William Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream


[Enter PUCK.]

  Now the hungry lion roars,
   And the wolf behowls the moon;
  Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,
   All with weary task fordone.
  Now the wasted brands do glow,
   Whilst the scritch-owl, scritching loud,
  Puts the wretch that lies in woe
   In remembrance of a shroud.
  Now it is the time of night
   That the graves, all gaping wide,
  Every one lets forth its sprite,
   In the church-way paths to glide:
  And we fairies, that do run
   By the triple Hecate's team
  From the presence of the sun,
   Following darkness like a dream,
  Now are frolic; not a mouse
   Shall disturb this hallow'd house:
  I am sent with broom before,
   To sweep the dust behind the door.

[Enter OBERON and TITANIA, with their Train.]

   Through the house give glimmering light,
    By the dead and drowsy fire:
  Every elf and fairy sprite
    Hop as light as bird from brier:
  And this ditty, after me,
  Sing and dance it trippingly.

  First, rehearse your song by rote,
    To each word a warbling not,;
  Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
  Will we sing, and bless this place.

[Song and Dance.]

  Now, until the break of day,
  Through this house each fairy stray,
  To the best bride-bed will we,
  Which by us shall blessed be;
  And the issue there create
  Ever shall be fortunate.
  So shall all the couples three
  Ever true in loving be;
  And the blots of Nature's hand
  Shall not in their issue stand:
  Never mole, hare-lip, nor scar,
  Nor mark prodigious, such as are
  Despised in nativity,
  Shall upon their children be.--
  With this field-dew consecrate,
  Every fairy take his gate;
  And each several chamber bless,
  Through this palace, with sweet peace;
  E'er shall it in safety rest,
  And the owner of it blest.
    Trip away:
    Make no stay:
  Meet me all by break of day.

[Exeunt OBERON, TITANIA, and Train.]

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