A Midsummer Night's Dream: Act 2, Scene 2
1-8.Come . . . rest: Titania instructs her fairies . . . more 1. roundel: dance in a circle. 3. cankers: cankerworms. 4. rere-mice: bats.
7. quaint: pretty, dainty.
8. offices: duties.
Enter TITANIA, Queen of Fairies, with her TRAIN.
1Come, now a roundel and a fairy song;
2Then, for the third part of a minute, hence;
3Some to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds,
4Some war with rere-mice for their leathern wings,
5To make my small elves coats, and some keep back
6The clamorous owl that nightly hoots and wonders
7At our quaint spirits. Sing me now asleep;
8Then to your offices and let me rest.
9. double: forked.
You spotted snakes with double tongue,
Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen;
11. Newts: water lizards. Newts, blind-worms (small snakes with tiny eyes), and spiders (line 20) were all thought to be poisonous.
Newts and blind-worms, do no wrong,
Come not near our fairy queen.
13. Philomel: the nightingale. Philomela, daughter of King Pandion of Athens, was transformed into a nightingale, according to Ovid's Metamorphoses vi, after her rape by her brother-in-law Tereus.
Philomel, with melody
Sing in our sweet lullaby;
Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby:
Nor spell nor charm,
Come our lovely lady nigh;
So, good night, with lullaby.
Weaving spiders, come not here;
Hence, you long-legg'd spinners, hence!
Beetles black, approach not near;
Worm nor snail, do no offence.
Philomel, with melody, & c.
25Hence, away! now all is well:
26One aloof stand sentinel.
[Exeunt Fairies. TITANIA sleeps.]
Enter OBERON [and squeezes the flower
on TITANIA's eyelids].
27What thou seest when thou dost wake,
28Do it for thy true-love take,
29Love and languish for his sake:
30. ounce: lynx. cat: wildcat.
30Be it ounce, or cat, or bear,
31. Pard: leopard.
31Pard, or boar with bristled hair,
32-33. In thy eye that shall appear / When thou wakest: i.e., whatever you see when you awake.
32In thy eye that shall appear
33When thou wakest, it is thy dear:
34Wake when some vile thing is near.
Enter LYSANDER and HERMIA.
35. faint: become ever weaker.
35Fair love, you faint with wandering in the wood;
36. troth: truth.
36And to speak troth, I have forgot our way:
37We'll rest us, Hermia, if you think it good,
38And tarry for the comfort of the day.
39Be it so, Lysander: find you out a bed;
40For I upon this bank will rest my head.
41One turf shall serve as pillow for us both;
42. troth: pledged faith.
42One heart, one bed, two bosoms and one troth.
43Nay, good Lysander; for my sake, my dear,
44Lie further off yet, do not lie so near.
45. take the sense, sweet, of my innocence: interpret my meaning as entirely innocent. 46. Love takes the meaning in love's conference: i.e., Love enables lovers truly to understand one another.
45O, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence!
46Love takes the meaning in love's conference.
47I mean, that my heart unto yours is knit
48So that but one heart we can make of it;
49Two bosoms interchained with an oath;
50So then two bosoms and a single troth.
51Then by your side no bed-room me deny;
52. I do not lie: i.e., I am not false (with a riddling pun on lie, recline).
52For lying so, Hermia, I do not lie.
53. prettily: ingeniously, skillfully.
53Lysander riddles very prettily:
54. beshrew: curse (but mildly meant), mischief take.
54Now much beshrew my manners and my pride,
55If Hermia meant to say Lysander lied.
56But, gentle friend, for love and courtesy
57. human: courteous, decorous.
57Lie further off; in human modesty,
58Such separation as may well be said
59Becomes a virtuous bachelor and a maid,
60So far be distant; and, good night, sweet friend:
61Thy love ne'er alter till thy sweet life end!
62Amen, amen, to that fair prayer, say I;
63And then end life when I end loyalty!
64Here is my bed: sleep give thee all his rest!
65. With half hat wish the wisher's eyes be press'd: i.e., may half of all sleep's rest (which "all" you have wished for me) be yours.
65With half that wish the wisher's eyes be press'd!
Through the forest have I gone.
But Athenian found I none,
68. approve: test.
On whose eyes I might approve
This flower's force in stirring love.
Night and silence.Who is here?
Weeds of Athens he doth wear:
This is he, my master said,
73. Despised: who despised.
Despised 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.
