Starv. O would the Duke and Dutchess smile,
The court would do the same awhile,
But call us after, low and vile,
And that way make their sport:
Nay, would you still more pastime make,
And at poor we your purses shake,
Whate’er you give, we’ll gladly take,
For that will do at court.
Bot. Well said, my boys, my hearts! Sing but like nightingales thus when you come to your misrepresentation, and we are made for ever, you rogues! so! steal a way now to your homes without inspection; meet me at the Duke’s oak—by moon light—mum’s the word.
[Exeunt all stealing out.
Scene, a Wood.
Enter a Fairy at one Door, and Puck, or Robin-good-fellow, at another.
Puck. How now, Spirit! whither wander you?
1st Fai. Over hill, over dale,
Through bush, through brier,
Over park, over pale,
Through flood, through fire,
I do wander every where,
Swifter than the moon’s sphere;
And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green:
I must go seek some dew-drops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear.
Kingcup, daffodil and rose,
Shall the fairy wreath compose;
Beauty, sweetness, and delight,
Crown our revels of the night:
Lightly trip it o’er the green
Where the Fairy ring is seen;
So no step of earthly tread,
Shall of end our Lady’s head.
Virtue sometimes droops her wing,
Beauties bee, may lose her sting;
Fairy land can both combine,
Roses with the eglantine:
Lightly be your measures seen,
Deftly footed o’er the green;
Nor a spectre’s baleful head
Peep at our nocturnal tread.
Farewel thou lob of spirits, I’ll be gone;
Our Queen and all her Elves come here anon.
Puck. The King doth keep his revels here to-night,
Take heed the Queen come not within his sight;
For they do square, that all their Elves for fear
Creep into acorn-cups, and hide them there.
1st Fai. But why is Oberon so fell and wrath?
Puck. Because that she, as her attendant hath
A lovely boy stol’n from an Indian King;
And she perforce with-holds the changling,
Tho’ jealous Oberon wou’d have the child
Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild.
1st Fai. Or I mistake your shape and making quite, Or else you are that shrewd and knavish Sprite Call’d Robin-good-fellow.
Puck. Thou speak’st aright;
I am that merry wand’rer of the night:
I jest to Oberon, and make him smile,
Oft lurk in gossip’s bowl, and her beguile
In very likeness of a roasted crab;
And when she drinks, against her lips I bob,
And on her wither’d dewlap pour the ale;
The wisest aunt telling the saddest tale,
Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me;
Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,
And rails or cries, and falls into a cough,
And then the whole choir hold their hips and loffe.