(1594 – 1595)
Act 2. PROLOGUE
Now old desire doth in his death-bed lie,
And young affection gapes to be his heir;
That fair for which love groan’d for and would die,
With tender Juliet match’d, is now not fair.
Now Romeo is beloved and loves again,
Alike betwitched by the charm of looks,
But to his foe supposed he must complain,
And she steal love’s sweet bait from fearful hooks:
Being held a foe, he may not have access
To breathe such vows as lovers use to swear;
And she as much in love, her means much less
To meet her new-beloved any where:
But passion lends them power, time means, to meet
Tempering extremities with extreme sweet.
Act 2. Scene I
A lane by the wall of Capulet’s orchard.
Can I go forward when my heart is here?
Turn back, dull earth, and find thy centre out.
He climbs the wall, and leaps down within it
Enter BENVOLIO and MERCUTIO
Romeo! my cousin Romeo!
He is wise;
And, on my lie, hath stol’n him home to bed.
He ran this way, and leap’d this orchard wall:
Call, good Mercutio.
Nay, I’ll conjure too.
Romeo! humours! madman! passion! lover!
Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh:
Speak but one rhyme, and I am satisfied;
Cry but ‘Ay me!’ pronounce but ‘love’ and ‘dove;’
Speak to my gossip Venus one fair word,
One nick-name for her purblind son and heir,
Young Adam Cupid, he that shot so trim,
When King Cophetua loved the beggar-maid!
He heareth not, he stirreth not, he moveth not;
The ape is dead, and I must conjure him.
I conjure thee by Rosaline’s bright eyes,
By her high forehead and her scarlet lip,
By her fine foot, straight leg and quivering thigh
And the demesnes that there adjacent lie,
That in thy likeness thou appear to us!
And if he hear thee, thou wilt anger him.
This cannot anger him: ‘twould anger him
To raise a spirit in his mistress’ circle
Of some strange nature, letting it there stand
Till she had laid it and conjured it down;
That were some spite: my invocation
Is fair and honest, and in his mistres s’ name
I conjure only but to raise up him.
Come, he hath hid himself among these trees,
To be consorted with the humorous night:
Blind is his love and best befits the dark.
If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark.
Now will he sit under a medlar tree,
And wish his mistress were that kind of fruit
As maids call medlars, when they laugh alone.
Romeo, that she were, O, that she were
An open et caetera, thou a poperin pear!
Romeo, good night: I’ll to my truckle-bed;
This field-bed is too cold for me to sleep:
Come, shall we go?
Go, then; for ’tis in vain
To seek him here that means not to be found.
Act 2. Scene II
He jests at scars that never felt a wound.
JULIET appears above at a window
But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou her maid art far more fair than she:
Be not her maid, since she is envious;
Her vestal livery is but sick and green
And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.
It is my lady, O, it is my love!
O, that she knew she were!
She speaks yet she says nothing: what of that?
Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
I am too bold, ’tis not to me she speaks:
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,
As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.
See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!
O, speak again, bright angel! for thou art
As glorious to this night, being o’er my head
As is a winged messenger of heaven
Unto the white-upturned wondering eyes
Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him
When he bestrides the lazy-pacing clouds
And sails upon the bosom of the air.
O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.
[Aside] Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?
‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.
I take thee at thy word:
Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptized;
Henceforth I never will be Romeo.
What man art thou that thus bescreen’d in night
So stumblest on my counsel?
By a name
I know not how to tell thee who I am:
My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself,
Because it is an enemy to thee;
Had I it written, I would tear the word.
My ears have not yet drunk a hundred words
Of that tongue’s utterance, yet I know the sound:
Art thou not Romeo and a Montague?
Neither, fair saint, if either thee dislike.
How camest thou hither, tell me, and wherefore?
The orchard walls are high and hard to climb,
And the place death, considering who thou art,
If any of my kinsmen find thee here.
With love’s light wings did I o’er-perch these walls;
For stony limits cannot hold love out,
And what love can do that dares love attempt;
Therefore thy kinsmen are no let to me.
If they do see thee, they will murder thee.
Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye
Than twenty of their swords: look thou but sweet,
And I am proof against their enmity.
I would not for the world they saw thee here.
