If Stratford had been a little further North...
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A Midsimmer Nicht’s Dreme rendered into Scots by John Burns.




Act I


Scene I: The Palace o Theseus


Enter Theseus, Hippolyta ,an Philostrate wi ithers.


Theseus: Nou, fair Hippolyta oor nuptial oor

Draws on apace. Fower happie days bring in

Anither muin; but och hou slaw

This auld muin wanes! She lingers my desires

Like an auld stepdame or a dowager,

Lang-witherand a young man’s siller.


Hippolyta: Fower days will quickly steep themsels in nicht.

Fower nichts will quickly dreme awa the time;

And then the muin lik a siller bow

New-bent in Heiven, sall behauld the nicht

O oor solemnities.


Theseus: Awa, Philostrate,

Steer up the Athenian youth tae merriments,

Wauken the livelie speerits o mirth,

Turn melancholy furth tae funerals;

The peelie-wallie anes isna for oor pomp.

Exit Philostrate

Hippolyta, I woo’ed ye wi my sword,

An won your luve, daein ye injuries;

But I sall wad ye in anither key,

Wi pomp, wi triumph, an wi revellin.


Enter Egeus an his dochter Hermia, an Lysander, an Demetrius.


Egeus: Happie be Theseus, oor renownit Duke!

Theseus: Thanks, guid Egeus. What is the news wi you?

Egeus: Fou o vexatioun come I here, wi complaynte

Agin my dochter Hermia.

Staun furrit, Demetrius. My nobil lord,

This man has my consent to mairry her.

Staun furth, Lysander. An my gracious Duke

This man has bewitchit the bosom o my bairn

You, aye you, Lysander, has gien her rhymes

An excheyngit t luve-tokens wi her.

Ye hae bi muinlicht at her winnock sung,

Wi whingein voice, verses o seecklie luve,

An stole the impressioun o her fantasie

Wi bracelets o your hair, rings, gauds, conceits,

Mindins, trifles, nosegays, sweetmeats, messengers

O strang prevailment in unhardenit youth,

Wi sleekitness ye hae taen my dochter’s hairt,

Turnit her obedience, the quilk is due tae me,

Tae stubborn harshness. An, my gracious Duke,

Be it sae she winna here afore ye

Consent tae mairry wi Demetrius

I beg the auncient privilege o Athens:

As she is myne, I maun dispose o her,

The quilk sall be tae this gentleman

Or tae her daith, accordin tae oor law

Immediatelie providit in that case.


Theseus: What say ye, Hermia. Be advisit, lassie.

Tae you, yir faither suld be lik a god,

Yin wha composit yir ain beautie; aye an

Tae wha ye are nocht but a form in wax

Bi him imprint an sae within his pouer

Tae leave or tae disfigure.

Demetrius is a worthie man.


Hermia: So’s Lysander.


Theseus: In himsel he is;

But in this, withoot your faither’s wish,

The ither maun be held the worthier.


Hermia: I would my faither lookt wi my een.


Theseus: Raither your een maun look wi his guid sense.


Hermia: I dae entreit your Grace tae pardon me,

I kennna bi quilk pouer I am made bauld.

Nor hou it micht concern my modestie,

In sic a presence here tae plead my thochts;

But I beseech your Grace that I maun ken

The worst that micht befaw me in this case

Gin I will nocht mairry yon Demetrius.


Theseus: Either tae dee the daith, or tae gie owre

For aye the society o men.

Sae, bonny Hermia, question your desire;

Tak tent o your youthheid an examine weel yir bluid,

Tae ken gin ye yieldna tae yir faither’s choice,

Ye micht wear for aye the black-claith o a nun,

An stey for aye in shady cloisters,

Stey a barren sister aa your life,

Chantin quiet hymns tae the cauld an fruitless muin.

Thrice-blissit they that maister sae their bluid,

Tae undergo sic maiden pilgrimage;

But earthlier happy is the rose distillit,

Than yin that withers on the virgin thorn,

Grows, lives an dees in single blissitness.


Hermia: Sae will I grow, sae leeve, sae dee, my lord,

Afore I’se yield my virgin patent up

Tae his lordship, wha’s unwantit yoke

My saul consents tae gie nae sovereignity.


Theseus: Tak time tae pause; an bi the next new muin –

The sealin day atween my luve an me,

For everlastin bond o fellowship –

Upon that day either prepare tae dee

For disobedience tae your faither’s will,

Or else tae wad Demetrius, as he would,

Or on Diana’s altar tae protest

For aye, austerity an single life.


Demetrius: Gie owre, sweet Hermia; an Lysander yield

Your crazed title tae my certain richt.


Lysander: Ye hae her faither’s luve, Demetrius;

Let me hae Hermia’s: mairry him insteid.


Egeus: Scornfu Lysander! True he has my luve,

An what is mine, my luve sall gie tae him.

She is mine, an aa my richt o her

I gie tae Demetrius.


Lysander: I am, my lord, as weel-born as him,

As weel-appointit; my luve is mair nor his;

My fortunes every wey as fairly rankit

( maybe even better) than Demetrius;

An mair nor aa thir boasts

I am beluvit o bonny Hermia.

What wey suld I nocht prosecute my richt?

Demetrius, I’ll say it tae his face,

Made luve tae Nedar’s dochter, Helena,

An won her saul; an she, sweet lassie, dotes

Devoutly dotes, dotes in idolatrie,

On this spottit an inconstant man.


Theseus: I maun confess that I hae heard sae much

An wi Demetrius thocht tae hae spoke on’t

But bein ower fou o my ain affairs

I juist forgot. But Demetrius come,

An come Egeus, ye maun gae wi me,

I hae some private learnin for ye baith.

Bonny Hermia, mak shair ye fit yersel

Tae follow your fancies or your faither’s will;

Or else the law o Athens gie’s ye up -

A thing we canna cheynge-

Tae daith or tae a vou o single life.

Come, my Hippolyta. What cheer, my luve?

Demetrius an Egeus, come,

I maun employ ye in some business

Aboot oor waddin, an confer wi ye

On a maitter that concerns yoursels.


Egeus: Wi dutie an desire we follow ye.


Exeunt [ aw bar Lysander an Hermia]


Lysander: Here, lass. Why’s your cheek sae pale?

Hou is’t the roses there dae fade sae quick?


Hermia: Maist lik for want o rain, I could weel beteem them

frae the tempest o my een.


Lysander: Aye, frae ocht that I hae ever read

Or ocht that I ever heard tell

The coorse o true luve never did rin smooth;

But, either it was different in bluid –

Hermia: O cross! Ower high tae be enthrallit tae low!

Lysander: Or else ill-matchit in years –

Hermia: O spite! Ower auld tae be engagit tae yin sae young!

Lysander: Or else it stuid upon the choice o freens-

Hermia: O Hell! Tae choose luve bi anither’s een!

Lysander: Or if there was a sympathy in choice

War, daith or seeckness did lay siege tae it

Makkin it momentary as a soond,

Quick as a shadda, short as ony dreme,

Quick as the lichtnin in the coilit nicht

That in a flash unfaulds baith heiven an earth,

An afore a man can say, “Behaud!”

The jaws o derkness dae devour it up:

Sae quick bricht things come tae confusioun.

