Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.

A Midsummer Night's Dream: Act 3, Scene 2

Oberon, King of Fairies

2. next: nearest, i.e., first. 3. in extremity: to the utmost degree.

5. night-rule: diversion for the night, night activity, night sport. haunted: much frequented.
           Enter King of Fairies [OBERON].

  1   I wonder if Titania be awaked;
  2   Then, what it was that next came in her eye,
  3   Which she must dote on in extremity.

           [Enter PUCK.]

  4   Here comes my messenger. How now, mad spirit!
  5   What night-rule now about this haunted grove?

  6   My mistress with a monster is in love.
7. close: secret.
  7   Near to her close and consecrated bower,
8. dull: drowsy.
  8   While she was in her dull and sleeping hour,
9. patches: clowns, fools. rude mechanicals: ignorant working men. 10. stalls: street or market booths where wares were sold.
  9   A crew of patches, rude mechanicals,
 10   That work for bread upon Athenian stalls,
 11   Were met together to rehearse a play
12. Theseus' nuptial-day: Theseus' wedding day
 12   Intended for great Theseus' nuptial-day.
13. thick-skin: blockhead. barren sort: stupid company or crew. 14. presented: acted.
 13   The shallowest thick-skin of that barren sort,
 14   Who Pyramus presented, in their sport
15. scene: playing place. brake: thicket.
 15   Forsook his scene and enter'd in a brake
 16   When I did him at this advantage take,
17. nole: noddle, head.
 17   An ass's nole I fixed on his head:
18. anon: at once
 18   Anon his Thisby must be answered,
19. mimic: burlesque actor.
 19   And forth my mimic comes. When they him spy,
20. fowler: hunter of birds
 20   As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye,
21. russet-pated choughs: grey-headed jackdaws. in sort: in company, in a flock, together.
 21   Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,
 22   Rising and cawing at the gun's report,
23. Sever: i.e., Scatter.
 23   Sever themselves and madly sweep the sky,
 24   So, at his sight, away his fellows fly;
25. at our stamp: Puck's use of our instead of my has puzzled editors, as has a fairy's stamp . . . more 26. calls: calls for.
 25   And, at our stamp, here o'er and o'er one falls;
 26   He murder cries and help from Athens calls.
 27   Their sense thus weak, lost with their fears thus strong,
 28   Made senseless things begin to do them wrong;
 29   For briers and thorns at their apparel snatch;
 30   Some sleeves, some hats, from yielders all things catch.
 31   I led them on in this distracted fear,
32. translated: transformed.
 32   And left sweet Pyramus translated there:
 33   When in that moment, so it came to pass,
34. ass: donkey.
 34   Titania waked and straightway loved an ass.

35. devise: make up.
 35   This falls out better than I could devise.
36. latch'd: anointed.
 36   But hast thou yet latch'd the Athenian's eyes
 37   With the love-juice, as I did bid thee do?

 38   I took him sleeping,—that is finish'd too,—
 39   And the Athenian woman by his side:
40. of force: perforce, necessarily.
 40   That, when he waked, of force she must be eyed.

           Enter DEMETRIUS and HERMIA.

 41   Stand close: this is the same Athenian.

 42   This is the woman, but not this the man.

 43   O, why rebuke you him that loves you so?
 44   Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe.

 45   Now I but chide; but I should use thee worse,
 46   For thou, I fear, hast given me cause to curse,
 47   If thou hast slain Lysander in his sleep,
 48   Being o'er shoes in blood, plunge in the deep,
 49   And kill me too.
 50   The sun was not so true unto the day
 51   As he to me: would he have stolen away
 52   From sleeping Hermia? I'll believe as soon
53. whole: solid. be bor'd: have a hole bored through it.
 53   This whole earth may be bor'd and that the moon
54-55. so displease / Her brother's noontide: so displease the inhabitants of the Antipodes (on the other side of the earth) by displacing the noontide sun with the darkness of night. 57. dead: deathly pale.
 54   May through the centre creep and so displease
 55   Her brother's noontide with th' Antipodes.
 56   It cannot be but thou hast murder'd him;
 57   So should a murderer look, so dead, so grim.

 58   So should the murder'd look, and so should I,
 59   Pierced through the heart with your stern cruelty:
60. clear: shining.
 60   Yet you, the murderer, look as bright, as clear,
61. sphere: orbit.
 61   As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere.

