A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Act 3 Scene 2a
(HOPE reacts to the whole scene very dramatically.)
Hast thou yet latch’d the Athenian’s eyes
With the love-juice, as I did bid thee do?
I took him sleeping,–that is finish’d too,–
And the Athenian woman by his side:
That, when he waked, of force she must be eyed. [Enter HERMIA and DEMETRIUS]
Stand close: this is the same Athenian.
This is the woman, but not this the man.
O, why rebuke you him that loves you so?
Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe.
Now I but chide; but I should use thee worse,
For thou, I fear, hast given me cause to curse,
If thou hast slain Lysander in his sleep,
Being o’er shoes in blood, plunge in the deep,
And kill me too.
The sun was not so true unto the day
As he to me: would he have stolen away
From sleeping Hermia?
It cannot be but thou hast murder’d him;
So should a murderer look, so dead, so grim.
So should the murder’d look, and so should I,
Pierced through the heart with your stern cruelty:
Yet you, the murderer, look as bright, as clear,
As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere.
What’s this to my Lysander? where is he?
Ah, good Demetrius, wilt thou give him me?
I had rather give his carcass to my hounds.
Out, dog! out, cur! thou drivest me past the bounds
Of maiden’s patience. Hast thou slain him, then?
Henceforth be never number’d among men!
Hast thou kill’d him sleeping? O brave touch!
Could not a worm, an adder, do so much?
An adder did it; for with doubler tongue
Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung.
You spend your passion on a misprised mood:
I am not guilty of Lysander’s blood;
Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell.
I pray thee, tell me then that he is well.
An if I could, what should I get therefore?
A privilege never to see me more.
And from thy hated presence part I so:
See me no more, whether he be dead or no.
There is no following her in this fierce vein:
Here therefore for a while I will remain.
So sorrow’s heaviness doth heavier grow
For debt that bankrupt sleep doth sorrow owe:
Which now in some slight measure it will pay,
If for his tender here I make some stay.
[Lies down and sleeps]
What hast thou done? thou hast mistaken quite
And laid the love-juice on some true-love’s sight:
Of thy misprision must perforce ensue
Some true love turn’d and not a false turn’d true.
Then fate o’er-rules, that, one man holding troth,
A million fail, confounding oath on oath.
Enough! Charm this Athenian’s eyes.
Flower of this purple dye,
Hit with Cupid’s archery,
Sink in apple of his eye.
When his love he doth espy,
Let her shine as gloriously
As the Venus of the sky.
When thou wakest, if she be by,
Beg of her for remedy.
About the wood go swifter than the wind,
And Helena of Athens look thou find:
All fancy-sick she is and pale of cheer,
With sighs of love, that costs the fresh blood dear:
By some illusion see thou bring her here:
I’ll charm his eyes against she do appear.
I go, I go; look how I go,
Swifter than arrow from the Tartar’s bow.