Hermia: If then true lovers hae ever been crosst

It stands as an edict in destiny;

Sae let us teach oor trial patience,

For it is a customary cross,

As due tae luve as thochts, an dremes, an sighs,

Wishes an tears, puir Fancy’s followers.

Lysander: Guid coonsel, Hermia, sae hear me nou.

I hae a weedo aunt, a dowager

O muckle fortune an she has nae bairn.

Her hous is seeven mile awa frae Athens

An she respecs me as her anely son.

There, gentil Hermia, I can mairry ye,

An tae yon place the sherp Athenian law

Canna pursue us. Gin ye luve me

Steal furth yir faither’s hous the morn’s nicht

An in the wuid a mile outside the toun

Whaur I met ye yince wi Helena

Tae celebrate the May day morn

I’ll wait for ye.

Hermia: My guid Lysander

I sweir til ye bi Cupid’s strongest bow,

Bi his best arra wi the gowden heid,

Bi the simplicitie o Venus’s doos,

Bi yon that knits thegither sauls an prospers luves,

An bi yon fire that burnt the Carthage queen,

When the fause Trojan unner sail was seen,

Bi aa the vous that ever men hae brokk,

In nummer mair nor ever wumman spoke,

In yon same place ye hae appointit me,

The morra trulie will I meet wi ye.

Lysander: Keep promise, luve. Look, here comes Helena.

Enter Helena.


Hermia: God speed, braw Helena, whaur are ye gaun?

Helena: Braw? Dinna caa me braw.

Demetrius luves your ain beautie mair nor me.

Your een are lik lodestars, an your tung’s sweet soun

Mair tunefu than the lark’s tae a shepherd’s ear,

When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear.

Seeckness is catchin. O, gin looks wis the same,,

I would catch yours, Hermia, afore I go;

My ear would catch your voice, my ee your ee,

My tung would catch your tung’s sweet melodie.

Gif the warld was mine, an leavin oot Demetrius,

The rest I’d gie, intae you tae be translatit.

O, teach tae me the wey ye luik, an wi what art

Ye swey the motion o Demetrius’s hairt!

Hermia: I froun on him yet he luves me still.

Helena: O that your frouns would teach my smiles sic skill.

Hermia: I gie him curses yet he gies me luve.

Helena: O that my prayers sic affectioun moved.

Hermia: The mair I hate, the mair he follaes me.

Helena: The mair I luve, the mair he canna staun the sicht o me.

Hermia: His folly,Helena, is nae faut o mine.

Helena: Nane but your beautie. I wiss that faut was mine.

Hermia: Tak comfort. Nae mair sall he see my face.

Lysander an mysel will flee this place.

Afore the time I did Lysander see

Athens seemed a paradise tae me.

An nou… whit graces in my ain luve dwell

That he has turnt a heiven tae a hell?

Lysander: Helen, tae you oor minds we will unfauld.

The morn’s nicht when the muin can see

Her siller visage in the watery gless

Deckin wi liquid pearl the bladit gress,

A time that lovers’ flichts duis still conceal,

Throu Athens’ yetts we hae devisit tae steal.

Hermia: An in the wuid whaur often you an me

On yella primrose beds war wont tae lie

Emptyin oor bosoms o their coonsil sweet,

There my Lysander an mysel sall meet,

An then frae Athens turn oor een

Tae seek new freens an fremit companies.

Fare ye weel, my bonny freen. Pray for us,

An may guid luck gie ye your ain Demetrius.

Keep word, Lysander. We maun stairve oor sicht

O lovers’ food till the morn’s maist deep midnicht.

Lysander: That I will, my Hermia. Exit Hermia.

Helen, fareweel. As you on him, Demetrius dote on you.

Exit Lysander

Helena:Hou happy some owre ither some can be!

Throu Athens I am thocht as fair as she.

But what o that? Demetrius disna think it,

He winna ken what aw but he dae ken,

An still he dotes on bonny Hermia’s een,

Lik me, admirin aw his qualities.

Things base an vile an shapeless

Luve maun turn tae shape an dignitie.

Luve sees no wi the een but wi the mind,

That’s hou wingit Cupid is paintit blinn,

An luve’s mind has juist nae taste;

Wingis an nae een, suggest a heedless haste,

Sae luve is said tae be a bairn,

Because in choice he is sae aft beguiled,

Lik daft wee boys playin at their games

Sae the bairn luve is miscryit everywhere.

Afore Demetrius lookt on Hermia’s een

He hailed doun oaths that he was mine alane.

An when this hail some heat frae Hermia felt,

Sae he dissolvit an the shouers o oaths did melt.

I’ll gaun tae tell him o braw Hermia’s flicht.

Sae tae the wuid he’ll gaun the morn’s nicht

An for thir guid words if I hae thanks

It is a price weel peyed.

Sae I mean tae enrich my pain

Tae see him gaun yonner an back again.




Scene II. Quince’s hous.


Enter Quince the cairpenter, Snug the jyner, Bottom the wabster, Flute the bellows mender, Snoot the tinker, an Stairvelin the tailor.

Quince: Is aabody here?

Bottom: Ye’ll hae tae shout them oot yin bi yin, off yon bit o paper.

Quince: Here’s the name o every man thocht fit throu the haill o Athens, tae tak a pairt in oor play for the Duke an Duchess on their waddin day.

Bottom: First, guid Peter Quince, tell us whit the play’s aboot: then gie’s the names o the actors.

Quince: Weel, oor play is “The Maist Lamentable Comedie an Maist Cruel Daith o Pyramus an Thisby.”

Bottom: A richt braw bit o wark, by the way, an guid fun tae. Nou guid Peter Quince, caa furth your actors bi the scroll. Boys, spreid yoursels oot.

Quince: Tell us if ye’re here. Nick Bottom the wabster.

Bottom: Aye ready, my man. Whit bit hae ye got me doon for?

Quince: You, Nick Bottom are doon for tae be Pyramus.

Bottom: What’s he? A lover or a tyrant?

Quince: A lover that kills himsel, maist gallus, for luve.

Bottom: That’ll need a fair bit o greetin tae dae weel. Tell the audience tae watch themsels. I’ll move storms. I’ll condole richt fierce. But I’m really guid at tyrants tae,ken. I’d be braw at Hercules, or gie me a bit whaur I can tear a cat in twa:

The ragin rocks

An shiverin shocks

Will brekk the locks

O prison yetts;

An Phibbus’ car

Will shine frae far

An mak an mar

The foolish fates.

My that wis gran. Nou, tell us the rest. This is like Hercules, lik a fierce an frichtenin tyrant. A lover is mair condolin.

Quince: Frankie Flute, the bellows mender.

Flute: Here, boss.

Quince: Flute, ye maun be Thisby.

Flute: Whit’s Thisby? A knight?

Quince: She’s the leddy that Pyramus luves.

Flute: A wumman? I’m no playin a wumman. I’ve juist stertit growin a baird.

Quince: It disnae matter. Ye can wear a mask, an speak in a high voice.

Bottom: Here, I can hide my face, I could play Thisby tae. I’ll speak in a monstrous wee voice, “Thisny, Thisny!” “Ah, Pyramus, my luve sae dear. Your Thisby dear, an leddy dear.”

Quince: Naw,naw, you hiv tae be Pyramus. An Flute, you’re Thisby.