62. What's this to: what has all this to do with.
 62   What's this to my Lysander? where is he?
 63   Ah, good Demetrius, wilt thou give him me?

 64   I had rather give his carcass to my hounds.

 65   Out, dog! out, cur! thou drivest me past the bounds
 66   Of maiden's patience. Hast thou slain him, then?
 67   Henceforth be never number'd among men!
 68   O, once tell true, tell true, even for my sake!
 69   Durst thou have look'd upon him being awake,
70. brave touch: noble exploit. (Said ironically).
 70   And hast thou kill'd him sleeping? O brave touch!
71. worm: snake, serpent.
 71   Could not a worm, an adder, do so much?
72. An adder did it: Hermia is calling Demetrius a snake and a murderer.
 72   An adder did it; for with doubler tongue
 73   Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung.

74. passion on a misprised mood: passionate outburst in misconceived anger.
 74   You spend your passion on a misprised mood:
 75   I am not guilty of Lysander's blood;
 76   Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell.

 77   I pray thee, tell me then that he is well.

 78   An if I could, what should I get therefore?

 79   A privilege never to see me more.
 80   And from thy hated presence part I so:
 81   See me no more, whether he be dead or no.


 82   There is no following her in this fierce vein:
 83   Here therefore for a while I will remain.
84. heavier: harder to bear (with play on the sense "drowsier"). 85. bankrupt: Demetrius is saying that his sleepiness adds to the weariness caused by sorrow. 86-87. Which . . . stay: i.e., I will be able to "pay back" . . . more
 84   So sorrow's heaviness doth heavier grow
 85   For debt that bankrupt sleep doth sorrow owe:
 86   Which now in some slight measure it will pay,
 87   If for his tender here I make some stay.

           Lie down [and sleep].

 88   What hast thou done? thou hast mistaken quite
 89   And laid the love-juice on some true-love's sight:
90. misprision must perforce ensue: mistake must necessarily follow.
 90   Of thy misprision must perforce ensue
 91   Some true love turn'd and not a false turn'd true.

92. troth: faith.
 92   Then fate o'er-rules, that, one man holding troth,
93. A million fail, confounding oath an oath: Among the millions of faithless men, the one true man's oath is subverted by fate.
 93   A million fail, confounding oath on oath.

 94   About the wood go swifter than the wind,
 95   And Helena of Athens look thou find:
96. fancy-sick: lovesick. cheer: face.
 96   All fancy-sick she is and pale of cheer,
97. With sighs of love, that costs the fresh blood dear: Each sigh was thought to draw a drop of blood from the heart. 99. against she do appear: in preparation for her arrival.
 97   With sighs of love, that costs the fresh blood dear:
 98   By some illusion see thou bring her here:
 99   I'll charm his eyes against she do appear.

100   I go, I go; look how I go,
101. arrow from the Tartar's bow: Proverbial for swiftness because Tartars (central Asian peoples) were famed for their skill with the bow.
101   Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow.


102         Flower of this purple dye,
103         Hit with Cupid's archery,
104. apple: pupil.
104         Sink in apple of his eye.
105         When his love he doth espy,
106         Let her shine as gloriously
107         As the Venus of the sky.
108         When thou wakest, if she be by,
109         Beg of her for remedy.

           Enter PUCK.

Lord, what fools these mortals be!

113. fee: right, privilege. 114. fond pageant: foolish show.

119. alone: unparalleled. 121. prepost'rously: out of the natural order.
110         Captain of our fairy band,
111         Helena is here at hand;
112         And the youth, mistook by me,
113         Pleading for a lover's fee.
114         Shall we their fond pageant see?
115         Lord, what fools these mortals be!

116         Stand aside: the noise they make
117         Will cause Demetrius to awake.

118         Then will two at once woo one;
119         That must needs be sport alone;
120         And those things do best please me
121         That befall prepost'rously.

           Enter LYSANDER and HELENA.

