Fan the Moonbeams

Out of this wood do not desire to go:

Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no.

I am a spirit of no common rate;

The summer still doth tend upon my state;

And I do love thee: therefore, go with me;

I’ll give thee fairies to attend on thee;

And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep,

And sing, while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep:

And I will purge thy mortal grossness so,

That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.

Peaseblossom! Cobweb! Moth! Mustardseed!

Be kind and courteous to this gentleman;

Hop in his walks, and gambol in his eyes;

Feed him with apricocks and dewberries,

With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries;

The honey-bags steal from the humble-bees,

And for night-tapers crop their waxen thighs,

And light them at the fiery glow-worm’s eyes,

To haev my love to bed and to arise;

And pluck the wings from painted butterflies,

To fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes:

Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

2 Replies to “Fan the Moonbeams”

  1. Midsummer is the most lyrical, magical, verbally sublime play ever written. ok, also the Tempest, esp. Prospero invoking the air spirits. “Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes and groves,/
    And ye that on the sands with printless foot /Do chase the ebbing Neptune and do fly him/
    When he comes back; “(Act V) What an powerful arc of a monologue from magical invocation to the surrendering of that magical power…

  2. I agree Andrew, this is by far my favourite play, it is pure alchemy, The Fool in motion, the Rosicrucian mystery as seen through a mirror, an elemental masterpiece in every way!

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