A Midsummer Night’s Dream

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

ROBIN
Fairy King, attend, and mark.
I do hear the morning lark.
ROBIN
Listen, Fairy King. I can hear the lark singing. Morning’s here.
OBERON
80Then, my queen, in silence sad,
Trip we after the night’s shade.
We the globe can compass soon
Swifter than the wandering moon.
OBERON
In that case, my queen, let’s travel silently and solemnly across the globe to where it’s still night, circling the earth faster than the moon does.
TITANIA
Come, my lord, and in our flight
85Tell me how it came this night
That I sleeping here was found
With these mortals on the ground.
TITANIA
While we’re walking, you can tell me how I ended up sleeping on the ground with these humans last night.
Exeunt OBERON, TITANIA, and ROBIN
OBERON, TITANIA, and ROBIN exit.
Wind horn within Enter THESEUS and all his train, EGEUS, and HIPPOLYTA
A hunting horn blows. THESEUS enters with his servants, EGEUS and HIPPOLYTA.
THESEUS
Go, one of you, find out the forester.
For now our observation is performed.
90And since we have the vaward of the day,
My love shall hear the music of my hounds.
Uncouple in the western valley. Let them go.
Dispatch, I say, and find the forester.
THESEUS
One of you go find the forest ranger. Since we’re done with the May Day rites and it’s still so early in the morning, my love will have a chance to hear the beautiful music of my hunting dogs barking as they chase their prey. Unleash the dogs in the western valley. Let them go. Now go find the forest ranger.
Exit one of the train
A servant exits.
We will, fair queen, up to the mountain’s top,
95And mark the musical confusion
Of hounds and echo in conjunction.
My beautiful queen, we’ll go up the mountain and listen to the hounds as their barking echoes in the cliffs and sounds like music.
HIPPOLYTA
I was with Hercules and Cadmus once,
When in a wood of Crete they bayed the bear
With hounds of Sparta. Never did I hear
100Such gallant chiding. For, besides the groves,
HIPPOLYTA
I was with the heroes Hercules and Cadmus once, when their Spartan hunting dogs cornered a bear. I’d never heard such impressive barking before.