122   Why should you think that I should woo in scorn?
123   Scorn and derision never come in tears:
124-125. vows so born, / In their nativity all truth appears: i.e., when vows are so born (made by someone who is weeping), the nature of their birth makes their sincerity credible. 127. badge: identifying mark (like the family crest or other device worn on livery to identify a gentleman's retainers).
124   Look, when I vow, I weep; and vows so born,
125   In their nativity all truth appears.
126   How can these things in me seem scorn to you,
127   Bearing the badge of faith, to prove them true?

128. advance: carry forward, hold high, i.e., display. 129. fray: assault; attack.
128   You do advance your cunning more and more.
129   When truth kills truth, O devilish-holy fray!
130. give her o'er: give her up.
130   These vows are Hermia's: will you give her o'er?
131   Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing weigh:
132   Your vows to her and me, put in two scales,
133. tales: lies.
133   Will even weigh, and both as light as tales.

134   I had no judgment when to her I swore.

135. give her o'er: give her up.
135   Nor none, in my mind, now you give her o'er.

136   Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you.

      DEMETRIUS  [Awaking.]
137   O Helena, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!
138. thine eyne: your eyes.
138   To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne?
139. Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show: Demetrius says clear crystal is murky compared to the fully ripened appearance of Helena's lips. 141. Taurus: a lofty mountain range in Asiatic Turkey. 142. turns to a crow: i.e., seems black in comparison.
139   Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show
140   Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!
141   That pure congealed white, high Taurus snow,
142   Fann'd with the eastern wind, turns to a crow
143   When thou hold'st up thy hand: O, let me kiss
144. seal: pledge.
144   This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss!

145   O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent
146   To set against me for your merriment:
147   If you we re civil and knew courtesy,
148   You would not do me thus much injury.
149   Can you not hate me, as I know you do,
150   But you must join in souls to mock me too?
151. show: appearance.
151   If you were men, as men you are in show,
152   You would not use a gentle lady so;
153. superpraise: overpraise. parts: qualities.
153   To vow, and swear, and superpraise my parts,
154   When I am sure you hate me with your hearts.
155   You both are rivals, and love Hermia;
156   And now both rivals, to mock Helena:
157. trim: pretty, fine (said ironically).
157   A trim exploit, a manly enterprise,
158   To conjure tears up in a poor maid's eyes
159   With your derision! none of noble sort
160. extort: wring, twist, torture.
160   Would so offend a virgin, and extort
161   A poor soul's patience, all to make you sport.

162   You are unkind, Demetrius; be not so;
163   For you love Hermia; this you know I know:
164   And here, with all good will, with all my heart,
165   In Hermia's love I yield you up my part;
166   And yours of Helena to me bequeath,
167   Whom I do love and will do till my death.

168   Never did mockers waste more idle breath.

169. I will none: i.e., I will have nothing to do with her.
169   Lysander, keep thy Hermia; I will none:
170   If e'er I loved her, all that love is gone.
171. as guest-wise sojourn'd: as a guest, I stayed temporarily.
171   My heart to her but as guest-wise sojourn'd,
172   And now to Helen is it home return'd,
173   There to remain.

173                          Helen, it is not so.

174   Disparage not the faith thou dost not know,
175. aby: pay for, atone for.
175   Lest, to thy peril, thou aby it dear.
176   Look, where thy love comes; yonder is thy dear.

           Enter HERMIA.

Lysander, Hermia, and Helena
177. his function: its (your eye's) function.
177   Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,
178   The ear more quick of apprehension makes;
179   Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense,
180   It pays the hearing double recompense.
181   Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander, found;
182   Mine ear, I thank it, brought me to thy sound
183   But why unkindly didst thou leave me so?

184   Why should he stay, whom love doth press to go?

185   What love could press Lysander from my side?

186   Lysander's love, that would not let him bide,
187. engilds the night: brightens the night with golden light. 188. oes: circles, orbs, i.e., stars.
187   Fair Helena, who more engilds the night
188   Than all you fiery oes and eyes of light.
189   Why seek'st thou me? could not this make thee know,
190   The hate I bear thee made me leave thee so?

191   You speak not as you think: it cannot be.

192   Lo, she is one of this confederacy!
193   Now I perceive they have conjoin'd all three
194. in spite of me: to vex me.
194   To fashion this false sport, in spite of me.
195. Injurious: Insulting.
195   Injurious Hermia! most ungrateful maid!
196. contriv'd: plotted.
196   Have you conspired, have you with these contriv'd
197. bait: torment, as one sets on dogs to bait a bear.
Helena: all the counsel
that we two have shared

198. counsel: private thoughts, confidential talk.