Bottom: Aye,right. Gaun on.

Quince: Robin Stairvelin the Tailor.

Stairvelin: Aye, I’m here.

Quince: You’re Pyramus’ faither; I’m Thisby’s; Snug the jyner, you’re the lion. An I think that’s aabody in their pairt.

Snug: Hae ye got the lion’s pairt wrote doon yet? It tak’s me a while tae learn my lines, ye ken.

Quince: Juist dae it aff the tap o yir heid. It’s juist roarin onywey.

Bottom: O let me be the lion tae. I’ll roar that lood it wid dae ony man’s hairt guid tae hear me. I’ll roar that weel the Duke’ll say,” Let him roar again, let him roar again.”

Quince: Naw, ye’d be murder. Ye’d frichten the Duchess an hir leddies an they’d aw stert greetin an then we’d aw get hung.

Aabody: They wid hing the haill lot o us.

Bottom: I’ll grant ye that, if ye suld frichten the leddies oot o their wits, they wid hing us aw; but I’ll mak my voice roar as gentlie as a sookin doo; I’ll roar lik ony nichtingale.

Quince: Ye can play nae pairt but Pyramus, for Pyramus is a sweet-faced chiel, as braw a man as ye micht see on a simmer’s day; a maist bonny, gentil man …juist lik yoursel.

Bottom; Aye, richt enough. What baird will I play it in?

Quince; Whatever ye want.

Bottom: I’ll dae it in either the strae-colourit yin, the orangey-broun yin, or the purple-dyit yin. Or the French-croon-colour or the bonny, bonny yellae yin.

Quince: Some o yon French croons hae nae hair on them at aa, sae ye maun play barefaced. But look, here’s your pairts, an I entreit ye, desire o ye, indeed beg o ye, tae hae them learnt bi the morn’s nicht. Meet me i the muinlicht i the palace wuid aboot a mile ootside the toun. There we maun rehearse, for if we dae it in the toun, folk’ll see us an ken oor plans. I’ll mak a list o things we’ll need for tae dae oor play. Nou, mind, dinna let me doun.

Bottom: We’ll meet an there we will rehearse maist obscenely an courageously. Tak guid tent; be richt guid. Fareweel.

Quince: At the Duke’s Aik we maun meet.

Bottom: The morn’s nicht.









Act II

Scene l. A wuid near Athens


Enter a fairy at yae door an Robin Guidfella (Puck) at the tither.


Puck: Hellaw therrr. Whaur ye aff tae?

Fairy: Ower hill an howe.

Throu bush an brier,

Ower park an pale,

Throu flood an fire,

I wander aawhaur,

Quicker than the muin’s sphere;

An I serr the Fairy Queen,

An dew her orbis on the green.

The cooslips tall are her bodyguaird:

In their gowd coats spots ye see;

Yon’s rubies, fairy favours,

An in yon freckles leeve their savours.

I maun gaun tae seek some dewdraps here

An hing a pearl in every cooslip’s ear.

Fareweel, ye lob o speerits; I’m awa

Oor Queen an aa her elvis will suin be here.

Puck: The king keeps his revels here the nicht.

Tak heed the Queen cams naewhaur near his sicht.

For Oberon is richt mad an dour

For she as her attendant has

A bonny boy, stolen frae an Indian king;

She never had sae sweet a changelin.

An jealous Oberon wid hae the bairn

Tae be a knight an stravaig wi him throu aw the wuids an wild places.

But she withhauds the loved boy

Croons him wi flooers, maks him aa hir joy.

Sae nou they never meet in grove or green

Bi fountain clere or spanglit starlicht’s sheen

But they faa oot that bad that aw their elvis are feart

An creep intae acorn cups and hide themsels.


Fairy: Either I mistake yir shape an mak

Or else ye are yon shrewd an knavish sprite

Cryit Robin Guidfella. Are you no him

That frichts the lassies o the village,

Skims milk and whyles grinds the corn,

An maks the pechin houswyf kirn awa

For naethin, an maks sometimes the drink tae bear nae froth,

Senns nicht wanderers the wrang wey, lauchin at their hairm?

Them that cryis ye Hobgoblin, or sweet Puck,

Ye dae their wark, an they hae aw the luck.

Are ye no him?


Puck: Aye, ye’re richt enough.

I am that happy wanderer o the nicht.

I joke wi Oberon an mak him smile

When I a fat an bean-fed horse beguile

Neighin lik a young an frisky foal.

Whyles I coory doun in a gossip’s bowl

Luikin juist lik a roastit partan,

An when she drinks, agin hir lips I bob

An on her wrunklit dewlap cowp the yill.

The wycest aunty, tellin a dolefu tale,

Sometimes for a nice wee stool mistakes me,

Then slip I frae hir erse, an doun she faas,

“Tailor” cries, an sterts tae cough

Whyle aa the rest haud their sides an lauch,

An lauch an sweir

A merrier oor was never wastit there.

But here, oot the road. Here comes Oberon.


Fairy: An my mistress.


Enter Oberon the King o the Fairies at the yae door wi his train, an Titania Queen o the Fairies at the tither wi hers.


Oberon: Ill met bi muinlicht, prood Titania.

Titania: Hah, jealous Oberon! Fairy, awa, I hae forsworn his bed an companie.

Oberon: Haud on, ye hasty jaud, am I no your lord?

Titania: Then I maun be yir leddy: but I ken

When ye hae stole awa frae fairy laun

An in the shape o Corin sat aw day,

Wheeplin on pipes o corn, an versin luve

Tae amorous Phillida. Why are ye here,

Come frae the farthest bit o India?

Excep the gallus Amazon.

Your buskined mistress an your warrior luve

Is tae be wad tae Theseus an you come here

Tae wuss their bed joy an prosperity.


Oberon: Shame on ye, Titania

tae say sic things o my credit wi Hippolyta,

when I ken that ye luve Theseus yoursel ?

Did ye no lead him throu the glimmerin nicht

Frae Perigenia that he ravishit?

An mak him wi bonny Aegeles brekk his faith

Wi Ariadne an Antiopa?


Titania: Thir’s the forgeries o jalousie;

An never since the stert o midsimmer

Did we foregaither in meeda or in wuid,

Bi pavit fountain, or bi rashy burn,

Or in the beachit margin o the sea,

Tae daunce oor ringlets tae the whustlin wund,

But wi yere brawls ye hae disturbed oor sport.

Set the wunds, pipin tae us in vain,

As in revenge, hae sookt up frae the sea

Contagious haars, which faain in the laun,

Hae every daft wee river made sae prood

That they hae owercam their continents.

Sae the ox has streekit oot his yoke in vain,

The plooman lost his sweit, an the green corn

Has rottit afore he could grow a baird.

The fauld staunns toom i the droonit field

An the craws are fattent wi deid kye.

The boolin green is fillt wi glaur

An the pads amang the green green gress

For lack o tred ye canna see.

Human mortals want their winter here.

Nae nicht is nou wi hymn or carol blisst.

Sae the muin, the governess o floods,

White wi anger, washes aw the air

Till rheumatic diseases dae aboond.

Throu this byordnar wather we see

The seasouns cheynge; hoary-heidit frosts

Faa i the fresh lap o the reid reid rose,

An on auld Winter’s thin an icy croon

A wreath o sweet-smellin simmer buds

Is set as if in mockery. Spring an Simmer,

The fruitfu Autumn an the angert Winter cheynge

Their normal claes, an the mazit warld

Kens na which is which.