I have night’s cloak to hide me from their sight;
And but thou love me, let them find me here:
My life were better ended by their hate,
Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.
By whose direction found’st thou out this place?
By love, who first did prompt me to inquire;
He lent me counsel and I lent him eyes.
I am no pilot; yet, wert thou as far
As that vast shore wash’d with the farthest sea,
I would adventure for such merchandise.
Thou know’st the mask of night is on my face,
Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek
For that which thou hast heard me speak to-night
Fain would I dwell on form, fain, fain deny
What I have spoke: but farewell compliment!
Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say ‘Ay,’
And I will take thy word: yet if thou swear’st,
Thou mayst prove false; at lovers’ perjuries
Then say, Jove laughs. O gentle Romeo,
If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully:
Or if thou think’st I am too quickly won,
I’ll frown and be perverse an say thee nay,
So thou wilt woo; but else, not for the world.
In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond,
And therefore thou mayst think my ‘havior light:
But trust me, gentleman, I’ll prove more true
Than those that have more cunning to be strange.
I should have been more strange, I must confess,
But that thou overheard’st, ere I was ware,
My true love’s passion: therefore pardon me,
And not impute this yielding to light love,
Which the dark night hath so discovered.
Lady, by yonder blessed moon I swear
That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops–
O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon,
That monthly changes in her circled orb,
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.
What shall I swear by?
Do not swear at all;
Or, if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self,
Which is the god of my idolatry,
And I’ll believe thee.
If my heart’s dear love–
Well, do not swear: although I joy in thee,
I have no joy of this contract to-night:
It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden;
Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be
Ere one can say ‘It lightens.’ Sweet, good night!
This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath,
May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.
Good night, good night! as sweet repose and rest
Come to thy heart as that within my breast!
O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?
What satisfaction canst thou have to-night?
The exchange of thy love’s faithful vow for mine.
I gave thee mine before thou didst request it:
And yet I would it were to give again.
Wouldst thou withdraw it? for what purpose, love?
But to be frank, and give it thee again.
And yet I wish but for the thing I have:
My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.
Nurse calls within
I hear some noise within; dear love, adieu!
Anon, good nurse! Sweet Montague, be true.
Stay but a little, I will come again.
O blessed, blessed night! I am afeard.
Being in night, all this is but a dream,
Too flattering-sweet to be substantial.
Re-enter JULIET, above
Three words, dear Romeo, and good night indeed.
If that thy bent of love be honourable,
Thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow,
By one that I’ll procure to come to thee,
Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite;
And all my fortunes at thy foot I’ll lay
And follow thee my lord throughout the world.
I come, anon.–But if thou mean’st not well,
I do beseech thee–
By and by, I come:–
To cease thy suit, and leave me to my grief:
To-morrow will I send.
So thrive my soul–
A thousand times good night!
A thousand times the worse, to want thy light.
Love goes toward love, as schoolboys from
But love from love, toward school with heavy looks.
Re-enter JULIET, above
Hist! Romeo, hist! O, for a falconer’s voice,
To lure this tassel-gentle back again!
Bondage is hoarse, and may not speak aloud;
Else would I tear the cave where Echo lies,
And make her airy tongue more hoarse than mine,
With repetition of my Romeo’s name.
It is my soul that calls upon my name:
How silver-sweet sound lovers’ tongues by night,
Like softest music to attending ears!
At what o’clock to-morrow
Shall I send to thee?
At the hour of nine.
I will not fail: ’tis twenty years till then.
I have forgot why I did call thee back.
Let me stand here till thou remember it.
I shall forget, to have thee still stand there,
Remembering how I love thy company.
And I’ll still stay, to have thee still forget,
Forgetting any other home but this.
‘Tis almost morning; I would have thee gone:
And yet no further than a wanton’s bird;
Who lets it hop a little from her hand,
Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves,
And with a silk thread plucks it back again,
So loving-jealous of his liberty.
I would I were thy bird.
Sweet, so would I:
Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing.
Good night, good night! parting is such
That I shall say good night till it be morrow.
Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in thy breast!
Would I were sleep and peace, so sweet to rest!
Hence will I to my ghostly father’s cell,
His help to crave, and my dear hap to tell.
