Act 2 - Scene 1
A wood near Athens.
Enter, from opposite sides, a Fairy, and PUCK
How now, spirit! whither wander you?
Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the fairy queen,
To dew her orbs
upon the green.
The cowslips tall her pensioners be:
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies,
In those freckles live their savours:
I must go seek some dewdrops here
And hang a pearl in
every cowslip's ear.
Farewell, thou lob of spirits; I'll be gone:
Our queen and all our elves come here anon.
The king doth keep his revels here to-night:
Take heed the queen come not within his sight;
For Oberon is
passing fell and wrath,
Because that she as her attendant hath
A lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king;
never had so sweet a changeling;
And jealous Oberon would have the child
Knight of his train, to trace
the forests wild;
But she perforce withholds the loved boy,
Crowns him with flowers and makes him all her
And now they never meet in grove or green,
By fountain clear, or spangled starlight sheen,
do square, that all their elves for fear
Creep into acorn-cups and hide them there.
Either I mistake your shape and making quite,
Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite
Goodfellow: are not you he
That frights the maidens of the villagery;
Skim milk, and sometimes labour in
And bootless make the breathless housewife churn;
And sometime make the drink to bear no
Mislead night-wanderers, laughing at their harm?
Those that Hobgoblin call you and sweet Puck,
do their work, and they shall have good luck:
Are not you he?
Thou speak'st aright;
I am that merry wanderer of the night.
I jest to Oberon and make him smile
I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
Neighing in likeness of a filly foal:
And sometime lurk I in a gossip's
In very likeness of a roasted crab,
And when she drinks, against her lips I bob
And on her wither'd
dewlap pour the ale.
The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale,
Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh
Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,
And 'tailor' cries, and falls into a cough;
And then the
whole quire hold their hips and laugh,
And waxen in their mirth and neeze and swear
A merrier hour was
never wasted there.
But, room, fairy! here comes Oberon.
And here my mistress. Would that he were gone!
Enter, from one side, OBERON, with his train; from the other, TITANIA, with hers
Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania.
What, jealous Oberon! Fairies, skip hence:
I have forsworn his bed and company.
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