Act V (cont )

Theseus A very gentle beast, of a good conscience.


Demetrius The very best at a beast, my lord, that e’er I saw.


Lysander This lion is a very fox for his valour.


Theseus True; and a goose for his discretion.


Demetrius Not so, my lord; for his valour cannot carry his discretion; and the fox carries the goose.


Theseus His discretion, I am sure, cannot carry his valour; for the goose carries not the fox. It is well: leave it to his discretion, and let us listen to the moon.


Moonshine This lanthorn doth the horned moon present;  —


Demetrius He should have worn the horns on his head.


Theseus He is no crescent, and his horns are invisible within the circumference.


Moonshine This lanthorn doth the horned moon present;

Myself the man i’ the moon do seem to be.


Theseus This is the greatest error of all the rest: the man should be put into the lanthorn. How is it else the man i’ the moon?


Demetrius He dares not come there for the candle; for, you see, it is already in snuff.


Hippolyta I am aweary of this moon: would he would change!


Theseus It appears, by his small light of discretion, that he is in the wane; but yet, in courtesy, in all reason, we must stay the time.


Lysander Proceed, Moon.


Moonshine All that I have to say, is, to tell you that the lanthorn is the moon; I, the man in the moon; this thorn-bush, my thorn-bush; and this dog, my dog.


Demetrius Why, all these should be in the lanthorn; for all these are in the moon. But, silence! here comes Thisbe.


Enter Thisbe


Thisbe This is old Ninny’s tomb. Where is my love?


[Enter Lion, Roaring]


Oh  —


[Thisbe runs off]


Demetrius Well roared, Lion.


Theseus Well run, Thisbe.


Hippolyta Well shone, Moon. Truly, the moon shines with a good grace.


The Lion shakes Thisbe’s mantle, and exits


Theseus Well moused, Lion.


Lysander And so the lion vanished.


Demetrius And then came Pyramus.


Enter Pyramus


Pyramus Sweet Moon, I thank thee for thy sunny beams;

I thank thee, Moon, for shining now so bright;

For, by thy gracious, golden, glittering gleams,

I trust to take of truest Thisby sight.

But stay, O spite!

But mark, poor knight,

What dreadful dole is here!

Eyes, do you see?

How can it be?

O dainty duck! O dear!

Thy mantle good,

What, stain’d with blood!

Approach, ye Furies fell!

O Fates, come, come,

Cut thread and thrum;

Quail, crush, conclude, and quell!


Theseus This passion, and the death of a dear friend, would go near to make a man look sad.


Hippolyta Beshrew my heart, but I pity the man.


Pyramus O wherefore, Nature, didst thou lions frame?

Since lion vile hath here deflower’d my dear:

Which is — no, no — which was the fairest dame

That lived, that loved, that liked, that look’d with cheer.

Come, tears, confound;

Out, sword, and wound

The pap of Pyramus;

Ay, that left pap,

Where heart doth hop:


Stabs himself


Thus die I, thus, thus, thus.

Now am I dead,

Now am I fled;

My soul is in the sky:

Tongue, lose thy light;

Moon take thy flight:


Exit Moonshine


Now die, die, die, die, die.




Demetrius No die, but an ace, for him; for he is but one.


Lysander Less than an ace, man; for he is dead; he is nothing.


Theseus With the help of a surgeon he might yet recover, and prove an ass.


Hippolyta How chance Moonshine is gone before Thisbe comes back and finds her lover?


Theseus She will find him by starlight. Here she comes; and her passion ends the play.


Re-enter Thisbe


Hippolyta Methinks she should not use a long one for such a

Pyramus: I hope she will be brief.


Demetrius A mote will turn the balance, which Pyramus, which Thisbe, is the better; he for a man, God warrant us; she for a woman, God bless us.


Lysander She hath spied him already with those sweet eyes.


Demetrius And thus she means, videlicet:—


Thisbe   Asleep, my love?

What, dead, my dove?

O Pyramus, arise!

Speak, speak. Quite dumb?

Dead, dead? A tomb

Must cover thy sweet eyes.

These lily lips,

This cherry nose,

These yellow cowslip cheeks,

Are gone, are gone:

Lovers, make moan:

His eyes were green as leeks.

O Sisters Three,

Come, come to me,

With hands as pale as milk;

Lay them in gore,

Since you have shore

With shears his thread of silk.

Tongue, not a word:

Come, trusty sword;

Come, blade, my breast imbrue:


[Stabs herself]


And, farewell, friends;

Thus Thisby ends:

Adieu, adieu, adieu.




Theseus Moonshine and Lion are left to bury the dead.


Demetrius Ay, and Wall too.


Bottom[Starting up] No assure you; the wall is down that parted their fathers. Will it please you to see the epilogue, or to hear a Bergomask dance between two of our company?


Theseus No epilogue, I pray you; for your play needs no excuse. Never excuse; for when the players are all dead, there needs none to be blamed. Marry, if he that writ it had played Pyramus and hanged himself in Thisbe’s garter, it would have been a fine tragedy: and so it is, truly; and very notably discharged. But come, your Bergomask: let your epilogue alone.


A dance


The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve:

Lovers, to bed; ’tis almost fairy time.

I fear we shall out-sleep the coming morn

As much as we this night have overwatch’d.

This palpable-gross play hath well beguiled

The heavy gait of night. Sweet friends, to bed.

A fortnight hold we this solemnity,

In nightly revels and new jollity.




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 gathering 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;

And the owner of it blest

Ever shall in safety rest.

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 am 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.




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