Act 2. Scene III
Friar Laurence’s cell.
Enter FRIAR LAURENCE, with a basket
The grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night,
Chequering the eastern clouds with streaks of light,
And flecked darkness like a drunkard reels
From forth day’s path and Titan’s fiery wheels:
Now, ere the sun advance his burning eye,
The day to cheer and night’s dank dew to dry,
I must up-fill this osier cage of ours
With baleful weeds and precious-juiced flowers.
The earth that’s nature’s mother is her tomb;
What is her burying grave that is her womb,
And from her womb children of divers kind
We sucking on her natural bosom find,
Many for many virtues excellent,
None but for some and yet all different.
O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies
In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities:
For nought so vile that on the earth doth live
But to the earth some special good doth give,
Nor aught so good but strain’d from that fair use
Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse:
Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied;
And vice sometimes by action dignified.
Within the infant rind of this small flower
Poison hath residence and medicine power:
For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part;
Being tasted, slays all senses with the heart.
Two such opposed kings encamp them still
In man as well as herbs, grace and rude will;
And where the worser is predominant,
Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.
Good morrow, father.
What early tongue so sweet saluteth me?
Young son, it argues a distemper’d head
So soon to bid good morrow to thy bed:
Care keeps his watch in every old man’s eye,
And where care lodges, sleep will never lie;
But where unbruised youth with unstuff’d brain
Doth couch his limbs, there golden sleep doth reign:
Therefore thy earliness doth me assure
Thou art up-roused by some distemperature;
Or if not so, then here I hit it right,
Our Romeo hath not been in bed to-night.
That last is true; the sweeter rest was mine.
God pardon sin! wast thou with Rosaline?
With Rosaline, my ghostly father? no;
I have forgot that name, and that name’s woe.
That’s my good son: but where hast thou been, then?
I’ll tell thee, ere thou ask it me again.
I have been feasting with mine enemy,
Where on a sudden one hath wounded me,
That’s by me wounded: both our remedies
Within thy help and holy physic lies:
I bear no hatred, blessed man, for, lo,
My intercession likewise steads my foe.
Be plain, good son, and homely in thy drift;
Riddling confession finds but riddling shrift.
Then plainly know my heart’s dear love is set
On the fair daughter of rich Capulet:
As mine on hers, so hers is set on mine;
And all combined, save what thou must combine
By holy marriage: when and where and how
We met, we woo’d and made exchange of vow,
I’ll tell thee as we pass; but this I pray,
That thou consent to marry us to-day.
Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here!
Is Rosaline, whom thou didst love so dear,
So soon forsaken? young men’s love then lies
Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.
Jesu Maria, what a deal of brine
Hath wash’d thy sallow cheeks for Rosaline!
How much salt water thrown away in waste,
To season love, that of it doth not taste!
The sun not yet thy sighs from heaven clears,
Thy old groans ring yet in my ancient ears;
Lo, here upon thy cheek the stain doth sit
Of an old tear that is not wash’d off yet:
If e’er thou wast thyself and these woes thine,
Thou and these woes were all for Rosaline:
And art thou changed? pronounce this sentence then,
Women may fall, when there’s no strength in men.
Thou chid’st me oft for loving Rosaline.
For doting, not for loving, pupil mine.
And bad’st me bury love.
Not in a grave,
To lay one in, another out to have.
I pray thee, chide not; she whom I love now
Doth grace for grace and love for love allow;
The other did not so.
O, she knew well
Thy love did read by rote and could not spell.
But come, young waverer, come, go with me,
In one respect I’ll thy assistant be;
For this alliance may so happy prove,
To turn your households’ rancour to pure love.
O, let us hence; I stand on sudden haste.
Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast.
Act 2. Scene IV
Enter BENVOLIO and MERCUTIO
Where the devil should this Romeo be?
Came he not home to-night?
Not to his father’s; I spoke with his man.
Ah, that same pale hard-hearted wench, that Rosaline.
Torments him so, that he will sure run mad.
Tybalt, the kinsman of old Capulet,
Hath sent a letter to his father’s house.
A challenge, on my life.
Romeo will answer it.
Any man that can write may answer a letter.
