Reference > Anthologies > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library > Verse

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 Diversions of the Fairies
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

OBERON—Fare thee well, nymph: ere he do leave this grove,
Thou shalt fly him, and he shall seek thy love.—
Re-enter Puck
Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wanderer.
  Puck—Ay, there it is.
  Oberon—            I pray thee, give it me.
I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,        5
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows;
Quite overcanopied with lush woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania, some time of the night,
Lulled in these bowers with dances and delight;        10
And there the snake throws her enameled skin,—
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in:
And with the juice of this I’ll streak her eyes,
And make her full of hateful fantasies.
Take thou some of it, and seek through this grove.        15
A sweet Athenian lady is in love
With a disdainful youth: anoint his eyes;
But do it when the next thing he espies
May be the lady. Thou shalt know the man
By the Athenian garments he hath on.        20
Effect it with some care, that he may prove
More fond on her than she upon her love.
And look thou meet me ere the first cock crow.
  Puck—Fear not, my lord: your servant shall do so.  [Exeunt.]
Scene: Another part of the Wood.  Enter Titania, with her train.
  Titania—Come, now a roundel, and a fairy song;
Then, for the third part of a minute, hence:
Some to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds;
Some war with rear-mice for their leathern wings,
To make my small elves coats; and some keep back
The clamorous owl, that nightly hoots, and wonders        30
At our quaint spirits. Sing me now asleep;
Then to your offices, and let me rest.
  First Fairy—You spotted snakes, with double tongue,
  Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen;
Newts, and blind-worms, do no wrong:        35
  Come not near our fairy queen.
      Philomel, with melody,
    Sing now your sweet lullaby:
Lulla, lulla, lullaby; lulla, lulla, lullaby.
          Never harm,        40
        Nor spell nor charm,
    Come our lovely lady nigh;
    So good-night, with lullaby.
  Second Fairy—Weaving spiders, come not here;
  Hence, you long-legged spinners, hence:        45
Beetles black, approach not near;
  Worm, nor snail, do no offense.
      Philomel, with melody,
    Sing now your sweet lullaby:
Lulla, lulla, lullaby; lulla, lulla, lullaby.        50
          Never harm,
      Nor spell nor charm,
    Come our lovely lady nigh;
    So good-night, with lullaby.
  Second Fairy—Hence, away! now all is well.        55
One, aloof, stand sentinel.  [Exeunt Fairies.  Titania sleeps.]
Enter Oberon
  Oberon—What thou seest, when thou dost wake,
[Anointing Titania’s eyelids.]
    Do it for thy true love take;
    Love, and languish for his sake:
    Be it ounce, or cat, or bear,        60
    Pard, or boar with bristled hair,
    In thy eye that shall appear
    When thou wak’st, it is thy dear.
    Wake when some vile thing is near.  [Exit.]

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