Great American Novels, Ranked by How Much We Hate Them
Enter JULIET alone
JULIET enters alone.
Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds,
Toward Phoebus' lodging. Such a wagoner
As Phaeton would whip you to the west
And bring in cloudy night immediately.
5Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night,
That runaways' eyes may wink, and Romeo
Leap to these arms, untalked of and unseen.
Lovers can see to do their amorous rites
By their own beauties, or, if love be blind,
10It best agrees with night. Come, civil night,
Thou sober-suited matron, all in black,
And learn me how to lose a winning match
Played for a pair of stainless maidenhoods.
Hood my unmanned blood bating in my cheeks,
15With thy black mantle, till strange love, grow bold,
Think true love acted simple modesty.
Come, night. Come, Romeo. Come, thou day in night,
For thou wilt lie upon the wings of night
Whiter than new snow upon a raven’s back.
20Come, gentle night, come, loving, black-browed night,
Give me my Romeo. And when I shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
25And pay no worship to the garish sun.
Oh, I have bought the mansion of a love,
But not possessed it, and though I am sold,
Not yet enjoyed. So tedious is this day
As is the night before some festival
30To an impatient child that hath new robes
And may not wear them.
I wish the sun would hurry up and set and night would come immediately. When the night comes and everyone goes to sleep, Romeo will leap into my arms, and no one will know. Beauty makes it possible for lovers to see how to make love in the dark. Or else love is blind, and its best time is the night. I wish night would come, like a widow dressed in black, so I can learn how to submit to my husband and lose my virginity. Let the blood rushing to my cheeks be calmed. In the darkness, let me, a shy virgin, learn the strange act of sex so that it seems innocent, modest, and true. Come, night. Come, Romeo. You’re like a day that comes during the night. You’re whiter than snow on the black wings of a raven. Come, gentle night. Come, loving, dark night. Give me my Romeo. And when I die, turn him into stars and form a constellation in his image. His face will make the heavens so beautiful that the world will fall in love with the night and forget about the garish sun. Oh, I have bought love’s mansion, but I haven’t moved in yet.I belong to Romeo now, but he hasn’t taken possession of me yet. This day is so boring that I feel like a child on the night before a holiday, waiting to put on my fancy new clothes.