203. artificial: skilled in art, able to create.

208. incorporate: in one body united. 209. seeming: apparently.
211. lovely: loving.

coats in heraldry
213-214. Two of the first, like coats in heraldry, / Due but to one and crowned with one crest: "we had two . . . more 215. rent: rend.
197   To bait me with this foul derision?
198   Is all the counsel that we two have shared,
199   The sisters' vows, the hours that we have spent,
200   When we have chid the hasty-footed time
201   For parting us,—O, is it all forgot?
202   All school-days' friendship, childhood innocence?
203   We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
204   Have with our needles created both one flower,
205   Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,
206   Both warbling of one song, both in one key,
207   As if our hands, our sides, voices and minds,
208   Had been incorporate. So we grow together,
209   Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
210   But yet an union in partition;
211   Two lovely berries moulded on one stem;
212   So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart;
213   Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,
214   Due but to one and crowned with one crest.
215   And will you rent our ancient love asunder,
216   To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
217   It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly:
218   Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it,
219   Though I alone do feel the injury.

220. amazed: utterly bewildered.
220   I am amazed at your passionate words.
221   I scorn you not: it seems that you scorn me.

222   Have you not set Lysander, as in scorn,
223   To follow me and praise my eyes and face?
224   And made your other love, Demetrius,
225. even but now: just now.
225   Who even but now did spurn me with his foot,
226   To call me goddess, nymph, divine and rare,
227   Precious, celestial? Wherefore speaks he this
228   To her he hates? and wherefore doth Lysander
229. your love: his love of you.
229   Deny your love, so rich within his soul,
230. tender me, forsooth: offer me, truly.
230   And tender me, forsooth, affection,
231. setting on: continuing.
231   But by your setting on, by your consent?
232. in grace: in favor; favored.
232   What though I be not so in grace as you,
233   So hung upon with love, so fortunate,
234. to love unloved: i.e., to suffer unrequited love.
234   But miserable most, to love unloved?
235   This you should pity rather than despise.

236   I understand not what you mean by this.

237. Ay . . . looks: Yes, do continue faking serious, grave looks. 238. make mouths: make faces (mouths is a common corruption of mows, "grimaces"). upon: at. 239. hold the sweet jest up: carry the sweet jest on. 240. carried: managed.
237   Ay, do, persever, counterfeit sad looks,
238   Make mouths upon me when I turn my back;
239   Wink each at other; hold the sweet jest up:
240   This sport, well carried, shall be chronicled.
241   If you have any pity, grace, or manners,
242. argument: subject matter (for jesting).
242   You would not make me such an argument.
243   But fare ye well: 'tis partly my own fault;
244   Which death or absence soon shall remedy.

245   Stay, gentle Helena; hear my excuse:
246   My love, my life my soul, fair Helena!

247   O excellent!

247                          Sweet, do not scorn her so.

248. If she cannot entreat, I can compel: i.e., if Hermia cannot influence you by pleas, I can do so by force.
248   If she cannot entreat, I can compel.

249   Thou canst compel no more than she entreat:
250   Thy threats have no more strength than her weak prayers.
251   Helen, I love thee; by my life, I do:
252   I swear by that which I will lose for thee,
253   To prove him false that says I love thee not.

254   I say I love thee more than he can do.

255   If thou say so, withdraw, and prove it too.

256   Quick, come!

256                          Lysander, whereto tends all this?

257. Ethiope: blackamoor. Hermia is a brunette and has a dark complexion; see also Lysander's use of tawny Tartar in Line 263.
257   Away, you Ethiope!

257                                 No, no; he'll
258   Seem to break loose; take on as you would follow,
259   But yet come not: you are a tame man, go!

260   Hang off, thou cat, thou burr! vile thing, let loose,
261   Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent!

262   Why are you grown so rude? what change is this?
263   Sweet love?

263. tawny Tartar: brownish central Asian peoples.
263                      Thy love! out, tawny Tartar, out!
264. med'cine: i.e., poison.
264   Out, loathed med'cine! hated potion, hence!

265   Do you not jest?

265. sooth: truly.
265                              Yes, sooth; and so do you.

