A Midsummer Nights Dream – Act 2 Scene 2

Come, dance in a circle and sing a fairy song, and then go off for a while to do your work. Sing me to sleep now, and then go off to do your duties and let me rest. Snakes with forked tongues, And porcupines, don’t be seen. Deadly lizards, don’t be mean. Don’t come near our fairy queen. Nightingale, melodiously Sing our sweet lullaby. Lulla, lulla, lullaby, Lulla, lulla, lullaby, Let no harm or spell or charm Come near our lovely lady. Say good night with a lullaby. Spiders with your webs, stay away. You long-legged things, begone! Black beetles, don’t come near. Worms and snails, don’t be bad. Nightingale, melodiously Sing our sweet lullaby. Lulla, lulla, lullaby, Lulla, lulla, lullaby, Let no harm or spell or charm Come near our lovely lady. Say good night with a lullaby. Okay, let’s go! Everything’s fine now. Whatever you see first when you wake up think of it as your true love. Love him and yearn for him, even if he’s a lynx, a cat, a bear, a leopard, or a wild boar. Whatever’s there when you wake up will be dear to you. Wake up when something nasty is nearby. My love, you look like you’re about to faint from wandering in the woods for so long and to tell you the truth, I’ve gotten us lost. We’ll take a rest, if you think it’s a good idea, and wait until daylight when things will be easier. Let’s do that, Lysander. Find something to cushion you while you sleep. I’m going to rest my head on this little slope. We can both sleep together on the grass. We’ll have one heart, one bed, two bodies, and one faithful vow. No, Lysander. Please, for my sake, sleep a little farther away. Don’t sleep so close to me. Oh, sweetheart, I didn’t mean anything naughty when I said that. I just meant that our hearts are joined, so we can almost think of them as one heart. So let me sleep next to you. If I lie next to you, I won’t lie to you — I’ll be faithful and respect you. Lysander’s got a way with words. I would certainly be rude and shameful if I had implied that you were a liar. But please, darling, sleep a little farther away It’s only proper for a well-behaved bachelor and a well-behaved girl to be physically separated like this. Stay away for now, and good night, my sweet friend. I hope your love for me remains this strong for your entire life! Amen to that. I hope my life ends before my loyalty to you does. I’ll sleep over here. Sleep well! You sleep well too. I’ve been through the entire forest, but I haven’t found any Athenian man to use the flower on. Wait a second, who’s this? He’s wearing Athenian clothes. This must be the guy who rejected the Athenian girl. And here’s the girl, sleeping soundly on the damp and dirty ground. Pretty girl! She shouldn’t lie near this rude and heartless man. I throw all the power of this magic charm on your eyes. When you wake up, let love keep you from going back to sleep. Wake up when I’m gone, because now I have to go to Oberon. Stop, Demetrius! Stop, even if only to kill me. I’m telling you, get out of here, and don’t follow me around like this. Oh, will you leave me alone in the dark? Don’t. Stay here at your own risk. I’m going on alone. Oh, I’m out of breath from this foolish chase. The more I pray, the less I get out of it. Hermia is lucky, wherever she is, because she has beautiful eyes. How did her eyes get so bright? Not from crying. If that’s the case, tears wash my eyes more than hers. No, no, I’m as ugly as a bear, since animals that see me run away in terror. So it’s no surprise that Demetrius runs away from me as if I were a monster. What evil and deceitful mirror made me think I could rival Hermia’s starry eyes? But who’s this here? Lysander, on the ground? Is he dead or sleeping? I don’t see any blood or injuries—Lysander, if you’re alive, wake up. Audience laughing I’d even run through fire if you told me to. Where is Demetrius? Oh, I’d kill that name with my sword if I could! Don’t say that, Lysander. Don’t say that. Why do you care that he loves Hermia? What does it matter? Hermia still loves you, so be happy. Happy with Hermia? No. I regret all the boring time I wasted with her. I don’t love Hermia; I love Helena. Who wouldn’t love a dove more than a crow? Why does everyone always make fun of me? What have I done to deserve this kind of treatment from you? Is it not enough, is it not enough, young man, that I’ll never be pretty enough to get a kind look from Demetrius? Do you have to harp on my inadequacy? My God, it’s wrong for you to woo me in such a cruel, disdainful way. But goodbye. I have to tell you, I thought you were a much kinder person than this. Oh, how awful that a lady who’s been rejected by one man should therefore be treated horribly by another one! She doesn’t see Hermia— Hermia, keep sleeping, and don’t come near me ever again! I’ll use all my talents and efforts to serve Helen and bring her honor. Audience Applause Hermia: Help me Lysander, help me! Get this snake off of my chest Oh, my God! What a terrible dream I just had! Lysander, look how I’m shaking from fear. I thought a snake was eating my heart while you sat smiling and watching Lysander! What, is he gone? Lysander, my lord! What, is he out of earshot? Gone? No answer, nothing? Oh, God, where are you? Say something if you can hear me. Say something, please! I’m almost fainting with fear. Nothing? Then I guess you’re nowhere nearby. I’ll find you—or die—right away.


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