Monday, May 23, 2011

Mercutio - Queen Mab

MERCUTIO:

O, then I see Queen Mab hath been with you.

She is the fairies' midwife, and she comes

In shape no bigger than an agate stone

On the forefinger of an alderman,

Drawn with a team of little atomies

Over men's noses as they lie asleep;

Her wagon spokes made of long spinners' legs,

The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers;

Her traces, of the smallest spider web;

Her collars, of the moonshine's wat'ry beams;

Her whip, of cricket's bone; the lash, of film;

Her wagoner, a small grey-coated gnat,

Not half so big as a round little worm

Pricked from the lazy finger of a maid;

Her chariot is an empty hazelnut,

Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,

Time out o' mind the fairies' coachmakers.

And in this state she gallops night by night

Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love;

O'er courtiers' knees, that dream on curtsies straight;

O'er lawyers' fingers, who straight dream on fees;

O'er ladies' lips, who straight on kisses dream,

Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,

Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are.

Sometimes she gallops o'er a courtier's nose,

And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;

And sometimes comes she with a tithe-pig's tail

Tickling a parson's nose as 'a lies asleep,

Then dreams he of another benefice.

Sometimes she driveth o'er a soldier's neck,

And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,

Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,

Of healths five fathom deep; and then anon

Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,

And being thus frighted, swears a prayer or two

And sleeps again. This is that very Mab

That plats the manes of horses in the night

And bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs,

Which once untangled much misfortune bodes.

This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,

That presses them and learns them first to bear,

Making them women of good carriage.




This is she!

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