Romeo and Juliet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Here were the servants of your adversary,
And yours, close fighting ere I did approach.
I drew to part them. In the instant came
The fiery Tybalt, with his sword prepared,
100Which, as he breathed defiance to my ears,
He swung about his head and cut the winds,
Who, nothing hurt withal, hissed him in scorn.
While we were interchanging thrusts and blows,
Came more and more and fought on part and part,
105Till the Prince came, who parted either part.
Your servants were fighting your enemy’s servants before I got here. I drew my sword to part them. Right then, that hothead Tybalt showed up with his sword ready. He taunted me and waved his sword around, making the air hiss. As we were trading blows, more and more people showed up to join the fight, until the Prince came and broke everyone up.
Oh, where is Romeo? Saw you him today?
Right glad I am he was not at this fray.
Oh, where’s Romeo? Have you seen him today? I’m glad he wasn’t here for this fight.
Madam, an hour before the worshipped sun
Peered forth the golden window of the east,
110A troubled mind drove me to walk abroad,
Where, underneath the grove of sycamore
That westward rooteth from this city side,
So early walking did I see your son.
Towards him I made, but he was 'ware of me
115And stole into the covert of the wood.
I, measuring his affections by my own,
Which then most sought where most might not be found,
Being one too many by my weary self,
Pursued my humor not pursuing his,
120And gladly shunned who gladly fled from me.
Madam, I had a lot on my mind an hour before dawn this morning, so I went for a walk. Underneath the Sycamore grove that grows on the west side of the city, I saw your son taking an early-morning walk. I headed toward him, but he saw me coming and hid in the woods. I thought he must be feeling the same way I was—wanting to be alone and tired of his own company. I figured he was avoiding me, and I was perfectly happy to leave him alone and keep to myself.
Many a morning hath he there been seen,
With tears augmenting the fresh morning’s dew,
Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs.
But all so soon as the all-cheering sun
125Should in the farthest east begin to draw
The shady curtains from Aurora’s bed,
Away from light steals home my heavy son,
He’s been seen there many mornings, crying tears that add drops to the morning dew and making a cloudy day cloudier with his sighs. But as soon as the sun rises in the east, my sad son comes home to escape the light.