Nay, he will answer the letter’s master, how he
dares, being dared.
Alas poor Romeo! he is already dead; stabbed with a
white wench’s black eye; shot through the ear with a
love-song; the very pin of his heart cleft with the
blind bow-boy’s butt-shaft: and is he a man to
Why, what is Tybalt?
More than prince of cats, I can tell you. O, he is
the courageous captain of compliments. He fights as
you sing prick-song, keeps time, distance, and
proportion; rests me his minim rest, one, two, and
the third in your bosom: the very butcher of a silk
button, a duellist, a duellist; a gentleman of the
very first house, of the first and second cause:
ah, the immortal passado! the punto reverso! the
The pox of such antic, lisping, affecting
fantasticoes; these new tuners of accents! ‘By Jesu,
a very good blade! a very tall man! a very good
whore!’ Why, is not this a lamentable thing,
grandsire, that we should be thus afflicted with
these strange flies, these fashion-mongers, these
perdona-mi’s, who stand so much on the new form,
that they cannot at ease on the old bench? O, their
bones, their bones!
Here comes Romeo, here comes Romeo.
Without his roe, like a dried herring: flesh, flesh,
how art thou fishified! Now is he for the numbers
that Petrarch flowed in: Laura to his lady was but a
kitchen-wench; marry, she had a better love to
be-rhyme her; Dido a dowdy; Cleopatra a gipsy;
Helen and Hero hildings and harlots; Thisbe a grey
eye or so, but not to the purpose. Signior
Romeo, bon jour! there’s a French salutation
to your French slop. You gave us the counterfeit
fairly last night.
Good morrow to you both. What counterfeit did I give you?
The ship, sir, the slip; can you not conceive?
Pardon, good Mercutio, my business was great; and in
such a case as mine a man may strain courtesy.
That’s as much as to say, such a case as yours
constrains a man to bow in the hams.
Meaning, to court’sy.
Thou hast most kindly hit it.
A most courteous exposition.
Nay, I am the very pink of courtesy.
Pink for flower.
Why, then is my pump well flowered.
Well said: follow me this jest now till thou hast
worn out thy pump, that when the single sole of it
is worn, the jest may remain after the wearing sole singular.
O single-soled jest, solely singular for the
Come between us, good Benvolio; my wits faint.
Switch and spurs, switch and spurs; or I’ll cry a match.
Nay, if thy wits run the wild-goose chase, I have
done, for thou hast more of the wild-goose in one of
thy wits than, I am sure, I have in my whole five:
was I with you there for the goose?
Thou wast never with me for any thing when thou wast
not there for the goose.
I will bite thee by the ear for that jest.
Nay, good goose, bite not.
Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting; it is a most
And is it not well served in to a sweet goose?
O here’s a wit of cheveril, that stretches from an
inch narrow to an ell broad!
I stretch it out for that word ‘broad;’ which added
to the goose, proves thee far and wide a broad goose.
Why, is not this better now than groaning for love?
now art thou sociable, now art thou Romeo; now art
thou what thou art, by art as well as by nature:
for this drivelling love is like a great natural,
that runs lolling up and down to hide his bauble in a hole.
Stop there, stop there.
Thou desirest me to stop in my tale against the hair.
Thou wouldst else have made thy tale large.
O, thou art deceived; I would have made it short:
for I was come to the whole depth of my tale; and
meant, indeed, to occupy the argument no longer.
Here’s goodly gear!
Enter Nurse and PETER
A sail, a sail!
Two, two; a shirt and a smock.
My fan, Peter.
Good Peter, to hide her face; for her fan’s the
God ye good morrow, gentlemen.
God ye good den, fair gentlewoman.
Is it good den?
‘Tis no less, I tell you, for the bawdy hand of the
dial is now upon the prick of noon.
Out upon you! what a man are you!
One, gentlewoman, that God hath made for himself to
By my troth, it is well said; ‘for himself to mar,’
quoth a’? Gentlemen, can any of you tell me where I
may find the young Romeo?
I can tell you; but young Romeo will be older when
you have found him than he was when you sought him:
I am the youngest of that name, for fault of a worse.
You say well.
Yea, is the worst well? very well took, i’ faith;
if you be he, sir, I desire some confidence with
She will indite him to some supper.
