A Midsummer Night's Dream
some additional scenes
by Edward L. Stauff
Hermia is loved by Lysander and Demetrius. She in turn loves Lysander, but her father has promised her to Demetrius. By Athenian law she must obey, or face death or a nunnery. Demetrius is loved by Hermia's close friend Helena, whom he seduced, betrothed, and then spurned for Hermia. Hermia and Lysander plot to meet in a wood and escape Athens so they can be married. They confide in Helena, who then reveals their plans to Demetrius. In the wood a love spell intended for Demetrius is visited upon Lysander instead, who falls in love with Helena, spurning Hermia. Demetrius then becomes similarly enchanted. Lysander and Demetrius pursue each other through the wood, intent on battle over Helena. Hermia chases Helena, convinced that they are all playing a mean trick on her.
Meanwhile, a group of rough townspeople have come into the wood to rehearse a play. One of their number, Nick Bottom, is enchanted into having an ass's head by Puck, a fairy. His friends run off in fear. Titania, queen of the fairies, has fallen victim to the love spell and falls in love with Bottom.
Act III Scene II ends with the four lovers asleep in the wood, near but unaware of each other.
Come, bathe with me in yonder pool and, when |
Refresh'd and sweeten'd by its waters, then
Upon its mossy shores we will recline
And tenderly our sep'rate limbs entwine
Like vines which on some ancient trunk advance
And there perform love's horizontal dance.
|BOT.||As for dancing, I'll jig along with the best of 'em, and as for twining, I'll tie us up like so much string; but as for bathing, I'd as lief skip over that and proceed with the rest.|
Thou art no less than perfect in my sight, |
More precious to me is thy every word.
But thou about thee hast an air of blight;
Such imperfection thou canst not afford.
|BOT.||Tis true my faults are few and of little significance, and if the air be made no sweeter by my presence (which I doubt), consider how much worse would smell my corpse, freshly drownded: I can dance and sing, but neither fly nor swim.|
This shallow pond's no deeper than my chest, |
Upon which, while you bathe, your head will rest.
Of drowning I can pacify your fear.
Come fairies, do assist me with my dear.
Now ere long they shall see |
Other ass anatomy.
So I'll watch, here conceal'd,
What's about to be reveal'd.
Here, master Cobweb, would you steal a man's clothes straight
off his back? Masters Peas-Blossom and Mustard-Seed, my boots
will not serve you to wear, for they are too large, nor will
they serve you as drinking-horns, for they are too holy. Nay,
master Moth, my trousers too? Help me, lest I fall!
[Falls in water
What royal sceptre of heroic size |
Is this that doth thy graceful loins adorn?
Art thou bold Priapus in some disguise?
What melodies I'll play upon this horn!
[Aside] Be this bludgeon curse or blessing I cannot say, but if
I have this water to thank for it, I have a new-found friend in
water. [To TITA.] I'll rise to the occasion.
Thou art my conquerer: now I do brace |
Myself for thou to serve the coup de grace.
Be merciful as thou thy weapon wield:
Not quick, but slow, and so this flesh will yield.
Oh! Ah! By all the gods! I am impaled!
Tomcats have tenderness |
In their mating nothing less
Than this oaf, in disguise,
Battering Titania's thighs.
I am an endless field which thou must plough |
Forever, for I cannot have enou
Of thy embrace. But here, thy seed is sown
In such a raging torrent as to drown
Me from within. Now in some other wise
Thou must to me make love, nor criticize
This thy performance for its brevity,
For much superior longevity
Have fingers, lips and tongue. Nay, do not sleep!
Awaken! O, how canst thou lie so deep
In slumber, having sated well thy lust,
While for a similar contentment must
Titania to her own devices turn?
O most beloved queen, wilt thou not spurn |
This rude, ill-mannered mortal?
Say not so. |
While sleeps my love, apart from him we'll go
Some little distance, so thereby to wake
Him not, while we my passion try to slake.
Come fairies, if you can,
Complete what he began. [Exeunt TITA. and Fairies
[Asleep] Lysander, oh my love, Lysander, oh. |
Demetrius, upon thy honor, no.
|HEL.||[Wakens] Who calls? Where art thou, pray? I cannot see.|
|HER.||Sweet Helena my friend, why mock'st thou me?|
Tis Hermia. Does she then seek me yet? |
No, here she sleeps, her eyes, though closed, still wet
With bitter tears shed all for her late love
Thought I Helena above |
Such cruel pranks.
O Hermia, awake! |
I prithee, listen to me for thy sake
And mine. Lysander's love hath flown I know,
But not mine own. See how I hold thee so
Within my arms? Awake!
[Wakens] O gentle friend, |
I dreamed my dear Lysander's love did end.
I fear thou must now hate me all anew |
For I must tell thee that thy dream is true.
