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Romeo and Juliet

William Shakespeare

Act 3 Scene 5

page Act 3 Scene 5 Page 1

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter ROMEO and JULIET aloft
ROMEO and JULIET enter above the stage.


Wilt thou be gone? It is not yet near day.
It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear.
Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree.
5Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.


Are you going? It’s still a long time until daybreak. Don’t be afraid. That sound you heard was the


The lark sings in the morning, the nightingale sings at night.

, not the lark. Every night the nightingale chirps on that pomegranate-tree. Believe me, my love, it was the nightingale.


It was the lark, the herald of the morn,
No nightingale. Look, love, what envious streaks
Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east.
Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day
10Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.
I must be gone and live, or stay and die.


It was the lark, the bird that sings at dawn, not the nightingale. Look, my love, what are those streaks of light in the clouds parting in the east? Night is over, and day is coming. If I want to live, I must go. If I stay, I’ll die.


Yon light is not daylight, I know it, I.
It is some meteor that the sun exhales
To be to thee this night a torchbearer,
15And light thee on thy way to Mantua.
Therefore stay yet. Thou need’st not to be gone.


That light is not daylight, I know it. It’s some meteor coming out of the sun to light your way to Mantua. So stay for a while. You don’t have to go yet.


Let me be ta'en. Let me be put to death.
I am content, so thou wilt have it so.
I’ll say yon grey is not the morning’s eye.
20'Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia’s brow.
Nor that is not the lark, whose notes do beat
The vaulty heaven so high above our heads.
I have more care to stay than will to go.
Come, death, and welcome! Juliet wills it so.—
25How is ’t, my soul? Let’s talk. It is not day.


Let me be captured. Let me be put to death. I am content, if that’s the way you want it. I’ll say the light over there isn’t morning. I’ll say it’s the reflection of the moon. I’ll say that sound isn’t the lark ringing in the sky. I want to stay more than I want to go. Come, death, and welcome! Juliet wants it this way. How are you, my love? Let’s talk. It’s not daylight.