266   Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee.

267   I would I had your bond, for I perceive
268. weak bond: i.e., Hermia's arms. Demetrius implies that Lysander is not trying very hard to break away from her (with a pun on bond, oath, in the previous line).
268   A weak bond holds you: I'll not trust your word.

269   What, should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead?
270   Although I hate her, I'll not harm her so.

271   What, can you do me greater harm than hate?
272. what news: what is the matter.
272   Hate me! wherefore? O me! what news, my love!
273   Am not I Hermia? are not you Lysander?
274. erewhile: just now.
274   I am as fair now as I was erewhile.
275. Since night: i.e., last night.
275   Since night you loved me; yet since night you left me:
276   Why, then you left me—O, the gods forbid!—
277   In earnest, shall I say?
Lysander and Hermia
by John Simmons 1870

282.  you canker-blossom: you worm-eaten blossom.

277                                      Ay, by my life;
278   And never did desire to see thee more.
279   Therefore be out of hope, of question, of doubt;
280   Be certain, nothing truer; 'tis no jest
281   That I do hate thee and love Helena.

282   O me! you juggler! you canker-blossom!
283   You thief of love! what, have you come by night
284   And stolen my love's heart from him?

284                                                               Fine, i'faith!
285   Have you no modesty, no maiden shame,
286   No touch of bashfulness? What, will you tear
287   Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?
288. puppet: i.e., counterfeit, a fake doll instead of a woman, but Hermia takes it as a reference to her small stature. (cf. the preceding use of counterfeit "counterfeit sad looks")
288   Fie, fie! you counterfeit, you puppet, you!

289   Puppet? why so? ay, that way goes the game.
290   Now I perceive that she hath made compare
291   Between our statures; she hath urged her height;
292. personage: figure.
292   And with her personage, her tall personage,
293   Her height, forsooth, she hath prevail'd with him.
294   And are you grown so high in his esteem;
295. low: short.
295   Because I am so dwarfish and so low?
296   How low am I, thou painted maypole? speak;
297   How low am I? I am not yet so low
298   But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes.

299   I pray you, though you mock me, gentlemen,
300. curst: shrewish, sharp-tongued.
300   Let her not hurt me: I was never curst;
301. shrewishness: ill-natured, ill-tempered; of a sharp or cross-grained nature. 302. right: real, true. for: with respect to.
301   I have no gift at all in shrewishness;
302   I am a right maid for my cowardice:
303   Let her not strike me. You perhaps may think,
304. something lower: somewhat shorter.
304   Because she is something lower than myself,
305. match: be a match for.
305   That I can match her.

305                                     "Lower"? hark, again.

306   Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me.
307. evermore: at all times.
307   I evermore did love you, Hermia,
308. counsels: secrets.
308   Did ever keep your counsels, never wrong'd you;
309   Save that, in love unto Demetrius,
310. stealth: stealing away.
310   I told him of your stealth unto this wood.
311   He follow'd you; for love I follow'd him;
312   But he hath chid me hence and threaten'd me
313   To strike me, spurn me, nay, to kill me too:
314. so: if only.
314   And now, so you will let me quiet go,
315   To Athens will I bear my folly back
316   And follow you no further: let me go:
317. fond: foolish.
317   You see how simple and how fond I am.

318   Why, get you gone: who is't that hinders you?

319   A foolish heart, that I leave here behind.

320   What, with Lysander?

320                                 With Demetrius.

321   Be not afraid; she shall not harm thee, Helena.

322   No, sir, she shall not, though you take her part.

323. keen and shrewd: clever and shrewish, sharp-tongued (synonymous with curst in line 300).
She was a vixen
324. vixen: shrew (literally, she-fox).

327. flout: mock.
323   O, when she's angry, she is keen and shrewd!
324   She was a vixen when she went to school;
325   And though she be but little, she is fierce.

326   "Little" again! nothing but "low" and "little"!
327   Why will you suffer her to flout me thus?
328   Let me come to her.

328                                 Get you gone, you dwarf;
329. minimus: diminutive creature. knot-grass: a weed that was thought to stunt the growth of animals or children.
329   You minimus, of hindering knot-grass made;
330   You bead, you acorn.

