Measure for Measure

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

The moated grange at ST. LUKE’s.
The moated grange house at ST. LUKE’s.
Enter MARIANA and a Boy
MARIANA and a Boy enter.
(sings) Take, O, take those lips away,
That so sweetly were forsworn;
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights that do mislead the morn:
5But my kisses bring again, bring again;
Seals of love, but sealed in vain, sealed in vain.
(singing) Take, oh take those lips away, that swore such sweet lies,
and those eyes, which trick the morning by shining bright as the sun at dawn. But give back, give back my kisses, which seal my love, but seal it in vain, seal it in vain.
Break off thy song, and haste thee quick away:
Here comes a man of comfort, whose advice
Hath often still’d my brawling discontent.
Stop singing, and leave, quickly. Here comes a man whose advice has often calmed me down.
Exit Boy
The Boy exits.
Enter DUKE VINCENTIO disguised as before
DUKE VINCENTIO enters, disguised as a friar.
10I cry you mercy, sir; and well could wish
You had not found me here so musical:
Let me excuse me, and believe me so,
My mirth it much displeased, but pleased my woe.
I beg your pardon, sir. I wish you hadn’t found me listening to music. Please excuse me, and believe me, it drove away my joy and nurtured my sorrow.
’Tis good; though music oft hath such a charm
15To make bad good, and good provoke to harm.
I pray, you, tell me, hath any body inquired
for me here to-day? much upon this time have
I promised here to meet.
That’s good, though music often has a magical power to make the bad seem good and encourage good people to misbehave. Please tell me, has anybody been asking for me here today? I promised to meet someone here about this time.
You have not been inquired after:
20I have sat here all day.
No one’s been asking for you. I’ve been sitting here all day.