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A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Act 2, scene 2
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Navigate this workA Midsummer Night’s Dream - Act 2, scene 2
Act 2, scene 2
Oberon anoints Titania’s eyes as she sleeps. A weary Lysander and Hermia enter and fall asleep nearby. Robin, thinking he has found “the Athenian man,” anoints the eyes of the sleeping Lysander and exits. Demetrius and Helena arrive, and he leaves her behind. Lysander awakes, sees Helena, and immediately falls in love with her. She mistakes his courtship for mockery and tries to elude him. After they exit, the abandoned Hermia awakes from a nightmare and goes in search of her beloved Lysander.Enter Titania, Queen of Fairies, with her train.
0641 Come, now a roundel and a fairy song;
0642 Then, for the third part of a minute, hence—
0643 Some to kill cankers in the muskrose buds,
0644 Some war with reremice for their leathern wings
0645 5 To make my small elves coats, and some keep back
0646 The clamorous owl that nightly hoots and wonders
0647 At our quaint spirits. Sing me now asleep.
0648 Then to your offices and let me rest.⌜She lies down.⌝
0649 You spotted snakes with double tongue,
0650 10 Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen.
0651 Newts and blindworms, do no wrong,
0652 Come not near our Fairy Queen.
0653 Philomel, with melody
0654 Sing in our sweet lullaby.
p. 550655 15 Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby.
0656 Never harm
0657 Nor spell nor charm
0658 Come our lovely lady nigh.
0659 So good night, with lullaby.
0660 20 Weaving spiders, come not here.
0661 Hence, you long-legged spinners, hence.
0662 Beetles black, approach not near.
0663 Worm nor snail, do no offence.
0664 Philomel, with melody
0665 25 Sing in our sweet lullaby.
0666 Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby.
0667 Never harm
0668 Nor spell nor charm
0669 Come our lovely lady nigh.
0670 30 So good night, with lullaby.
0671 Hence, away! Now all is well.
0672 One aloof stand sentinel. ⌜Fairies exit.⌝
Enter Oberon, ⌜who anoints Titania’s eyelids with the
0673 What thou seest when thou dost wake
0674 Do it for thy true love take.
0675 35 Love and languish for his sake.
0676 Be it ounce, or cat, or bear,
0677 Pard, or boar with bristled hair,
0678 In thy eye that shall appear
0679 When thou wak’st, it is thy dear.
0680 40 Wake when some vile thing is near.⌜He exits.⌝
Enter Lysander and Hermia.
0681 Fair love, you faint with wand’ring in the wood.
0682 And, to speak troth, I have forgot our way.
0683 We’ll rest us, Hermia, if you think it good,
0684 And tarry for the comfort of the day.
0685 45 ⌜Be⌝ it so, Lysander. Find you out a bed,
0686 For I upon this bank will rest my head.
0687 One turf shall serve as pillow for us both;
0688 One heart, one bed, two bosoms, and one troth.
0689 Nay, good Lysander. For my sake, my dear,
0690 50 Lie further off yet. Do not lie so near.
0691 O, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence!
0692 Love takes the meaning in love’s conference.
0693 I mean that my heart unto yours ⌜is⌝ knit,
0694 So that but one heart we can make of it;
0695 55 Two bosoms interchainèd with an oath—
0696 So then two bosoms and a single troth.
0697 Then by your side no bed-room me deny,
0698 For lying so, Hermia, I do not lie.
0699 Lysander riddles very prettily.
0700 60 Now much beshrew my manners and my pride
0701 If Hermia meant to say Lysander lied.
0702 But, gentle friend, for love and courtesy,
0703 Lie further off in human modesty.
0704 Such separation, as may well be said,
0705 65 Becomes a virtuous bachelor and a maid.
0706 So far be distant; and good night, sweet friend.
0707 Thy love ne’er alter till thy sweet life end!
0708 “Amen, amen” to that fair prayer, say I,
0709 And then end life when I end loyalty!
0710 70 Here is my bed. Sleep give thee all his rest!
0711 With half that wish the wisher’s eyes be pressed!
0712 Through the forest have I gone,
0713 But Athenian found I none
0714 On whose eyes I might approve
0715 75 This flower’s force in stirring love.