A bawd, a bawd, a bawd! so ho!
What hast thou found?
No hare, sir; unless a hare, sir, in a lenten pie,
that is something stale and hoar ere it be spent.
An old hare hoar,
And an old hare hoar,
Is very good meat in lent
But a hare that is hoar
Is too much for a score,
When it hoars ere it be spent.
Romeo, will you come to your father’s? we’ll
to dinner, thither.
I will follow you.
Farewell, ancient lady; farewell,
‘lady, lady, lady.’
Exeunt MERCUTIO and BENVOLIO
Marry, farewell! I pray you, sir, what saucy
merchant was this, that was so full of his ropery?
A gentleman, nurse, that loves to hear himself talk,
and will speak more in a minute than he will stand
to in a month.
An a’ speak any thing against me, I’ll take him
down, an a’ were lustier than he is, and twenty such
Jacks; and if I cannot, I’ll find those that shall.
Scurvy knave! I am none of his flirt-gills; I am
none of his skains-mates. And thou must stand by
too, and suffer every knave to use me at his pleasure?
I saw no man use you a pleasure; if I had, my weapon
should quickly have been out, I warrant you: I dare
draw as soon as another man, if I see occasion in a
good quarrel, and the law on my side.
Now, afore God, I am so vexed, that every part about
me quivers. Scurvy knave! Pray you, sir, a word:
and as I told you, my young lady bade me inquire you
out; what she bade me say, I will keep to myself:
but first let me tell ye, if ye should lead her into
a fool’s paradise, as they say, it were a very gross
kind of behavior, as they say: for the gentlewoman
is young; and, therefore, if you should deal double
with her, truly it were an ill thing to be offered
to any gentlewoman, and very weak dealing.
Nurse, commend me to thy lady and mistress. I
protest unto thee–
Good heart, and, i’ faith, I will tell her as much:
Lord, Lord, she will be a joyful woman.
What wilt thou tell her, nurse? thou dost not mark me.
I will tell her, sir, that you do protest; which, as
I take it, is a gentlemanlike offer.
Bid her devise
Some means to come to shrift this afternoon;
And there she shall at Friar Laurence’ cell
Be shrived and married. Here is for thy pains.
No truly sir; not a penny.
Go to; I say you shall.
This afternoon, sir? well, she shall be there.
And stay, good nurse, behind the abbey wall:
Within this hour my man shall be with thee
And bring thee cords made like a tackled stair;
Which to the high top-gallant of my joy
Must be my convoy in the secret night.
Farewell; be trusty, and I’ll quit thy pains:
Farewell; commend me to thy mistress.
Now God in heaven bless thee! Hark you, sir.
What say’st thou, my dear nurse?
Is your man secret? Did you ne’er hear say,
Two may keep counsel, putting one away?
I warrant thee, my man’s as true as steel.
Well, sir; my mistress is the sweetest lady–Lord,
Lord! when ’twas a little prating thing:–O, there
is a nobleman in town, one Paris, that would fain
lay knife aboard; but she, good soul, had as lief
see a toad, a very toad, as see him. I anger her
sometimes and tell her that Paris is the properer
man; but, I’ll warrant you, when I say so, she looks
as pale as any clout in the versal world. Doth not
rosemary and Romeo begin both with a letter?
Ay, nurse; what of that? both with an R.
Ah. mocker! that’s the dog’s name; R is for
the–No; I know it begins with some other
letter:–and she hath the prettiest sententious of
it, of you and rosemary, that it would do you good
to hear it.
Commend me to thy lady.
Ay, a thousand times.
Peter, take my fan, and go before and apace.
Act 2. Scene V
The clock struck nine when I did send the nurse;
In half an hour she promised to return.
Perchance she cannot meet him: that’s not so.
O, she is lame! love’s heralds should be thoughts,
Which ten times faster glide than the sun’s beams,
Driving back shadows over louring hills:
Therefore do nimble-pinion’d doves draw love,
And therefore hath the wind-swift Cupid wings.
Now is the sun upon the highmost hill
Of this day’s journey, and from nine till twelve
Is three long hours, yet she is not come.