Yet by our friendship I implore thee now
To hate me not. Does not my weeping show
That I as much as you by this their blade
Of fickle love have been a victim made?
See how my tears do mix with thine.
O now |
I do believe thy innocence. But how
Is it that I have lost Lysander's eye
To you, without your help therewith? And why
Does my belov'd Demetrius turn round
His fancy and pursue me like some hound?
It seems to me most strange that men should call |
Us women fickle -- us indeed! -- when all
Your love and mine for our respective swains
Has never swerved. They have our hearts in chains
And, pulling on them in this tug-o'-war,
Do seek to split them both asunder.
Perhaps they seek to test our love by trial
Of this ordeal.
Or might it be that while |
The two of us, once friends, now bitter foes
(Or so they do believe) do offer blows
To one another, they, while laughing at such sport
Do wager on the winner, tall or short?
Or could their hearts by jealousy have been |
So poison'd as to treat us so? They've seen
The love we bear each other. Is it this?
If it indeed be so, then with a kiss |
Let us now seal our love anew 'gainst such
O let me feel again the touch |
Of your soft lips on mine. It warms my blood
And stirs my passion.
And mine too. So good! |
Do take your hand and place it thus upon
|HER.||And you the same.|
|HEL.||I will, anon.|
|HER. & HEL.||Ah, oh, etc.|
This tender pair is soft, but softer still |
'Neath my caressing hand would be thy skin,
Beneath this fabric you so sweetly fill.
|HEL.||Let me uncover that which lies within.|
O lovely, sacred hill! This perfect curve |
Of tender flesh would as a temple serve
For Venus or for Sappho. Here's one more!
There's one for each.
You know how I adore |
The feeling of your clever fingers' touch
Upon these hemispheres, but just as much
Do I adore your lips upon my -- oh!
|HER.||Is this the right location?|
O Helena, please do me likewise. Here, |
I'll bare my chest for you to kiss, my dear.
Such regal mountains these! They quite eclipse |
My modest charms. Now let me touch --
Your lips, |
At once! Look here, see how my nipples strain
To feel thy lips and tongue? Oh, taste again.
With every lick these rosy buds become |
More sweet, more plump, each one just like some pom-
egranate seed. If only I had these
With which my fair Demetrius to please.
O Helena! Thy breasts, while not so great |
In size than mine, are still no less a treat
For fingers, lips and tongue. Fie on such talk!
[Aside] Though had I hers, I know not how I'd walk. |
[To HEL.] Then while upon my bosom you employ
Your mouth, your hand may give me greater joy
By stealing up between my thighs like this
And touch me where my passion's centre is.
What have we here? A hungry mouth indeed |
That drooleth so, and see how it doth feed
Upon my fingers, swallowing them whole.
What, no obstruction? 'Pon my very soul,
Thy virgin seal is broken.
|HEL.||Is not thine?|
None but my dear Lysander shall have mine, |
And him not til we legally are wed,
And lie together on our nuptual bed.
A maiden am I yet (though hardly chaste).
But spread apart these thighs and let me taste
The nectar from this fountain that doth flow
O God, sweet Hermia, oh! |
How well thou knowest how to pleasure me.
Now do you take that secret, tender pea
Of flesh, that organ, in this wise unique,
Whose solitary purpose is to wreak
Upon us women ecstasy complete,
Around that spot your ministrations mete
Until I -- til I -- til -- ah, there, I spend!
I come! Sweet Hermia, my love, my friend!
[Wakes] Did I but dream a dream? Or did I hear |
My Helena cry out as if in fear
Her voice again, but whence? |
On winged feet I'd fly to her defense
Had I but some direction.
Now permit |
Me from you likewise to receive. I'll sit
With care upon your upturn'd face,
And with your tongue you'll give me joy apace.
Is't Hermia I hear? And is her will |
On Helena's undoing fixed still?
Another cry! I must give chase -- but here
They are, engag'd in battle most severe,
Already each the other's garments has
Halfway torn off, and Hermia, alas,
With her backside has Helena's poor head
Entrapp'd. She does not struggle, is she dead?
Thou wicked Hermia!
O murderess most foul and hideous, |
|DEM.||Desist, I say!|
|HER. & HEL.||Demetrius!|
|DEM.||She lives? O, happy day!|
How dare you interrupt our happy sport? |
Is it for jealousy thou hast cut short
Have you lost |
Your wits or just your manners? Has the frost
Upon your heart crept up into your brain?
That I have made an error is now plain, |
And I do beg forgiveness from you both.
To Helena again I pledge my troth
From whom it should have never been remov'd:
'Tis thee I love.
And how can this be prov'd, |
That you do with Lysander not attempt
To turn my love for Hermia to contempt
And likewise hers for me?
