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Dem. Follow ?
with thee, cheek by jole.
[Ereunt Lys. and Dem. Her. You, mistress, all this coil is ’long of you : Nay, go not back.
Hel. I will not trust you, I;
Nor longer stay in your curst company.
Your hands, than mine, are quicker for a fray;
My legs are longer though, to run away.
[Exit. Her. I am amaz’d, and know not what to say.
[Exit, pursuing Helena. 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 fight:
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 exíle from light,
And must for ay 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.
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. Where art thou, proud Demetrius ? speak thou
now. 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 child;
I'll whip thee with a rod: He is defild,
That draws a sword on thee.
Dem. Yea; art thou there?
Puck. Follow my voice; we'll try no manhood here.
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 heeld 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!
[Lies down. For if but once thou show me thy grey light, I'll find Demetrius, and revenge this spite. [Sleeps.
Re-enter Puck and DEMETRIUS.
Puck. Ho, ho! ho, ho! Coward, why com’st thou
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?
Puck. Come hither; I am here.
Dem. Nay, then thou mock'st me. Thou shalt buy
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 sometime shuts up sorrow's eye,
Steal me a while from mine own company. [Sleeps,
Puck. Yet but three ? Come one more;
Two of both kinds make 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. Heavens 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
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,
your waking shall be shown:
Jack shall have Jill;
Nought shall go ill; The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be
well. [Exit Puck.-Dem. Hel &c. sleep.