Had she affections and warm youthful blood,
She would be as swift in motion as a ball;
My words would bandy her to my sweet love,
And his to me:
But old folks, many feign as they were dead;
Unwieldy, slow, heavy and pale as lead.
O God, she comes!
Enter Nurse and PETER
O honey nurse, what news?
Hast thou met with him? Send thy man away.
Peter, stay at the gate.
Now, good sweet nurse,–O Lord, why look’st thou sad?
Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily;
If good, thou shamest the music of sweet news
By playing it to me with so sour a face.
I am a-weary, give me leave awhile:
Fie, how my bones ache! what a jaunt have I had!
I would thou hadst my bones, and I thy news:
Nay, come, I pray thee, speak; good, good nurse, speak.
Jesu, what haste? can you not stay awhile?
Do you not see that I am out of breath?
How art thou out of breath, when thou hast breath
To say to me that thou art out of breath?
The excuse that thou dost make in this delay
Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse.
Is thy news good, or bad? answer to that;
Say either, and I’ll stay the circumstance:
Let me be satisfied, is’t good or bad?
Well, you have made a simple choice; you know not
how to choose a man: Romeo! no, not he; though his
face be better than any man’s, yet his leg excels
all men’s; and for a hand, and a foot, and a body,
though they be not to be talked on, yet they are
past compare: he is not the flower of courtesy,
but, I’ll warrant him, as gentle as a lamb. Go thy
ways, wench; serve God. What, have you dined at home?
No, no: but all this did I know before.
What says he of our marriage? what of that?
Lord, how my head aches! what a head have I!
It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces.
My back o’ t’ other side,–O, my back, my back!
Beshrew your heart for sending me about,
To catch my death with jaunting up and down!
I’ faith, I am sorry that thou art not well.
Sweet, sweet, sweet nurse, tell me, what says my love?
Your love says, like an honest gentleman, and a
courteous, and a kind, and a handsome, and, I
warrant, a virtuous,–Where is your mother?
Where is my mother! why, she is within;
Where should she be? How oddly thou repliest!
‘Your love says, like an honest gentleman,
Where is your mother?’
O God’s lady dear!
Are you so hot? marry, come up, I trow;
Is this the poultice for my aching bones?
Henceforward do your messages yourself.
Here’s such a coil! come, what says Romeo?
Have you got leave to go to shrift to-day?
Then hie you hence to Friar Laurence’ cell;
There stays a husband to make you a wife:
Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks,
They’ll be in scarlet straight at any news.
Hie you to church; I must another way,
To fetch a ladder, by the which your love
Must climb a bird’s nest soon when it is dark:
I am the drudge and toil in your delight,
But you shall bear the burden soon at night.
Go; I’ll to dinner: hie you to the cell.
Hie to high fortune! Honest nurse, farewell.
Act 2. Scene VI
Friar Laurence’s cell.
Enter FRIAR LAURENCE and ROMEO
So smile the heavens upon this holy act,
That after hours with sorrow chide us not!
Amen, amen! but come what sorrow can,
It cannot countervail the exchange of joy
That one short minute gives me in her sight:
Do thou but close our hands with holy words,
Then love-devouring death do what he dare;
It is enough I may but call her mine.
These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume: the sweetest honey
Is loathsome in his own deliciousness
And in the taste confounds the appetite:
Therefore love moderately; long love doth so;
Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.
Here comes the lady: O, so light a foot
Will ne’er wear out the everlasting flint:
A lover may bestride the gossamer
That idles in the wanton summer air,
And yet not fall; so light is vanity.
Good even to my ghostly confessor.
Romeo shall thank thee, daughter, for us both.
As much to him, else is his thanks too much.
Ah, Juliet, if the measure of thy joy
Be heap’d like mine and that thy skill be more
To blazon it, then sweeten with thy breath
This neighbour air, and let rich music’s tongue
Unfold the imagined happiness that both
Receive in either by this dear encounter.
Conceit, more rich in matter than in words,
Brags of his substance, not of ornament:
They are but beggars that can count their worth;
But my true love is grown to such excess
I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth.
Come, come with me, and we will make short work;
For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone
Till holy church incorporate two in one.
(“Romeo and Juliet” – 1594 – 1595)