Aa this progeny o evils

Comes frae oor debate, frae oor dissensioun;

We are their parents an original.


Oberon: Weel, sort it oot then. It’s your daein

Whit wey suld Titania cross her Oberon?

Aw I want is a wee cheyngelin boy,

To be my ain..


Titania: Set your hairt at rest,

The fairy laun buys nocht the bairn frae me.

His mither was a votress o my order,

An i the spicit Indian air, bi nicht,

Fu often has she blethert bi my side

An sat wi me on Neptune’s yella saunns

Watchin the embarkit traders on the flood;

When we hae laucht tae see the sails conceive,

An grow big-bellied wi the wanton wund;

Which she wi bonny soomin gait

Followit, her wame then rich wi my young squire,

Wad imitate, an sail upon the launn

Tae fetch me trifles, an retour again

As frae a voyage, rich wi merchandise.

But she, bein mortal, o that bairn did dee;

An for her sake dae I rear up the boy,

An for her sake I winna pairt wi him.


Oberon: Hou lang within this wuid dae ye intend tae stey?


Titania: Till eftir Theseus’ waddin-day.

Gin ye will daunce within oor roond

An see oor muinlicht revels, gang wi us;

Gif no, awa ye go, an I will spare your haunts.


Oberon: Gie me the boy an I will gang wi ye.


Titania: No for your fairy kingdom! Fairies awa.

We sall faa oot richt sair if I stey here.


Exit Titania an her train.


Oberon: Gang your weys; ye’ll no leave this grove

Till I torment ye for this injury.

Gentil Puck, come here. Do ye mind

Langsyne I sat on a rocky kyle

An heard a mermaid on a dauphin’s back

Mak sic sweet an saft a soun

That the coorse an crabbit sea grew ceevil at her sang,

An certain sterns gaed skytin frae their spheres

Tae hear the sea-maid’s music?


Puck: Aye, I mind.


Oberon: Yon verra time I saw, tho you could nocht,

Fleein atween the cauld muin an the yirth,

Cupid, aw airmit : a certain aim he took

At a bonny virgin thronit bi the wast

An loost his luve-shaft smertly frae his bow

Lik it suld pierce a hunner thoosan hairts;

But I micht see young Cupid’s fiery shaft

Quenchit i the chaste beamis o the watery muin;

An the queen’s servant gaed on

In maiden meditatioun, fancy-free.

An yet I markt whaur the bolt o Cupid fell:

It fell upon a wee wee western flooer;

White it was, but nou is purple wi luve’s wound,

An maidens cry it “luve-in-idleness”.

Fetch tae me yon flooer, the herb I shawed ye yince,

The juice o’t on sleepin een poored doun

Will mak man or wumman madly dote

On the next leevin craitur they behaud

When they wauken up.

Fetch me yon herb, an be ye here again

Afore the leviathan can soom a league.


Puck: I’ll pit a girdle roun the yird

In forty meenits.




Exit Puck



Oberon: When I hae this juice,

I’ll watch Titania when she is asleep

An drap the liquor o’t ower her een.

The verra next thing she, wakin, looks upon

Be it lion, bear or wolf or bull,

Or A meddlin puggy,

She will pursue it wi the saul o luve.

An afore I tak this chairm frae aff her sicht,

As I can tak it aff wi anither herb,

I’ll mak her gie the boy tae me.

But wha comes here? They canna see me

Sae I will owerhear their ploy.



Enter Demetrius, Helena, follaein ahint.


Demetrius: Look, I dinna luve ye sae pursue me nocht.

Whaur is Lysander, an bonny Hermia?

The yin I’ll slachter, the tither slachters me.

Ye tellt me they had stole intae this wuid;

Weel here I am, wooed wi’in this wuid,

For I canna tryst wi Hermia.

Awa wi ye, an dinna follae me nae mair.


Helena: Ye draw me, ye hard-hairtit adamant

But yet ye draw nae iron, for my hairt

Is true as steel. Lea’ your pouer tae draw

An I sall nae mair follae ye.


Demetrius: Dae I entice ye? Dae I lead ye on?

Or, rather, dae I no in plainest truth

Tell ye I dinna an I canna luve ye.


Helena: Oh even juist for that I luve ye mair.

I am your spaniel; an, Demetrius,

The mair ye beat me, the mair I’ll fawn on ye.

Yaise me lik your spaniel, spurn me, strike me,

Neglec me, loss me; juist gie me leave,

Unworthy as I am, tae follae ye.

What worser place can I hae in your luve –

An yet a place o high respec wi me-

Than tae be yaisit as ye yaise your dug?

Demetrius: Dinna tempt me, for I’m seeck o lookin at ye.

Helena: An I am seek when I dinna look on ye.

Demetrius: Ye hae endangerit your ain modestie

Tae lea’ the ceetie, an gie yoursel

Intae the haunds o yin wha luves ye nocht,

Tae trust the opportunitie o nicht

An the ill coonsel o a desert place

Wi the rich warld o your virginitie.

Helena: Your virtue is my protectioun. Yet

It isna nicht when I can see your face,

Sae I think I’m nae in nicht;

Nor duis this wuid lack warlds o companie,

For ye, I think, are aa the warld.

Sae wha could say that I am aa alane

When aa the warld is here tae look on me?

Demetrius: I’ll rin an hide i the bushes

An leave ye tae the mercie o the wild baists.

Helena: The wildest hasna sic a hairt as you.

Gang on, rin; the story sall be changed.

Apollo flees, an Daphne hauds the chase;

The doo pusues the griffin; the gentil hind

Maks speed tae catch the teegar; bootless speed

When cowardice pursues, an valour flees.

Demetrius: I’m no listenin tae your questiouns. Let me awa!

Or if ye follae me, dinna believe

But I sall wrang ye in the wuid.

Helena: Ay in the kirk an in the toun, the field,

Ye dae me wrang . Fegs, Demetrius!

Your wrangs dae set a scandal on my sex.

We canna fecht for luve lik men micht dae.

We suld be wooed, an werena made tae woo.

Exit Demetrius.

I’ll follae ye an mak a heiven o a hell

Tae dee upon the haunnd I luve sae weel. Exit


Oberon: Fare thee weel my bonny lass; afore he leaves this grove

Ye ‘ll flee frae him, an he sall seek your luve.

Enter Puck

Hae ye the flooer? Walcoum, wanderer.

Puck: Aye, there it is.

Oberon: I pray ye, gie it here.

I ken a bankin whaur the wild thyme blaws

Whaur oxlips an daffin violets grow

Happit ower wi luscious wuidbine

Wi sweit musk roses an wi eglantine.

There sleeps Titania sometime o the nicht,

Lulled in yon flooers wi daunces an delicht;

An there the snake thraws aff her enamelit skin,

A garment wide eneuch tae wrap a fairy in.

An wi the juice o this I’ll streek her een

An mak her fu o hatefu fantasy.

Tak ye some o’t an seek ye throu this grove.

A sweit Athenian lassie is in luve

Wi a disdainfu youth. Annoint his een:

But dae when the next thing he will see

Micht be the lassie. Ye sall ken this man

Bi the Athenian garmentis he has on.

