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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Songs and Their Settings
The Fairies’ Wedding Charm
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
From ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream

Enter Puck with a broom on his shoulder

PUCK—Now the hungry lion roars,
  And the wolf behowls the moon;
Whilst the heavy plowman snores,
  All with weary task fordone.
Now the wasted brands do glow,        5
  Whilst the screech-owl, screeching 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,        10
Every one lets forth his 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,        15
  Following darkness like a dream,
Now are frolic; not a mouse
Shall disturb this hallowed house:
I am sent with broom before,
To sweep the dust behind the door.        20
Enter Oberon and Titania with all their train
  Oberon—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        25
Sing, and dance it trippingly.
  Titania—First, rehearse your song by rote,
To each word a warbling note:
Hand in hand with fairy grace
Will we sing, and bless this place.        30
 
THE SONG
  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        35
  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:        40
  Never mole, hare-lip, nor scar,
  Nor mark prodigious, such as are
  Despisèd in nativity,
  Shall upon their children be,
  With this field-dew consecrate.        45
  Every fairy take his gait,
  And each several chamber bless,
  Through this palace with sweet peace;
  Ever shall it safely rest,
  And the owner of it blest.        50
  Trip away; make no stay:
  Meet me all by break of day.
 
 
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