Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > A Midsummer-Night’s Dream
William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
A Midsummer-Night’s Dream
Act V. Scene II.
Enter PUCK.
  Puck.  Now the hungry lion roars,
          And the wolf behowls the moon;
        Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,
          All with weary task fordone.        5
        Now the wasted brands do glow,
          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        10
          That the graves, all gaping wide,
        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,        15
        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,        20
        To sweep the dust behind the door.
Enter OBERON and TITANIA, with their Train
  Obe.  Through the house give glimmering light
          By the dead and drowsy fire;
        Every elf and fairy sprite        25
          Hop as light as bird from brier;
        And this ditty after me
        Sing and dance it trippingly.
  Tita.  First, rehearse your song by rote,
        To each word a warbling note:        30
        Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
        Will we sing, and bless this place.  [Song and dance.
  Obe.  Now, until the break of day,
        Through this house each fairy stray.
        To the best bride-bed will we,        35
        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;        40
        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,        45
        Shall upon their children be.
        With this field-dew consecrate,
        Every fairy take his gait,
        And each several chamber bless,
        Through this palace, with sweet peace;        50
        Ever shall 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.        55
  Puck.  If we shadows have offended,
        Think but this, and all is mended,
        That you have but slumber’d here
        While these visions did appear.
        And this weak and idle theme,        60
        No more yielding but a dream,
        Gentles, do not reprehend:
        If you pardon, we will mend.
        And, as I’m an honest Puck,
        If we have unearned luck        65
        Now to ’scape the serpent’s tongue,
        We will make amends ere long;
        Else the Puck a liar call:
        So, good night unto you all.
        Give me your hands, if we be friends,        70
        And Robin shall restore amends.  [Exit.

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