Dae it wi some care that he maun prove

Mair fond o her than she upon her love:

Then meet me here afore the first crawin o the cock.

Puck: Dinna fear, my lord, your sairvant sall this dae.





Scene II. Anither pairt o the wuid.

Enter Titania, Queen o the Fairies, wi her train.


Titania: Come, gie’s a roundel an a fairy sang;

Then, for the third pairt o a meenit, awa wi ye.

Some cankers for tae kill amang the musk-rose buds,

Some tae fecht wi bauckie-birds for their leather wings

Tae mak my wee elfs’ coats, an some tae keep back

Yon screichin hoolet that nichtly hoots an wunners

At oorsels. Sing me tae my sleep

Then awa tae dae your darg, an let me rest.


Fairies sing.

1st Fairy: Ye spottit snakes wi dooble tung,

Thorny hurcheons, be na seen;

Newts an blinnworms, dae nae wrang,

Come na near oor Fairy Queen.


Chorus: Philomele, wi melodie,

Sing in oor sweet lullaby;

Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby.

Never hairm

Nor spell, nor chairm,

Come oor lovely leddy near;

Sae guidnicht, wi lullaby.


1st Fairy: Weavin wabsters come na here;

Awa ye lang leggit spinners, awa!

Golochs black come na near

Worm, nor snail, dae nae offence


Chorus: Philomele etc etc.

2nd Fairy: Richt, awa! Aa is weel.

Yin abuin staunns sentinel.


Exeunt fairies. Titania sleeps.


Enter Oberon wha squeezes the flooer on Titania’s een.


Oberon: Wha ye see when ye awake

Dae it for your true luve take;

Luve an languish for his sake,

Be it lynx, or cat or bear,

Leopard or boar wi bristlit hair,

In your een that sall appear

When ye waken up, it is your dear.

Nou waken up when some vile thing is near. Exit


Enter Lysander an Hermia.


Lysander: My luve, ye faint wi wannerin in the wuid;

An tae tell the truth, I hae lost oor wey.

Let’s hae a wee bit rest here , Hermia,

An tarry for the comfort o the day.

Hermia: Sae be it, Lysander. Finnd ye oot a bed;

An agin this bank I’ll lay my heid.

Lysander: The yin turf will mak a pillae for us baith,

Yin hairt, yin bed, twa breistis, an the yae troth.

Hermia: Naw, naw, guid Lysander. For my sake, my dear,

Lie farrer off, ye maunna lie sae near.

Lysander: Dinna tak me wrang.

I mean that my hairt tae yours is knit,

Sae that but yin hairt we can mak o it.

Twa breistis cheynit wi yin aith,

Sae then twa bosoms an a single troth.

Then bi your side, nae bed-room me deny

For leein thus, sweet Hermia, I dinna lee.

Hermia: Aye, ye riddle richt weel

An I wad be laith tae say ye lee.

But, gentil freen, for luve an courtesie,

Lie farrer off, in human modestie.

Sic separatioun as micht weel be said

Fits weel a virtuous bachelor an a maid,

Sae keep your distance; an guid nicht sweet freen.

Your luve ne’re altaer till your sweet life enn!

Lysander: Amen, amen, tae that guid prayer, say I,

An then end life when I end loyalty.

Here’s my bed. Sleep gie ye aa his rest.

Hermia: Wi hauf that wish the wisher’s een bi presst!

They sleep.


Enter Puck


Puck: Throu the forest I hae went

But Athenian funnd I nane

On wha’s een I micht try oot

This flooer’s force in stirrin luve.

Nicht an silence – wha’s here?

Claes o Atherns he duis wear.

It ‘s the yin my maister said

Despisit the Athenian maid.

An here the maiden sleepin soond

On the damp an dirty grunnd.

Bonny wee saul, she daurna lie

Near this lack-luve, this kill-courtesie.

Churl, upon your een I thraw

Aa the pouer this chairm can schaw.

When ye wauken let luve forbid

Sleep his seat on your eyelid.

Sae wake ye up when I am gane,

For I maun nou tae Oberon. Exit


Enter Demetrius and Helen rinnin.


Helena: Stey, tho ye kill me, sweet Demetrius.

Demetrius: Awa wi ye, an dinna haunt me mair.

Helena: Wid ye leave me derklin? Oh dinna, please.

Demetrius: Stey there, for I’m gaun on mysel. Exit


Helena: O, I’m pechin sair, wi this fond chase!

The mair my prayer, the less my grace.

Happy is Hermia, whaure’er she lies

For she has blissit an attractive een.

Hou cam her een sae bricht? No wi saut tears:

If that was true, my een are mair oft washt nor hers.

Naw, I’m as ugsome as a bear;

For baistis that meet me rin awa in fear.

It’s nae wunner Demetrius rins awa

an thinks me juist a scunner.

Whit wey did I think my mirror

Made me compare wi Hermia’s bonny een.

But wha’s this? Lysander on the grunnd!

Is he deed, or duis he sleep? I see nae bluid, nae wound.

Lysander, if ye’re no deed, awake!


Lysander : An rin throu fire I will for your sweet sake!

O, bonny Helena! Nature schaws art

That throu yir bosom maks me see your hairt.

Whaur is Demetrius? O hou fit a word

Is yon vile name tae perish on my sword!


Helena: Dinna say that, Lysander;

Altho he luves your Hermia, say nat so.

Hermia still luves you, sae be content.


Lysander: Content wi Hermia! Naw I dae repent

The tedious oors wi her I spent.

No Hermia, but Helena I loo:

Wha widna cheynge a corbie for a doo?

The will o man is bi his reasoun swayed

An reasoun says ye are the worthier maid.

Things growin arena ripe till their seasoun,

Sae I, bein young, till nou no ripe tae reasoun;

An touchin nou the point o human skill,

Reasoun becomes the shirra tae my will,

An leads me tae your een, whaur I can read

Luve’s stories, screivit doun in luve’s bricht book.


Helena: Whit wey wis I tae this keen mockerie born?

When at your haunns did I deserve this scorn?

Is’t no enough, is’t no enough, young man,

That I never did, nor never can

Deserve a sweet look frae Demetrius’ ee

But ye maun flout my insufficiency?

Guidsakes, ye dae me wrang, in truth ye dae

In sic disdainfu manner me to woo.

But fare ye weel; I maun confess

I thocht ye lord o mair true gentilness.

O that a leddy bi yin man refused

Suld bi anither be sae sair abused.




Lysander: She sees na Hermia. Hermia, juist you sleep there;

An dinna come Lysander near!

For juist as ower muckle o the sweetest things

The deepest loathin tae the stomach brings,

Or as the heresies that men dae leave,

Are hatit maist bi them they did deceive,:

So my surfeit, an my heresie,

Of aa be hatit, but the maist bi me.




Hermia (wakenin) Help me, Lysander, help me. Dae your best

Tae pluck this crawlin serpent frae my breist !

Och, what a dream was here!

Lysander, look, hou I trummle wi fear.

I thocht a serpent ate my hairt awa

An you sat smiling at his cruel prey.

Lysander! Whaur are ye?

What, oot o hearin? Gane ? Nau soun? Nae word?

Whaur are ye? Speak, an if ye hear;

Speak in the name o luve; I swoon geynear wi fear.