330. officious: ready to do kind offices; eager to serve, help, or please.
330                                  You are too officious
331   In her behalf that scorns your services.
332   Let her alone: speak not of Helena;
333. intend: give sign of, offer; or, possibly, pretend.
333   Take not her part; for, if thou dost intend
334   Never so little show of love to her,
335. aby: pay for.
335   Thou shalt aby it.

335                              Now she holds me not;
336   Now follow, if thou darest, to try whose right,
337   Of thine or mine, is most in Helena.

338. cheek by jowl: side by side.
338   Follow! nay, I'll go with thee, cheek by jowl.

           [Exeunt LYSANDER and DEMETRIUS.]

339. coil: turmoil, dissension, uproar. 'long of: on account of, because of. 340. go not back: i.e., don't retreat. (Hermia is again proposing a fight).
339   You, mistress, all this coil is 'long of you:
340   Nay, go not back.

340                               I will not trust you, I,
341. curst: damnable.
341   Nor longer stay in your curst company.
342. quicker for a fray: more ready to fight.
342   Your hands than mine are quicker for a fray,
343   My legs are longer though, to run away.


344   I am amazed, and know not what to say.


345. still thou mistakest: you continually make mistakes. 346. knaveries: dishonest or crafty behaviour; unscrupulousness; trickery. wilfully: on purpose.
345   This is thy negligence: still thou mistakest,
346   Or else committ'st thy knaveries wilfully.

347. I mistook: i.e., it was a mistake.
347   Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook.
348   Did not you tell me I should know the man
349   By the Athenian garment be had on?
350. so far: to this extent. enterprise: undertaking.
350   And so far blameless proves my enterprise,
351   That I have 'nointed an Athenian's eyes;
352. sort: turn out.
352   And so far am I glad it so did sort
353. As: that. jangling: disputing, wrangling.
353   As this their jangling I esteem a sport.

354   Thou see'st these lovers seek a place to fight:
355. Hie: Hasten.
355   Hie therefore, Robin, overcast the night;
356. welkin: sky.
356   The starry welkin cover thou anon
357. Acheron: a river of Hades; here, Hades itself.
357   With drooping fog as black as Acheron,
358. testy: agressive; rash.
358   And lead these testy rivals so astray
359. As: That
359   As one come not within another's way.
360. frame: shape; compose.
360   Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue,
361   Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong;
362. rail: protest; complain.
362   And sometime rail thou like Demetrius;
363   And from each other look thou lead them thus,
364   Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep
365. batty: batlike.
365   With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep:
366. this herb: i.e., the herb that Oberon has mentioned (II.i.184) as the antidote to love-in-idleness. 367. virtuous: efficacious, powerful. 368. with his might: by its efficacy. 369. wonted: accustomed.
366   Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye;
367   Whose liquor hath this virtuous property,
368   To take from thence all error with his might,
369   And make his eyeballs roll with wonted sight.
370. derision: laughable mockery.
370   When they next wake, all this derision
371. fruitless: having no effect, inconsequential.
371   Shall seem a dream and fruitless vision,
372   And back to Athens shall the lovers wend,
373. league: covenant. date: term of existence, duration.
373   With league whose date till death shall never end.
374   Whiles I in this affair do thee employ,
375   I'll to my queen and beg her Indian boy;
376   And then I will her charmed eye release
377   From monster's view, and all things shall be peace.

378   My fairy lord, this must be done with haste,
379. dragons: i.e., those that were supposed to draw the chariot of the goddess of night. full: very. 380. Aurora's harbinger: the precursor of dawn. i.e., the morning star.
379   For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,
380   And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger;
381   At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and there,
382-383. damned spirits all, / That in crossways and floods have burial: Suicides were commonly buried at crossroads; to these Puck adds those who have drowned themselves and whose bodies have not been recovered who would be condemned to wander disconsolate for want of burial rites. 387. for aye: forever.
Aurora and Cephalus (c1600)

389. the Morning's love: Cephalus, lover of Aurora  . . . more 390. like: in the guise of. forester: keeper of a royal forest or hunting preserve. 392. Neptune: god of the sea.
382   Troop home to churchyards: damned spirits all,
383   That in crossways and floods have burial,
384   Already to their wormy beds are gone;
385   For fear lest day should look their shames upon,
386   They willfully themselves exile from light
387   And must for aye consort with black-brow'd night.

