Romeo and Juliet / William Shakespeare / 2-1


Enter Chorus.

Now old desire doth in his deathbed 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 belov’d, and loves again,
Alike bewitched by the charm of looks;
But to his foe suppos’d 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 anywhere.
But passion lends them power, time means, to meet,
Tempering extremities with extreme sweet.


SCENE I. An open place adjoining Capulet’s Garden.

Enter Romeo.


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! Romeo!


He is wise,

And on my life 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 ‘Ah me!’ Pronounce but Love and dove;

Speak to my gossip Venus one fair word,

One nickname for her purblind son and heir,

Young Abraham Cupid, he that shot so trim

When King Cophetua lov’d 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.


An 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 conjur’d it down;

That were some spite. My invocation

Is fair and honest, and, in his mistress’ 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.

O Romeo, that she were, O that she were

An open-arse and 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.


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