Naw? Then I jalouse ye are na near

Either daith or you yirsel I’ll finnd immediatelie!



Exit. Titania remains lying asleep.










Scene l. The wuid. Titania lies sleepin.


Enter the clowns: Peter Quince, Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snoot an Stairvelin.


Bottom: Are we aa here?

Quince: Aye, aye; an here’s a richt guid bit for oor rehearsal. This green bit here will be oor stage, this hawthorn bush oor tirin hous, an we maun dae it juist lik we’ll dae it for the Duke.

Bottom: Peter Quince?

Quince: Aye, what is’t, Bottom my man?

Bottom: There’s things in yon comedy o Pyramus an Thisby that’ll juist no dae. First, Pyramus maun draw a sword tae kill his sel, an the weemen canna abide that. Whit d’ye say tae that?

Snoot: Aye, they’ll be richt feart.

Stairvelin: Maybe we suld leave the killin oot.

Bottom: Naw,naw. I hae an idea. Write me a prologue, and let the prologue mak oot that we will dae nae hairm wi oor swords, an that Pyramus isnae really killt; an ye micht as weel juist tell them thatI’m no really Pyramus, but Bottom the wabster. That’ll stop them bein feart.

Quince: Aye,we’ll hae sic a prologue, an it’ll be in echt an six.

Bottom: Naw,na, mak it twa mair: echt an echt.

Snoot: Will the leddies no be feart o the lion?

Staivelin: Aye, they will that. I’m tellin ye.

Bottom: Maisters ye need tae think aboot this. Tae bring in –Guidsakes- a lion amang leddies is a maist awfy thing. For there’s nae mair fearful wild bird than your lion alive the day. We’ll need tae think aboot that.

Snoot: Anither prologue maun say he’s no really a lion.

Bottom: Ye’ll have tae say wha he is, an half his face’ll have tae be seen throu the lion’s neck, an he’ll have tae say somethin lik “Leddies” or “Fair Leddies, I wid juist like for tae say…or I wid ask ye, or I wid entreat ye, no tae be feart. For I’m no a real lion. I’m juit lik ither men.” Then he can even tell them wha he is, Snug the jyner.

Quince: Aye, we’ll dae that. But there’s twa hard things we hiv tae dae; tae bring the muinlicht intae a chaummer, for Pyramus anThisby meet bi muinlicht ye mind.

Snoot: Duis the muin shine the nicht we dae wir play?

Bottom: A calendar, a calendar! Look i the almanac; finnd oot when the muin is shinin.

Quince: Aye, it duis shine that nicht.

Bottom: Weel, juist leave the curtains open an the muin’ll shine richt in.

Quince: Aye, or somdy’ll have tae come in wi a bush o thorns an a lantern an say he’s suppost tae be the man in the muin, or that he is kiddin on tae be muinlicht. But there’s anither thing; we maun hae a waa in the Duke’s gret chaummer for Pyramus an Thisby, it says in the story, talk throu a hole in the waa. A wee chink.

Snoot: Oh, ye couldnae bring in a waa. What dae you think, Bottom?

Bottom: Somedy’ll have tae be the waa. Gie him some plaister or loam or roughcast aboot him, tae schaw that he’s a waa, an he can haud his fingers lik this, an Pyramus an Thisby can whisper throu that wee chink.

Quince: If that’s it then aw is weel. Come on, let’s aw sit doun an rehearse oor pairts. Pyramus, you stert. When you hae said your bit, gang intae yon bush, an the rest o yese dae the same when it’s your turn.

Enter Puck

Puck: Oh ho, whit gallus numpties hae we here

Sae near the creddle o the Fairy Queen?

Whit, they’re rehearsin a play! I’ll juist hae a wee listen.

Maybe dae a wee bit o actin tae…

Quince: Speak, Pyramus. Thisby come oot whaur we can see ye.

Pyramus/Bottom: Thisby, the flouers of odious savours sweet -

Quince: Odours, odours.

Pyramus: - odours savours sweet;

Sae has yir braith, my dearest Thisby dear.

But herk, a voice! Stey you but here awhile,

An by an by I will tae ye appear. Exit

Puck: An orra Pyramus than e’er played here. Exit

Thisby/Flute: Is’t me tae speak nou?

Quince: Aye. He’s juist went awa tae see a noise that he heard, then he’ll come back again.

Thisby: Maist radiant Pyramus, maist lily-white of hue,

Of colour lik the reid rose on the bonny brier,

Maist brisky youth an maist lovely Jew,

As true as truest horse, that yet wid never tire,

I’ll meet ye Pyramus at Ninny’s tomb.

Quince: “Ninus’ tomb”, man. But ye dinna say that yet. Ye say that tae Pyramus when

he comes back. An dinna say aa your pairts at yince. Wait for your cues. Pyramus, come on. Your cue’s past. It was “never tire”.

Thisby: O – true as truest horse, that yet would never tire.

Re-enter Puck, an Bottom wi a cuddy’s heid.

Pyramus: If I wis fair, Thisby, I’m yours alane.

Quince: In the name o the wee man! Oh naw, we’re hauntit. Flee, maisters! Flee! Help!

Exeunt aa the clowns bar Bottom.

Puck: I’ll follae ye. I lead ye a daunce

Throu bog, throu bush, throu brier

Sometimes I’ll be a horse, sometimes a dug.

A hog, a heidless bear, a fire.

I’ll neigh an bark an grunt an roar an burn

Lik horse, dug, hog, bear, fire at every turn. Exit


Bottom: What are they aa rinnin awa fir? It’s no funny. It’s makkin me feart.

Enter Snoot.

Snoot: O, Bottom ye’re sair cheynged! Whit’s yon I see? Whit’s happent tae yir heid

Bottom: Whit d’ye see? Yir ain daft cuddy’s heid, maybe.

Exit Snoot.

Enter Quince.

Quince: Bliss ye, Bottom! Bliss ye! Ye are translatit.


Bottom: I ken whit they’re up tae. They want tae mak an erse o me, an frichten me. But I’m no movin frae this place, whatever they dae. I’ll walk up an doun here, an I’ll sing, sae they can hear I’m no feart. Sings

The oosel cock sae black o hue

Wi orange-yella bill

The mavis wi her note sae true

The wren wi her wee quill –

Titania (wakenin): Whit angel wakes me frae my flooery bed?

Bottom: The finch, the speug, an the laverock

The plain sang o the gowk sae grey

Wha’s notis fu mony a man duis mark,

An daurs na answer nay –

For wha wid be sae daft as sing back tae it? Wha wid argy wi a bird?

Titania: I pray ye, gentil mortal, sing again.

My lugs is much enamorit o yir note.

Sae are my een enthrallit tae yir shape.

An your fair virtu’s force duis move me,

On the first view, tae sweer I am in luve wi ye.

Bottom: Mistress, I dinna think ye hae ony reasoun for that. Mind you, reasoun an luve dinna gang thegither nouadays; mair’s the peetie that some guid nychburris wadna mak them freens. That’s a guid yin, eh?

Titania: O ye are as wise as ye are braw.

Bottom: Naw, no really, but if I hae the wit tae get oot o this wuid I hae enough wisdom as I need.

Titania : Oot o this wuid dinna desire tae go.

Ye sall stey here, whether ye want or no.

