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by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

THESEUS and HIPPOLYTA enter with PHILOSTRATE and others.
Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour
Draws on apace. Four happy days bring in
Another moon. But oh, methinks how slow
This old moon wanes! She lingers my desires,
5Like to a stepdame or a dowager
Long withering out a young man’s revenue.
Our wedding day is almost here, my beautiful Hippolyta. We’ll be getting married in four days, on the day of the new moon. But it seems to me that the days are passing too slowly—the old moon is taking too long to fade away! That old, slow moon is keeping me from getting what I want, just like an old widow makes her stepson wait to get his inheritance.
Four days will quickly steep themselves in night.
Four nights will quickly dream away the time.
And then the moon, like to a silver bow
10New bent in heaven, shall behold the night
Of our solemnities.
No, you’ll see, four days will quickly turn into four nights. And since we dream at night, time passes quickly then. Finally the new moon, curved like a silver bow in the sky, will look down on our wedding celebration.
????Go, Philostrate,
Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments.
Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth.
Turn melancholy forth to funerals.
15The pale companion is not for our pomp.
Go, Philostrate, get the young people of Athens ready to celebrate and have a good time. Sadness is only appropriate for funerals. We don’t want it at our festivities.
Hippolyta, I wooed thee with my sword
And won thy love doing thee injuries.
But I will wed thee in another key,
With pomp, with triumph, and with reveling.
Hippolyta, I wooed you with violence, using my sword, and got you to fall in love with me by injuring you. But I’ll marry you under different circumstances—with extravagant festivals, public festivities, and celebration.
Enter EGEUS and his daughter HERMIA, and LYSANDER and DEMETRIUS
EGEUS enters with his daughter HERMIA, and LYSANDER and DEMETRIUS.
20Happy be Theseus, our renownèd duke.
Long live Theseus, our famous and respected duke!