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<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Digital Library-A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

O that your frowns would teach my smiles such skill!
HERMIA I give him curses, yet he gives me love.
HELENA O that my prayers could such affection move!
HERMIA The more I hate, the more he follows me.
HELENA The more I love, the more he hateth me.
HERMIA His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine.
HELENA None, but your beauty; would that fault were mine!
HERMIA Take comfort: he no more shall see my face; Lysander and myself will fly this

Before the time I did Lysander see, Seem’d Athens as a paradise to me.
O, then, what graces in my love do dwell, That he hath turn’d a heaven unto a hell!
LYSANDER Helen, to you our minds we will unfold: To-morrow night, when Phoebe
doth behold Her silver visage in the wat’ry glass, Decking with liquid pearl the bladed
grass, A time that lovers’ flights doth still conceal, Through Athens’ gates have we
devis’d to steal.

HERMIA And in the wood where often you and I Upon faint primrose beds were wont
to lie, Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet, There my Lysander and myself
shall meet; And thence from Athens turn away our eyes, To seek new friends and
stranger companies.

Farewell, sweet playfellow; pray thou for us, And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius!
Keep word, Lysander; we must starve our sight From lovers’ food till morrow deep

LYSANDER I will, my Hermia.

Helena, adieu; As you on him, Demetrius dote on you.
HELENA How happy some o’er other some can be!
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she.

But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so; He will not know what all but he do know.
And as he errs, doting on Hermia’s eyes, So I, admiring of his qualities.

Things base and vile, holding no quantity, Love can transpose to form and dignity.
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; And therefore is wing’d Cupid
painted blind.

Nor hath Love’s mind of any judgment taste; Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste;
And therefore is Love said to be a child, Because in choice he is so oft beguil’d.

As waggish boys in game themselves forswear, So the boy Love is perjur’d everywhere;
For ere Demetrius look’d on Hermia’s eyne, He hail’d down oaths that he was only
mine; And when this hail some heat from Hermia felt, So he dissolv’d, and show’rs of
oaths did melt.

I will go tell him of fair Hermia’s flight; Then to the wood will he to-morrow night
Pursue her; and for this intelligence If I have thanks, it is a dear expense.

But herein mean I to enrich my pain, To have his sight thither and back again.
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