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Obe. This is thy negligence: still thou mistak'st, Or else commit'st thy knaveries wilfully.
Puck. Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook.
Did not you tell me, I should know the man
By the Athenian garments he had on?
And so far blameless proves my enterprize,
That I have 'nointed an Athenian's eyes:
And so far am I glad it so did sort,
As this their jangling I esteem a sport.
Obe. Thou seest, these lovers seek a place to
Hie therefore, Robin, overcast the night;
The starry welkin cover thou anon
With drooping fog, as black as Acheron;
And lead these testy rivals so astray,
As one come not within another's way.
Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue,
Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong;
And sometime rail thou like Demetrius;
And from each other look thou lead them thus,
'Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep
With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep:
Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye;
Whose liquor hath this virtuous property,
To take from thence all error, with his might,
And make his eye-balls roll with wonted sight.
When they next wake, all this derision
Shall seem a dream, and fruitless vision;
And back to Athens shall the lovers wend,
With league, whose date till death shall never end.
Whiles I in this affair do thee employ,
I'll to my queen, and beg her Indian boy;
And then I will her charmed eye release
From monster's view, and all things shall be peace.
Puck. My fairy lord, this must be done with haste;
For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,
And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger;
At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and there,
Troop home to church-yards: damned spirits all,
That in cross-ways and floods have burial,
Already to their wormy beds are gone;
For fear lest day should look their shames upon,
They wilfully themselves exile from light,
And must for aye consort with black-brow'd night.
Obe. But we are spirits of another sort:
I with the morning's love have oft made sport;
And, like a forester, the groves may tread,
Even till the eastern gate, all fiery red,
Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,
Turns into yellow gold his salt-green streams.
But, notwithstanding, haste; make no delay:
We may effect this business yet ere day. [Exit Obe.
Puck. Up and down, up and down;
I will lead them up and down:
I am fear'd in field and town:
Goblin, lead them up and down.
Here comes one.
Enter LYSANDER. Lys. Whereart thou, proud Demetrius ? speak thou
Puck. Here, villain; drawn and ready. Where art
thou? Lys. I will be with thee straight. Puck.
Follow me then To plainer ground.
[Exit. Lys. as following the voice.
Enter Demetrius. Dem.
Lysander! speak again. . Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled ? Speak. In some bush? Where dost thou hide thy
Puck. Thou coward, art thou bragging to the stars,
Telling the bushes that thou look'st for wars,
And wilt not come? Come, recreant; come, thou
I'll whip thee with a rod: He is defil'd,
That draws a sword on thee.
Yea; art thou there? Puck. Follow my voice; we'll try no manhood here.
Re-enter LYSANDER. Lys. He goes before me, and still dares me on; When I come where he calls, then he is gone. The villain is much lighter-heel'd, than 1: I follow'd fast, but faster he did fly; That fallen am I in dark uneven way, And here will rest me. Come, thou gentle day!
For if but once thou show me thy grey light,
I'll find Demetrius, and revenge this spite.
Re-enter Puck and DemetRIUS.
Puck. Ho, ho! ho, ho! Coward, why com’st thou not?
Dem. Abide me, if thou dar'st; for well I wot,
Thou runn'st before me, shifting every place;
And dar'st not stand, nor look me in the face. .
Where art thou?
Come hither; I am here.
Dem. Nay, then thou mock'st me. Thou shalt
buy this dear,
If ever I thy face by day-light see:
Now, go thy way. Faintness constraineth me
To measure out my length on this cold bed.
By day's approach look to be visited.
[Lies down and sleeps.
Hel. O weary night, O long and tedious night,
Abate thy hours: shine, comforts, from the east; That I may back to Athens, by day-light,
From these that my poor company detest:-
And, sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow's eye,
Steal me awhile from mine own company. [Sleeps.
Puck. Yet but three? Come one more;
Two of both kinds makes up four.
Here she comes, curst, and sad :-
Cupid is a knavish lad,
Thus to make poor females mad.
Her. Never so weary, never so in woe,
Bedabbled with the dew, and torn with briers; I can no further crawl, no further go;
My legs can keep no pace with my desires. Here will I rest me, till the break of day. Heaven shield Lysander, if they mean a fray!
[Lies down. Puck. On the ground
To your eye,
Gentle lover, remedy.
[Squeezing the juice on Lysander's eye.
When thou wak'st,
In the sight
Of thy former lady's eye:
And the country proverb known,
That every man should take his own,
In your waking shall be shown:
Jack shall have Jill s';
Nought shall go ill; The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be
well. [Exit Puck.-Dem. Hel. & c. sleep.