, away! Now all is well.

One aloof stand sentinel.

 

Exeunt FAIRIES

Exeunt FAIRIES

Enter OBERON

Enter OBERON

OBERON

(squeezing flower juice on TITANIA’s eyelids)

What thou seest when thou dost wake,

Do it for thy true love take.

Love and languish for his sake.

Be it ounce or cat or bear,

ounce=lynx

cat=wildcat

Pard or boar with bristled hair,

pard=leopard

In thy eye that [which] shall appear,

When thou wakest, it is thy dear.

Wake when some vile thing is near.

 

OBERON

(squeezing flower juice on TITANIA’s eyelids)

What thou seest when thou dost wake,

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 wakest, it is thy dear.

Wake when some vile thing is near.

 

Exit OBERON

Exit OBERON

Enter LYSANDER and HERMIA

Enter LYSANDER and HERMIA

LYSANDER

Fair love, you faint with wandering in the wood,

And, to speak troth, I have forgot our way.

We’ll rest us, Hermia, if you think it good.

And tarry for the comfort of the day.
tarry for=await

 

We’ll rest us, Hermia, if you think it good.

And tarry for the comfort of the day.

 

HERMIA

Be it so, Lysander. Find you out a bed,

For I upon this bank will rest my head.

 

HERMIA

Be it so, Lysander. Find you out a bed,

For I upon this bank will rest my head.

 

LYSANDER

One turf shall serve as pillow for us both.

One heart, one bed, two bosoms, and one troth.

troth=pledge to be faithful

 

LYSANDER

One turf shall serve as pillow for us both.

One heart, one bed, two bosoms, and one troth.

 

HERMIA

Nay, good Lysander. For my sake, my dear,

Lie further off yet. Do not lie so near.

 

HERMIA

Nay, good Lysander. For my sake, my dear,

Lie further off yet. Do not lie so near.

 

LYSANDER

O, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence.

Love takes the meaning in love’s conference.

Love takes the meaning=a lover understands correctly

love’s conference=lovers’ talk

I mean that my heart unto yours is knit

So that but one heart we can make of it.

Two bosoms interchainèd with an oath—

So then two bosoms and a single troth.

Then by your side no bed room me deny.

For, lying so, Hermia, I do not lie.

 

LYSANDER

O, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence.

Love takes the meaning in love’s conference.

I mean that my heart unto yours is knit

So that but one heart we can make of it.

Two bosoms interchainèd with an oath—

So then two bosoms and a single troth.

Then by your side no bed room me deny.

For, lying so, Hermia, I do not lie.

 

HERMIA

Lysander riddles very prettily.

Now much beshrew my manners and my pride

beshrew=blame

If Hermia meant to say Lysander lied.

But, gentle friend, for love and courtesy

Lie further off in humane modesty.

Such separation as may well be said

Becomes a virtuous bachelor and a maid.

becomes=is becoming to

So far be distant. And, good night, sweet friend.

Thy love ne'er alter till thy sweet life end!

 

HERMIA

Lysander riddles very prettily.

Now much beshrew my manners and my pride

If Hermia meant to say Lysander lied.

But, gentle friend, for love and courtesy

Lie further off in human modesty.

Such separation as may well be said

Becomes a virtuous bachelor and a maid.

So far be distant. And, good night, sweet friend.

Thy love ne'er alter till thy sweet life end!

 

LYSANDER

Amen, amen to that fair prayer, say I.

And then end life when I end loyalty!

Here is my bed. Sleep (personified) give thee all his rest!

 

LYSANDER

Amen, amen to that fair prayer, say I.

And then end life when I end loyalty!

Here is my bed. Sleep give thee all his rest!

 

HERMIA

With half that wish [may the] the wisher’s eyes be pressed!

 

HERMIA

With half that wish the wisher’s eyes be pressed!

 

HERMIA and LYSANDER sleep

HERMIA and LYSANDER sleep

Enter ROBIN

Enter ROBIN

ROBIN

 Through the forest have I gone.

 But Athenian found I none,

 On whose eyes I might approve

approve=test

 This flower’s force in stirring love.

(sees LYSANDER and HERMIA)

 Night and silence! Who is here?

 Weeds of Athens he doth wear.

weeds=clothing

 This is he, my master said,

 [who] Despisèd the Athenian maid.

