A Midsummer Night’s Dream

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

And here will rest me.
430 (lies down)
    Come, thou gentle day!
For if but once thou show me thy grey light,
I’ll find Demetrius and revenge this spite.
(sleeps)
I’ll rest here. (he lies down) I hope the pleasant daytime comes soon! As soon as the gray light of early morning appears, I’ll find Demetrius and get my revenge for this insult.
Enter ROBIN and DEMETRIUS
LYSANDER lies down and falls asleep. ROBIN and DEMETRIUS enter.

ROBIN

(as LYSANDER to DEMETRIUS)
435Ho, ho, ho! Coward, why comest thou not?

ROBIN

(in LYSANDER’s voice) Ha, ha, ha! Hey, You coward, why aren’t you coming?

DEMETRIUS

Abide me, if thou darest! For well I wot
Thou runn’st before me, shifting every place,
And darest not stand nor look me in the face.
Where art thou now?

DEMETRIUS

Wait for me, if you’re not too scared! I know that’s why you’re running away from me, constantly changing places—you’re afraid to stand still and wait for me. You’re scared to look me in the eye. Where are you now?

ROBIN

440 (as LYSANDER) Come hither. I am here.

ROBIN

(in LYSANDER’s voice) Come here. I’m over here.

DEMETRIUS

Nay, then, thou mock’st me. Thou shalt buy this dear
If ever I thy face by daylight see.
Now go thy way. Faintness constraineth me
To measure out my length on this cold bed.
445By day’s approach look to be visited.
(lies down and sleeps)

DEMETRIUS

No, you’re just taunting me. You’ll pay for this if I ever see you face-to-face in the daylight. Go wherever you want. I’m exhausted; I need to lie down and sleep on this cold ground. But watch out. I’ll find you at dawn. (DEMETRIUS lies down and sleeps)
Enter HELENA
HELENA enters.

HELENA

O weary night, O long and tedious night,
Abate thy hours. Shine comforts from the east,
That I may back to Athens by daylight
450From these that my poor company detest.
And sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow’s eye,
Steal me awhile from mine own company.
(lies down and sleeps)

HELENA

Oh, what a long, tedious, exhausting night! I wish it would end. I wish the comforting light of day would shine so I can go back to Athens and get away from these people who hate me so much. I hope I’ll be able to sleep and escape my troubles for a while. People can sometimes forget their difficulties when they’re asleep. (HELENA lies down and sleeps)