388   But we are spirits of another sort:
389   I with the morning's love have oft made sport,
390   And, like a forester, the groves may tread,
391   Even till the eastern gate, all fiery-red,
392   Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,
393   Turns into yellow gold his salt green streams.
394   But, notwithstanding, haste; make no delay:
395   We may effect this business yet ere day.


396         Up and down, up and down,
397         I will lead them up and down:
398         I am fear'd in field and town:
399         Goblin, lead them up and down.
400   Here comes one.

           Enter LYSANDER.

401   Where art thou, proud Demetrius? speak thou now.

402. drawn: with drawn sword.
402   Here, villain; drawn and ready. Where art thou?

403. straight: immediately, straightway.
403   I will be with thee straight.

403                                          Follow me, then,
404. plainer: smoother, more level.
404   To plainer ground.

           [Exit LYSANDER, as following the voice.]

           Enter DEMETRIUS.

404                                  Lysander! speak again:
405   Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled?
406   Speak! In some bush? Where dost thou hide thy head?

407   Thou coward, art thou bragging to the stars,
408   Telling the bushes that thou look'st for wars,
409. recreant: cowardly wretch.
409   And wilt not come? Come, recreant; come, thou child;
410   I'll whip thee with a rod: he is defiled
411   That draws a sword on thee.

411                                           Yea, art thou there?

412. try: test.
412   Follow my voice: we'll try no manhood here.


           [Enter LYSANDER.]

413   He goes before me and still dares me on:
414   When I come where he calls, then he is gone.
415   The villain is much lighter-heel'd than I:
416   I follow'd fast, but faster he did fly;
417. uneven: rough.
417   That fallen am I in dark uneven way,
418   And here will rest me.

           [Lies down.]

418                                    Come, thou gentle day!
419   For if but once thou show me thy grey light,
420   I'll find Demetrius and revenge this spite.


           [Enter] ROBIN [PUCK] and DEMETRIUS.

421   Ho, ho, ho! Coward, why comest thou not?

422. Abide me: face me in fight. wot: know.
422   Abide me, if thou darest; for well I wot
423   Thou runn'st before me, shifting every place,
424   And darest not stand, nor look me in the face.
425   Where art thou now?

425                                    Come hither: I am here.

426. buy: aby, pay for. dear: dearly.
426   Nay, then, thou mock'st me. Thou shalt buy this dear,
427   If ever I thy face by daylight see:
428   Now, go thy way. Faintness constraineth me
429. measure out my length: i.e., stretch out.
429   To measure out my length on this cold bed.
430   By day's approach look to be visited.

           [Lies down and sleeps.]

           Enter HELENA.

431   O weary night, O long and tedious night,
432. Abate: lessen, shorten.
432   Abate thy hour! Shine comforts from the east,
433   That I may back to Athens by daylight,
434   From these that my poor company detest:
435   And sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow's eye,
436   Steal me awhile from mine own company.


437         Yet but three? Come one more;
438         Two of both kinds make up four.

           [Enter HERMIA.]

439. curst: ill-tempered.
439         Here she comes, curst and sad:
440. Cupid is a knavish lad: knavish has two connotations: (dishonest, unprincipled; unscrupulous, villainous) or (mischievous, waggish; roguish).
440         Cupid is a knavish lad,
441         Thus to make poor females mad.

442   Never so weary, never so in woe,
443   Bedabbled with the dew and torn with briers,
444. go: walk.
444   I can no further crawl, no further go;
445   My legs can keep no pace with my desires.
446   Here will I rest me till the break of day.
447. a fray: i.e., to fight.
447   Heavens shield Lysander, if they mean a fray!

           [Lies down and sleeps.]

448         On the ground
449         Sleep sound:
450         I'll apply
451         To your eye,
452     Gentle lover, remedy.

[Squeezing the juice on LYSANDER's eyes.]
Midsummer Night's Dream, 1935

           [Squeezing the juice on LYSANDER's eyes.]

453         When thou wakest,
454         Thou takest
455         True delight
456         In the sight
457     Of thy former lady's eye:
458     And the country proverb known,
459     That every man should take his own,
460     In your waking shall be shown:
461         Jack shall have Jill;
462         Nought shall go ill;
463   The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.