78. Churl: rude fellow. 78-79. upon thy eyes I throw / All the power this charm doth owe: 79. owe: own, possess.
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.
Enter DEMETRIUS and HELENA, running.
84Stay, though thou kill me, sweet Demetrius.
85. haunt: follow persistently.
85I charge thee, hence, and do not haunt me thus.
86. darkling: in the dark.
86O, wilt thou darkling leave me? do not so.
87. Stay, on thy peril: Stay here or risk peril (if you follow me).
87Stay, on thy peril: I alone will go.
88. fond: doting, foolish.
88O, I am out of breath in this fond chase!
89. my grace: the favor I am granted.
89The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace.
90. lies: is.
90Happy is Hermia, wheresoe'er she lies;
91. attractive: magnetic.
91For she hath blessed and attractive eyes.
92How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt tears:
93If so, my eyes are oftener wash'd than hers.
94No, no, I am as ugly as a bear;
95For beasts that meet me run away for fear:
96Therefore no marvel though Demetrius
97. as a monster: i.e., as he would fly from a monster.
97Do, as a monster fly my presence thus.
98What wicked and dissembling glass of mine
99. Made me compare: induced me to compare my eyes. sphery eyne: eyes as bright as stars in their spheres.
99Made me compare with Hermia's sphery eyne?
100But who is here? Lysander! on the ground!
101Dead? or asleep? I see no blood, no wound.
102Lysander if you live, good sir, awake.
103And run through fire I will for thy sweet sake.
104. Transparent: (1) bright, radiant (2) capable of being seen through.
104Transparent Helena! Nature shows art,
105That through thy bosom makes me see thy heart.
106Where is Demetrius? O, how fit a word
107Is that vile name to perish on my sword!
108Do not say so, Lysander; say not so
109. What though: What does it matter if.
109What though he love your Hermia? Lord, what though?
110Yet Hermia still loves you: then be content.
111Content with Hermia! No; I do repent
112The tedious minutes I with her have spent.
113Not Hermia but Helena I love:
114Who will not change a raven for a dove?
115. will: desire.
115The will of man is by his reason sway'd;
116And reason says you are the worthier maid.
117Things growing are not ripe until their season
118. ripe not: (am) not ripened.
118So I, being young, till now ripe not to reason;
119. touching: reaching. point: summit. skill: discernment, judgment.
119And touching now the point of human skill,
120Reason becomes the marshal to my will
121. o'erlook: survey, read.
121And leads me to your eyes, where I o'erlook
122Love's stories written in love's richest book.
123. keen: bitter.
123Wherefore was I to this keen mockery born?
124When at your hands did I deserve this scorn?
125Is't not enough, is't not enough, young man,
126That I did never, no, nor never can,
127. Deserve: earn.
127Deserve a sweet look from Demetrius' eye,
128But you must flout my insufficiency?
129. Good troth: truly. good sooth: indeed; truly.
129Good troth, you do me wrong, good sooth, you do,
130In such disdainful manner me to woo.
131But fare you well: perforce I must confess
132. lord of: i.e., possessor of. gentleness: courtesy; breeding. 133. of: by.
132I thought you lord of more true gentleness.
133O, that a lady, of one man refused,
134. abus'd: ill used or treated. of: by
134Should of another therefore be abus'd!
135She sees not Hermia. Hermia, sleep thou there:
136And never mayst thou come Lysander near!
137For as a surfeit of the sweetest things
138The deepest loathing to the stomach brings,
139Or as the heresies that men do leave
140. of: by
140Are hated most of those they did deceive,
141So thou, my surfeit and my heresy,
142. of: by
142Of all be hated, but the most of me!
143And, all my powers, address your love and might
144To honour Helen and to be her knight!
145Help me, Lysander, help me! do thy best
146To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast!
147Ay me, for pity! what a dream was here!
148Lysander, look how I do quake with fear:
149. eat: ate (common preterite form, pronounced et).
149Methought a serpent eat my heart away,
150. sate: sat. prey: act of preying.
150And you sate smiling at his cruel prey.
151Lysander! what, removed? Lysander! lord!
152What, out of hearing? gone? no sound, no word?
153. an if: if.
153Alack, where are you speak, an if you hear;
154. of all loves: for the sake of all true love.
154Speak, of all loves! I swoon almost with fear.
155No? then I well perceive you all not nigh
156Either death or you I'll find immediately.