⌜He sees Lysander.⌝
0716 Night and silence! Who is here?
0717 Weeds of Athens he doth wear.
0718 This is he my master said
0719 Despisèd the Athenian maid.
0720 80 And here the maiden, sleeping sound
0721 On the dank and dirty ground.
0722 Pretty soul, she durst not lie
0723 Near this lack-love, this kill-courtesy.—
0724 Churl, upon thy eyes I throw
0725 85 All the power this charm doth owe.
⌜He anoints Lysander’s eyelids
with the nectar.⌝
0726 When thou wak’st, let love forbid
0727 Sleep his seat on thy eyelid.
0728 So, awake when I am gone,
0729 For I must now to Oberon.He exits.
Enter Demetrius and Helena, running.
0730 90 Stay, though thou kill me, sweet Demetrius.
0731 I charge thee, hence, and do not haunt me thus.
0732 O, wilt thou darkling leave me? Do not so.
0733 Stay, on thy peril. I alone will go.⌜Demetrius exits.⌝
0734 O, I am out of breath in this fond chase.
0735 95 The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace.
0736 Happy is Hermia, wheresoe’er she lies,
0737 For she hath blessèd and attractive eyes.
0738 How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt tears.
0739 If so, my eyes are oftener washed than hers.
0740 100 No, no, I am as ugly as a bear,
0741 For beasts that meet me run away for fear.
0742 Therefore no marvel though Demetrius
0743 Do as a monster fly my presence thus.
0744 What wicked and dissembling glass of mine
0745 105 Made me compare with Hermia’s sphery eyne?
0746 But who is here? Lysander, on the ground!
0747 Dead or asleep? I see no blood, no wound.—
0748 Lysander, if you live, good sir, awake.
LYSANDER, ⌜waking up⌝
0749 And run through fire I will for thy sweet sake.
0750 110 Transparent Helena! Nature shows art,
0751 That through thy bosom makes me see thy heart.
0752 Where is Demetrius? O, how fit a word
0753 Is that vile name to perish on my sword!
0754 Do not say so. Lysander, say not so.
0755 115 What though he love your Hermia? Lord, what
0757 Yet Hermia still loves you. Then be content.
0758 Content with Hermia? No, I do repent
0759 The tedious minutes I with her have spent.
0760 120 Not Hermia, but Helena I love.
0761 Who will not change a raven for a dove?
0762 The will of man is by his reason swayed,
0763 And reason says you are the worthier maid.
p. 630764 Things growing are not ripe until their season;
0765 125 So I, being young, till now ripe not to reason.
0766 And touching now the point of human skill,
0767 Reason becomes the marshal to my will
0768 And leads me to your eyes, where I o’erlook
0769 Love’s stories written in love’s richest book.
0770 130 Wherefore was I to this keen mockery born?
0771 When at your hands did I deserve this scorn?
0772 Is ’t not enough, is ’t not enough, young man,
0773 That I did never, no, nor never can
0774 Deserve a sweet look from Demetrius’ eye,
0775 135 But you must flout my insufficiency?
0776 Good troth, you do me wrong, good sooth, you do,
0777 In such disdainful manner me to woo.
0778 But fare you well. Perforce I must confess
0779 I thought you lord of more true gentleness.
0780 140 O, that a lady of one man refused
0781 Should of another therefore be abused!She exits.
0782 She sees not Hermia.—Hermia, sleep thou there,
0783 And never mayst thou come Lysander near.
0784 For, as a surfeit of the sweetest things
0785 145 The deepest loathing to the stomach brings,
0786 Or as the heresies that men do leave
0787 Are hated most of those they did deceive,
0788 So thou, my surfeit and my heresy,
0789 Of all be hated, but the most of me!
0790 150 And, all my powers, address your love and might
0791 To honor Helen and to be her knight.He exits.
HERMIA, ⌜waking up⌝
0792 Help me, Lysander, help me! Do thy best
0793 To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast.
0794 Ay me, for pity! What a dream was here!
0795 155 Lysander, look how I do quake with fear.
0796 Methought a serpent ate my heart away,
p. 650797 And you sat smiling at his cruel prey.
0798 Lysander! What, removed? Lysander, lord!
0799 What, out of hearing? Gone? No sound, no word?
0800 160 Alack, where are you? Speak, an if you hear.
0801 Speak, of all loves! I swoon almost with fear.—
0802 No? Then I well perceive you are not nigh.
0803 Either death or you I’ll find immediately.