Friday, February 16, 2007

Poetry Friday 37

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.
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
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,
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,
To sweep the dust behind the door.


[Enter OBERON and TITANIA, with 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
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.
[Song and dance.]

[Oberon] 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
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:
Never mole, hare-lip, nor scar,
Nor mark prodigious, such as are
Despised in nativity,
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;
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.]

[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,
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
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,
And Robin shall restore amends.
[Exit.]

William Shakespeare

This is by way of being a reminder that the King of Shadows Book Group discussion is still open and further comments are very welcome!

9 comments:

Erin said...

Ohhhh, thank you for posting these lines! I LOVE this play. :)

And Puck's last line gives me the shivers (in a delightful way of course) every time I read it.

Michele said...

You're welcome... I get chills reading a lot of Shakespeare actually. I think I've quoted more of his poetry than anyone else's !

Sheila said...

Thanks! I love this play and the ending soliloquy also!

Michele said...

I'm thinking that I'll have to find time in my reading schedule to inveigle it in, once I've got my own spot of fiction writing out of my system !

Little Willow said...

I love AMSND!

Michele said...

I have added A Midsummer Night's Dream to my mental TBR list Little Willow!

Nancy said...

I love the last two bits from Puck! I had them committed to memory 12 years ago... but have not thought of them in quite some time.

Nancy said...

Oh, and I'll add that my first exposure (no pun intended) to Puck's end-of-play speeches was in the movie Porky's 2. Talk about combining the basest of pop culture with good literature....

Michele said...

Interesting, Nancy ! (I've never seen Porky's, I must admit...)