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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 1

page Act 5 Scene 1 Page 17

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 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 hallowed house.
 I am sent with broom before
 To sweep the dust behind the door.
And we fairies, who run away from the sun just like the goddess of the night, following darkness like a dream, are getting antsy. But I’m here to make sure that not even a mouse disturbs this blessed house. I’ve been sent to clean house a bit before the fairies come.
Enter OBERON and TITANIA, King and Queen of Fairies, with all their train
OBERON and TITANIA enter with their servants and followers.


Through the house give glimmering light,
By the dead and drowsy fire.
Every elf and fairy sprite
Hop as light as bird from brier.
355And this ditty, after me,
Sing and dance it trippingly.


Let the dying fire shine a glimmering light throughout the house. I want every elf and fairy to hop lightly, like a bird on a twig, and to sing and dance this song along with me.


First, rehearse your song by rote,
To each word a warbling note.
Hand in hand with fairy grace
360Will we sing and bless this place.


First rehearse your song from memory, and make sure each note is pretty. We’ll all join hands and sing, and bless this place with our fairy grace.
OBERON, TITANIA, and the FAIRIES sing and dance
OBERON and TITANIA lead the FAIRIES in song and dance.


Now until the break of day,
Through this house each fairy stray.
To the best bride bed will we,
Which by us shall blessèd 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.


Now, until morning, each fairy should walk through this house. Titania and I will go to the royal marriage bed to bless it, and the children conceived in that bed will always have good luck. Each of the three couples will always be faithful and in love, and their children will have no deformities.