I am a speerit o nae common kind.

The simmer itsel aye waits on me.

An I love ye sairly. Sae gang wi me.

I will gie ye fairies tae attend on ye.

An they will fetch ye jewels frae the deep,

An sing, while you on pressit flouers sleep,

An I will purge your mortal grossness so

Sae you lik a lichtsome speerit go

Peaseblossom! Cobwab! Moth! And Mustardseed!


Enter fower fairies.

Peaseblossom: Ready.

Cobwab: An me.

Moth: An me.

Mustardseed. Me tae.

Aa: What are we tae dae?

Titania: Be richt kind and courteous tae this gentilman;

Hop in his walks an gambol in his een.

Feed him wi apricots an dewberries,

Wi purpie grapes , green figs, an mulberries.

Steal the honeybags frae the bummle bees

An for nichtime tapers crop their waxen thies,

An licht them at the fiery glowworm’s ees,

Tae hae my luve tae bed an tae arise.

An pluck the wings frae paintit butterflees,

Tae fan the moonbeams frae his sleepin ees.

Nod ye tae him, elvis, an dae him coortesies.

Peaseblossom: Hail, mortal.

Cobwab: Hail!

Moth: Hail!

Mustardseed: Hail!

Bottom: I cry on your worships’ mercie, richt hairtily; I beg your worship’s name.

Cobwab: Cobwab.

Bottom: We’ll need tae be better acquent, Maister Cobwab: Gin I cut my finger, I’ll gie ye a shout. An your name, honest gentilman?

Peaseblossom: Peaseblossom.

Bottom: I pray ye commen me tae Mistress Squash, your mither, an tae Maister Peascod, your faither. I’ll need tae be better acquent wi you tae. An your name , sir?

Mustardseed: Mustardseed.

Bottom: Guid Maister Mustardseed, I ken your patience weel. Yon cowardlie, muckle ox-beef his etten mony a gentilman o your hous. There’s mony a yin o your faimily has made my een watter afore nou. We maun be mair acquent, Guid Maister Mustardseed.

Titania: Come, wait on him; tak him tae my bower.

The muin looks wi a gey watery ee;

An when she greets, greets every bonny flouer,

Lamentin some enforcit chastity.

Tie ye up my lover’s tung an bring him silently.

Exit Titania wi Bottom an the Fairies.



Scene II. Anither bit o the wuid.


Enter Oberon, an Puck.

Oberon: I wunner gin Titania has wakent up;

An what it was that next cam tae her ee,

That she maun dote on in extremitie.

Here’s my messenger. Hullaw, mad speerit!

Whit nicht-madness gauns on in this begowkit grove?


Puck: My mistress wi a monster is in luve.

Richt near tae her privat an consecratit bower,

While she was in her dull an sleepin oor,

A bunch o tinks, baw-heidit jyners an the lik,

Wha wark for breid doun the Athenian mercat,

Were there thegither tae rehearse a play,

Intendit for gret Theseus’ nuptial day.

The biggest baw-heid o them aa,

The yin that wis playin Pyramus,

Desertit his position, an gaed intae a wheen bushes.

That’s whaur I cam in.

I gied him a cuddy’s heid in place o his ain.

Syne, Thisby needs an answer

Sae oot my mannie comes. When they saw him

They flew awa lik wild geese that see the fowler’s gun

Or reid-heidit choughs that screich an caaw

When they hear the gun, flee up an

Madly sweep the sky.

Sae at their sicht, awa the ithers flee awa.

An at oor stamp, they aa fell ower yin anither,

Shoutin Murder, an cyin on help frae Athens.

Their senses waik, tint wi their fears sae strong,

Made senseless things begin tae dae them wrang.

For briers, an thorns at their claes dae snatch,

Some sleeves, some hats, frae yielders aa things catch.

I led them on in this distractit fear

An left sweet Pyramus translatit there.

When in that moment , sae it cam tae pass,

Titania waked an strechtaway loved an ass.

Oberon: Oh, ho, this is better than I could devise

But hae ye festent yit the Athenian’s ees

Wi the love juice, as I garrd ye dae?

Puck: I funnd him sleepin – that’s duin tae-

An the Athenian wumman bi his side;

Sae when he woke up, she maun be eyed.


Enter Demetrius an Hermia.

Oberon: Here, hide yoursel. This is the same Athenian.

Puck: This the wumman, but no the man.

Demetrius: O why miscaa the yin that loves ye sae?

Lay braith sae bitter on your bitter foe.

Hermia: I’ve no stertit yet. I’m juist gaun tae get worse

For you hae gien me cause tae curse,

If you hae killt Lysander in his sleep,

Bein ower your shuin in bluid, plunge in the deep

An kill me tae.

The sun was nae sae true untae the day

As he tae me. Would he hae stole awa

Frae sleepin Hermia? I’ll believe as suin

This haill warld micht be bored , an that the muin

Micht throu the middle creep, an sae displease

Her brither’s noontide wi the Antipodes.

It canna be but ye hae murdert him,

Ye look lik a murderer; sae deid, sae grim.

Demetrius: Sae should the mudert look, an sae should I,

Piercit throu the hairt wi your stern crueltie.

Yet you the murderer, look as bricht an clere,

As yonder Venus in her glimmerin sphere.

Hermia: What’s that tae my Lysander? Whaur is he?

Ah, guid Demetrius, gie him tae me.

Demetrius: I’d rather gie his carcase tae my dugs.

Hermia: Oot, ye dug! Ye cur! Ye drive me past the boonds

O maiden’s patience. Hae ye killt him then?

O for yince speak true. Tell true, juist for my sake.

Ye widnae hae went near him if he was awake.

Did ye kill him when he was asleep? O that wis brave an braw.

Juist lik an adder or a worm.

An adder did it; for wi doobler tung

Nor yours, ye serpent, never adder stung.

Demetrius: Ye spenn your passioun on a mistaen mood.

I’m no guilty o Lysander’s bluid.

Nor is he deid as far as I can tell.

Hermia: I pray ye then, tell me he is weel.

Demetrius: Anif I could, what wid ye gie me then?

Hermia: A privilege, never tae see me mair.

And frae your hatit presence pairt I so.

See me nae mair, whether he be deid or no. Exit.

Demetrius: There’s nae follaein her in this fierce vein.

Here, thairfor, for a while, I will remain..

Sae sorrow’s heaviness duis heavier grow

For debt that bankrupt sleep duis sorrow owe.

Which nou in some slicht meisure it’ll pey

If for his tender here I make some stey.

Lies doun an sleeps.

Oberon: What hae ye duin? You’ve mistaen quite

An laid the luve juice on some trueluve’s sicht.

O your mistake something must ensue:

Some true luve turnt, an no a fause turnt true.

Puck: Then fate owerrules, that, yin man haudin troth,

A million fail, brekkin oath on oath.

Oberon: Aboot the wuid gang swifter nor the wind

An Helena o Athens look ye finnd.

Aw fancy-seeck she is an pale o cheer,

Wi seichs o luve that costs her fresh bluid dear:

Bi some illusioun see ye bring her here.

I’ll chairm his een till when she duis appear.