If truly sought |
I Hermia, not thee, and if I thought
To take her thus and ravish her, why should
I pause, with none to stop me in this wood,
She with her chastity all compromis'd?
Yet see, I free her.
Am I then despis'd |
|DEM.||Helena, so do I swear.|
|HER.||I trust him not.|
Nor yet I, but come here |
Demetrius, and kiss me as you once
Were wont to do. What bliss! But for the nonce
I must require of thee further proof.
Make love to me, and if thou canst aloof
From Hermia remain, while she doth stay
Within thy easy reach, then thou canst say
Thou lovest me, and then I will believe.
Your wish is mine. Make ready to receive |
|HER.||This I cannot witness.|
Pray, wherefore? |
Ere long Lysander, whom you do adore,
Will likewise with you this same act commit.
|HER.||Ye Gods, the size! However will it fit?|
It has betimes. See, in it slides with ease. |
O dearest dear Demetrius, you please
Me far beyond description.
|DEM. & HEL.||Ah, oh, etc.|
I dreamed, or thought I dreamed, or dreamed I thought |
That for the love of Helena I fought
Against Demetrius, I having lost
Somewhere my love for Hermia: a most
Distressing dream indeed. But listen, what
Impassion'd exclamations are these that
I hear? One voice I think I recognize:
Demetrius, though I can but surmise
The other, therefore I'll upon them spy;
If Hermia's despoil'd, then he shall die.
Hermia! Has he dared assault |
Nay my love, while I cannot exalt |
Demetrius, he has by neither word
Nor hand assaulted me.
Retire thy sword, |
Our quarrel is no longer, now my heart
To Helena belongs, as once before,
And so, gods willing, will be evermore.
Lysander, put away thy steel and sheathe |
Thy sword in Hermia.
Do you bequeathe |
Me thy virginity?
As always: when |
We are by marriage join'd, and only then.
In this our amorous play you may join |
And yet not spend your precious virgin coin;
A hundred variations has the sport
Of love, we'll demonstrate a diff'rent sort.
I'll take in hand Demetrius' proud tool,
Still wet from bathing in my secret pool,
And guide it to another pair of lips
And from his fountain take lascivious sips.
Is there to your debauchery no end? |
How could I thus I cannot comprehend.
And wherefore should Lysander's sex be so |
Much less delicious than my own?
I do |
Not know, I must confess.
Or must I show |
You how --
-- upon Lysander now? |
|HER. & DEM.||No!|
Hither Hermia, I will give you some |
Instruction in the eating of a man.
|HER.||Touch not Lysander.|
Nay, here is my plan: |
Upon Demetrius I'll demonstrate,
And likewise you may recapitulate
Upon thy dear Lysander. Cease thy quest
Within his clothing and instead divest
Him of that interfering cloth. There stands
The object of thy search. Now with thy hands
Its measure take, examine length and girth
And firmness like a merchant checks the worth
Of some fresh sausage; then likewise that pair
Of eggs that hangs beneath, but have a care:
Be gentle, lest they break. Upon the crown
Now place a kiss like this, then likewise down
Its length proceed. From root to tip employ
Thy tongue, and thereby thy first taste enjoy.
|LYS.||What ecstasy upon me Hermia wreaks!|
|HER.||Do I indeed? But what is this: it leaks.|
Waste not such precious drops, let them upon |
Your tongue dissolve, there's more to come anon.
Let him the circle of your lips invade,
But with your hands create a barricade
Like this, lest he unknowing in his lust
Should choke you with some overzealous thrust.
Hast thou enough instruction given now? |
If not, leave off explaining; rather show
Her by example: I would have thee use
Thy mouth some other wise.
|HEL.||I'll not refuse.|
|DEM. & LYS.||Ah, oh, etc.|
O Helena, this dedicated toil |
Of thine on my behalf doth bring to boil
My passion, yea even my very blood,
And more: lover, prepare thee for the flood!
|HER.||This tribulation must I also bear?|
I'll not demand it of you, Hermia dear. |
Yet do you your decision quickly make,
For of thy wondrous sucking I can take
But little more, before I -- Hermia, oh!
Employ thy hands; nay, do not let him go, |
Thou need not drink his seed. There, gently hold
His fountain as it spurts.
I'm not so bold |
As you, to drink this draught, though it is less
A measure than I feared, but what a mess!
|HEL.||'Tis but a few spoons' worth: enough.|
|HER.|| Dear friends,
Belov'd Lysander, here with acts of love |
We have for our distractions made amends.
Tomorrow we shall from this wood remove
Ourselves, and to Lysander's aunt repair
Where we in proper legal form may take,
Our wedding vows, and finish this affair.
I bid you all good slumber, till we wake.
|[Enter Puck, unseen.]|
All asleep, their passions sated, |
Dream that they will soon be mated;
Have no worry, it is fated.
All's made well: I am elated. [Exit Puck