Come, now a roundel and a fairy song;
Then, for the third part of a minute,
The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve.
Lovers, to bed! ’Tis almost fairy time.
I fear we shall outsleep the coming morn
As much as we this night have overwatched.
How now, spirit? Whither wander you?
Over hill, over dale,
These are the forgeries of jealousy:
And never, since the middle summer’s spring,
Met we on hill, in dale,
How happy some o’er other some can be!
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she.
But what of that?
Lo! She is one of this confederacy.
Now I perceive, they have conjoin’d all three
To fashion this false sport,
Joy, gentle friends, joy and fresh days of love
Accompany your hearts!
More strange than true. I never may believe
These antic fables, nor these fairy toys.
Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man’s hand is not able to taste,
Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,
The ear more quick of apprehension makes;
Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense,
Lord, what fools these mortals be!
When in that moment (so it came to pass)
Titania wak’d, and straightway lov’d an ass.
And yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together now-a-days.
And this same progeny of evils comes
From our debate, from our dissension;
We are their parents and original.
And the quaint mazes in the wanton green,
For lack of tread, are undistinguishable.
Things base and vile, holding no quantity,
Love can transpose to form and dignity.
Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind;
Ay me! For aught that I could ever read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth.
And thorough this distemperature, we see
The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose,