A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Act 2, Scene 1. Oberon & Titania
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60 Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania.
61 What, jealous Oberon! Fairies, skip hence:
62 I have forsworn his bed and company.
63 Tarry, rash wanton: am not I thy lord?
64 Then I must be thy lady: but I know
65 When thou hast stolen away from fairy land,
66 And in the shape of Corin sat all day,
67 Playing on pipes of corn and versing love
68 To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here,
69 Come from the farthest Steppe of India?
70 But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon,
71 Your buskin’d mistress and your warrior love,
72 To Theseus must be wedded, and you come
73 To give their bed joy and prosperity.
74 How canst thou thus for shame, Titania,
75 Glance at my credit with Hippolyta,
76 Knowing I know thy love to Theseus?
77 Didst thou not lead him through the glimmering night
78 From Perigenia, whom he ravished?
79 And make him with fair Aegle break his faith,
80 With Ariadne and Antiopa?
81 These are the forgeries of jealousy:
82 And never, since the middle summer’s spring,
83 Met we on hill, in dale, forest or mead,
84 By paved fountain or by rushy brook,
85 Or in the beached margent of the sea,
86 To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind,
87 But with thy brawls thou hast disturb’d our sport.
88 Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,
89 As in revenge, have suck’d up from the sea
90 Contagious fogs; which falling in the land
91 Have every pelting river made so proud
92 That they have overborne their continents:
93 The ox hath therefore stretch’d his yoke in vain,
94 The ploughman lost his sweat, and the green corn
95 Hath rotted ere his youth attain’d a beard;
96 The fold stands empty in the drowned field,
97 And crows are fatted with the murrion flock;
98 The nine men’s morris is fill’d up with mud,
99 And the quaint mazes in the wanton green
100 For lack of tread are undistinguishable:
101 The human mortals want their winter here;
102 No night is now with hymn or carol blest:
103 Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
104 Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
105 That rheumatic diseases do abound:
106 And thorough this distemperature we see
107 The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
108 Far in the fresh lap of the crimson rose,
109 And on old Hiems’ thin and icy crown
110 An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds
111 Is, as in mockery, set: the spring, the summer,
112 The childing autumn, angry winter, change
113 Their wonted liveries, and the mazed world,
114 By their increase, now knows not which is which:
115 And this same progeny of evils comes
116 From our debate, from our dissension;
117 We are their parents and original.
118 Do you amend it then; it lies in you:
119 Why should Titania cross her Oberon?
120 I do but beg a little changeling boy,
121 To be my henchman.
122 Set your heart at rest:
123 The fairy land buys not the child of me.
124 His mother was a votaress of my order:
125 And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,
126 Full often hath she gossip’d by my side,
127 And sat with me on Neptune’s yellow sands,
128 Marking the embarked traders on the flood,
129 When we have laugh’d to see the sails conceive
130 And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind;
131 Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait
132 Following,–her womb then rich with my young squire,–
133 Would imitate, and sail upon the land,
134 To fetch me trifles, and return again,
135 As from a voyage, rich with merchandise.
136 But she, being mortal, of that boy did die:
137 And for her sake do I rear up her boy,
138 And for her sake I will not part with him.
139 How long within this wood intend you stay?
140 Perchance till after Theseus’ wedding-day.
141 If you will patiently dance in our round
142 And see our moonlight revels, go with us;
143 If not, shun me, and I will spare your haunts.
144 Give me that boy, and I will go with thee.
145 Not for thy fairy kingdom. Fairies, away!
146 We shall chide downright, if I longer stay.
147 Well, go thy way: thou shalt not from this grove
148 Till I torment thee for this injury.