 And here the maiden, sleeping sound

 On the dank and dirty ground.

 Pretty soul! She durst not lie

 Near this lack-love, this kill-courtesy.

(squeezes flower juice on LYSANDER’s eyelids)

 Churl, upon thy eyes I throw

churl=boor

 All the power this charm doth owe.

owe=possess

 When thou wakest, let love forbid

 Sleep (personified) his seat on thy eyelid.

 So awake when I am gone,

 For I must now to Oberon.

 

ROBIN

 Through the forest have I gone.

 But Athenian found I none,

 On whose eyes I might approve

 This flower’s force in stirring love.

(sees LYSANDER and HERMIA)

 Night and silence! Who is here?

 Weeds of Athens he doth wear.

 This is he, my master said,

Despisèd the Athenian maid.

 And here the maiden, sleeping sound

 On the dank and dirty ground.

 Pretty soul! She durst not lie

 Near this lack-love, this kill-courtesy.

(squeezes flower juice on LYSANDER’s eyelids)

 Churl, upon thy eyes I throw

 All the power this charm doth owe.

 When thou wakest, let love forbid

 Sleep his seat on thy eyelid.

 So awake when I am gone,

 For I must now to Oberon.

 

Exit ROBIN

Exit ROBIN

Enter DEMETRIUS and HELENA, running

Enter DEMETRIUS and HELENA, running

HELENA

Stay, though thou kill me, sweet Demetrius.

 

HELENA

Stay, though thou kill me, sweet Demetrius.

 

DEMETRIUS

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

 

DEMETRIUS

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

 

HELENA

O, wilt thou darkling leave me? Do not so.

darkling=in the dark

 

HELENA

O, wilt thou darkling leave me? Do not so.

 

DEMETRIUS

Stay, on thy peril. I alone will go.

 

DEMETRIUS

Stay, on thy peril. I alone will go.

 

Exit DEMETRIUS

Exit DEMETRIUS

HELENA

Oh, I am out of breath in this fond chase.

The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace.

grace=good fortune

Happy is Hermia, wheresoe'er she lies,

For she hath blessèd and attractive eyes.

How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt tears.

If so, my eyes are oftener washed than hers.

No, no, I am as ugly as a bear,

For beasts that meet me run away for fear.

Therefore no marvel though Demetrius

Do, as [from] a monster, fly my presence thus.

What wicked and dissembling glass of mine

dissembling glass=deceitful mirror

Made me compare with Hermia’s sphery eyne?

sphery eyne=eyes as bright as stars in their spheres

(it was thought that stars were held in place in transparent spheres)

(sees LYSANDER) But who is here? Lysander, on the ground?

Dead or asleep? I see no blood, no wound.—

Lysander, if you live, good sir, awake.

 

HELENA

Oh, I am out of breath in this fond chase.

The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace.

Happy is Hermia, wheresoe'er she lies,

For she hath blessèd and attractive eyes.

How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt tears.

If so, my eyes are oftener washed than hers.

No, no, I am as ugly as a bear,

For beasts that meet me run away for fear.

Therefore no marvel though Demetrius

Do, as a monster, fly my presence thus.

What wicked and dissembling glass of mine

Made me compare with Hermia’s sphery eyne?

(sees LYSANDER) But who is here? Lysander, on the ground?

Dead or asleep? I see no blood, no wound.—

Lysander, if you live, good sir, awake.

 

LYSANDER

(waking) And run through fire I will for thy sweet sake.

Transparent Helena! Nature shows art

That through thy bosom makes me see thy heart.

Where is Demetrius? Oh, how fit a word

Is that vile name to perish on my sword!

(that name is fit to perish on my sword)

LYSANDER

(waking) And run through fire I will for thy sweet sake.

Transparent Helena! Nature shows art

That through thy bosom makes me see thy heart.

Where is Demetrius? Oh, how fit a word

Is that vile name to perish on my sword!

 

HELENA

Do not say so, Lysander. Say not so.

What though he love your Hermia? Lord, what though?

what  though=what does it matter if

Yet Hermia still loves you. Then be content.

 

HELENA

Do not say so, Lysander. Say not so.

What though he love your Hermia? Lord, what though?

Yet Hermia still loves you. Then be content.

 

LYSANDER

Content with Hermia? No. I do repent

The tedious minutes I with her have spent.

Not Hermia but Helena I love.

Who will not change a raven for a dove?

change=exchange

The will of man is by his reason swayed,

will=desire

And reason says you are the worthier maid.

Things growing are not ripe until their season.

So I, being young, till now ripe not to reason.

ripe not to reason=not ripe enough to reason

And touching now the point of human skill,

touching now the point=reaching now the summit

Reason becomes the marshal to my will

marshal=leader

And leads me to your eyes, where I o'erlook

o’erlook=look over

Love’s stories written in love’s richest book.

 

LYSANDER

Content with Hermia? No. I do repent

The tedious minutes I with her have spent.

Not Hermia but Helena I love.

Who will not change a raven for a dove?

The will of man is by his reason swayed,

And reason says you are the worthier maid.

Things growing are not ripe until their season.

So I, being young, till now ripe not to reason.

And touching now the point of human skill,

Reason becomes the marshal to my will

And leads me to your eyes, where I o'erlook

Love’s stories written in love’s richest book.

 

HELENA

Wherefore was I to this keen mockery born?

wherefore=why

keen=bitter

When at your hands did I deserve this scorn?

Is ’t not enough, is ’t not enough, young man,

That I did never, no, nor never can

Deserve a sweet look from Demetrius' eye,

But you must flout my insufficiency?

Good troth, you do me wrong, good sooth, you do,

In such disdainful manner me to woo.

But fare you well. Perforce I must confess

I thought you lord of more true gentleness.

Oh, that a lady of (by) one man refused

Should of another therefore be abused!

 

HELENA

Wherefore was I to this keen mockery born?

When at your hands did I deserve this scorn?

Is ’t not enough, is ’t not enough, young man,

That I did never, no, nor never can,

Deserve a sweet look from Demetrius' eye,

But you must flout my insufficiency?

Good troth, you do me wrong, good sooth, you do,

In such disdainful manner me to woo.

But fare you well. Perforce I must confess

I thought you lord of more true gentleness.

Oh, that a lady of one man refused

Should of another therefore be abused!

 

Exit HELENA

Exit HELENA

LYSANDER

She sees not Hermia.—Hermia, sleep thou there.

And never mayst thou come Lysander near!

For as a surfeit of the sweetest things

The deepest loathing to the stomach brings,

Or as the heresies that men do leave

Are hated most of (by) those they did deceive,

So thou, my surfeit and my heresy,

Of all be hated, but the most of me.—

And all my powers, address your love and might

To honor Helen and to be her knight.

 

LYSANDER

She sees not Hermia.—Hermia, sleep thou there.

And never mayst thou come Lysander near!

For as a surfeit of the sweetest things

The deepest loathing to the stomach brings,

Or as the heresies that men do leave

Are hated most of those they did deceive,

So thou, my surfeit and my heresy,

Of all be hated, but the most of me.—

And all my powers, address your love and might

To honor Helen and to be her knight.

 

Exit LYSANDER

Exit LYSANDER

HERMIA

(waking) Help me, Lysander, help me! Do thy best

To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast.

Ay me, for pity! What a dream was here.

Lysander, look how I do quake with fear.

Methought a serpent eat my heart away,

eat=ate (pronounced et)

And you sat smiling at his cruel prey.

prey=preying

Lysander!—What, removed?—Lysander, lord!—

What, out of hearing, gone? No sound, no word?—

Alack, where are you? Speak, an if you hear.

an if=if

Speak, of all loves! I swoon almost with fear.

of all loves=for the sake of all true love

swoon almost=almost swoon

No? Then I well perceive you all not nigh.

Either death or you I’ll find immediately.

 

HERMIA

(waking) Help me, Lysander, help me! Do thy best

To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast.

Ay me, for pity! What a dream was here.

Lysander, look how I do quake with fear.

Methought a serpent eat my heart away,

And you sat smiling at his cruel pray.

Lysander!—What, removed?—Lysander, lord!—

What, out of hearing, gone? No sound, no word?—

Alack, where are you? Speak, an if you hear.

Speak, of all loves! I swoon almost with fear.

No? Then I well perceive you all not nigh.

Either death or you I’ll find immediately.

 

Exit

Exit

 

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