Puck: I’m gaun, I’m gaun. Look hou quick I’m awa

Quicker nor an arra frae a Tartar’s bow. Exit

Oberon: Flooer o this purpie dye,

Hit wi Cupid’s airchery,

Sink in aipple o his ee

When his luve he duis espy,

Let her shine as gloriouslie

As the Venus o the shy.

When ye waken, if she be by,

Beg o her for remedie.

Enter Puck

Puck: Captain o oor fairy band,

Helena is here at haunn;

An the youth mistaen bi me

Pleadin for a luver’s fee.

Wull we their daft ploys staunn an see?

Losh, whit fools thir mortals be!

Oberon: Staunn aside. The noise they mak

Will cause Demetrius tae awake.

Puck: Then will twa at yince woo yin.

That maun be guid sport alane.

An they things dae best please me

That faa oot maist preposterouslie.


Enter Lysander and Helena.


Lysander: How wid ye think that I wid woo in scorn?

Scorn an derisioun never come in tears.

Look, when I vou, I weep; an vous sae born

In their nativitie aw truth appearis.

How can thir things in me seem scorn tae you,

Cairryin the badge o faith, tae prove them true?

Helena: Ye grow mair an mair sleekit

When truth kills truth, O hellish-holy fray

Weigh oath wi oath, an ye will naethin weigh, aith wi aith

Your vous tae her an me, pit in twa scales,

Will weigh the same, an baith as licht as tales.

Lysander: I had tint my reasoun when tae her I swore.

Helena; An ye haena funnd it, nou ye gie her ower.

Lysander: Demetrius luves her, an he luves na you.

Demetrius wakenin : O Helen, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!

Tae what, my luve, will I compare your een?

Crystal is mawkit. O how ripe in schaw

Your lips, thon kissin cherries, temptin grow!

That pure congealit white, high Taurus’ snaw,

Fanned wi the eastern wunnd, turns tae a craw

When you haud up your haunn; O let me kiss

This princess o pure white, this seat o bliss!

Helena: O spite! O hell! I see ye aw are bent

Tae set agin me for your merriment:

Gif ye war ceevil an kent coortesie

Ye wadna dae tae me sic injurie.

Can ye no juist hate me as I ken ye dae,

But ye maun jyne in sauls tae mock me tae?

Gif ye war men, as men ye are in schaw,

Ye wadna yaise a gentil leddy sae;

Tae vou an sweer, an owerpraise my pairts,

When I am shair ye hate me with aa your hairts.

Ye baith are rivals, an luve Hermia;

An nou baith rivals tae mock Helena:

A bonny exploit, a richt manly enterprise,

Tae conjure tears up in a puir maid’s een

Wi your derisioun! Nane o noble sort

Wad sae offend a virgin, an extort

A puir saul’s patience, juist for his ain sport.

Lysander: Ye arena kind, Demetrius. Be na so;

For ye luve Hermia an this ye ken I know.

An here, wi aw guid will, with aw my hairt,

O Hermia’s luve I yield tae you my pairt;

An yours o Helena tae me bequeath,

That I dae luve, an will until my daith.

Helena: Never did mockers waste mair idle braith.

Demetrius: Lysander, keep your Hermia; I’ll hae nane.

If ever I luved her, aw that luve is gane.

My hairt tae her but as guestwise gaed

An nou tae Helen is it hame returned,

There tae remain.

Lysander: Helen, it isna sae.

Demetrius: Dinna ding doun the faith ye dinna ken,

In case it costs ye dearly.

Look whaur your luver comes. Yonner is your dear.

Enter Hermia

Hermia: Dark nicht, that frae the ee its function taks

The ear mair quick o apprehensioun maks;

Wherein it duis impair the seein sense,

It peys the hearin dooble recompense.

Ye arena bi my ee, Lysander, funnd;

My ears hae brocht me tae your soond.

But why did ye unkindly leave me lik yon?

Lysander: Why should he stey, that luve duis press tae gang?

Hermia: What luve could press Lysander frae my side?

Lysander: Lysander’s luve that wadna let him bide,

Bonny Helena, wha mair engilds the nicht

Than aw your fiery orbis, an een o licht.

Why seek ye me? Can ye no see

The hate I bear ye garrd me leave ye sae.

Hermia: Ye speakna as ye think; it canna be.

Helena: Hah, she is yin mair o this conspiracie!

Nou I see I hae conjoint aw three

Tae fashion this fause sport in spite o me.

Hairmfu Hermia! Maist ungratefu maid!

Hae you conspired, hae you wi them contrived

Tae bait me wi this foul derisioun?

In aw the coonsel we twa hae shared,

The sister’s vous, the oors that we hae spent,

When we hae chid the hasty-fuitit time

For pairtin us – O is it aw forgot?

Aw schuildays, freenship, bairnheid innocence?

We, Hermia, lik twa skeely gods,

Hae, wi oor needles, creatit baith yin flooer,

Baith on the yae sampler, sittin on the yae cushion,

Baith warblin the yae sang, baith i the yae key;

As if oor haunns, oor side, oor voices, an oor minds,

Had been incorporat. Sae we grew thegither,

Lik tae the dooble cherrie, seemin pairtit,

But yet a union in partition;

Twa lovely berries mooldit on the yae stem;

Sae, wi twa seemin bodies, but yin hairt;

Twa o the first, lik coats in heraldrie,

Due but tae yin, an croonit wi yin crest.

An wid ye rent oor auncient luve apairt,

Tae jyne wi men in scornin your puir freen?

It isna freenly, it isna maidenlie,

Oor sex as weel as me, micht blame ye for’t,

Tho it’s me alane that feels the injurie.

Hermia: I am mazit at your passionat wordis

I dinna scorn ye, it’s ye that scornis me.

Helena: Hae ye no set Lysander as in scorn

Tae follae me an praise my een an face?

An garrd your ither luve, Demetrius

Wha even nou did spurn me wi his fuit,

Tae cry me goddess, nymph, divine an rare,

Precious, celestial? Sae why speaks he lik this

Tae her he hates? An hou duis Lysander

Deny your luve, sae rich within his saul,

An tender me affectioun,

But bi your settin on, bi your consent?

What though I be na sae in grace as you,

Sae hung upon wi luve, sae fortunat

But maist miserable, tae luve, unluvit?

This ye suld peety mair nor despise.

Hermia: I dinna unnerstaun what ye mean bi this.

Helena: Aye right. Giein me kid-on sad looks,

Makkin faces at me when I turn my back;

Winkin at yin anither; keeping the joke gaun

This sport, weel-cairriet, will be chronicled.

Gif ye hae ony peety, grace or mense

Ye widna mak me sic an argument.

But fare ye weel. It’s pairtly my ain fault,

Quhilk daith or absence suin will remedy.

Lysander: But stey, gentil Helena; hear my excuse;

My luve, my life, my saul, fair Helena!

Helena: O excellent!

Hermia: Sweet, dinna scorn her sae.

Demetrius: Gin she canna entreat, I can compel.

Lysander: Ye can compel nae mair nor she entreats.

Your threats hae nae mair strength than her waik prayers.

Helen I luve ye; bi my life I dae.

I sweer by that which I will loss for ye,

Tae prove him fause that says I luve ye nocht.

Demetrius: I say I luve ye mair nor he can dae.

Lysander: Weel, withdraw an prove it then!

Demetrius: Come on then!

Hermia: Lysander, what’s gaun on?

Lysander: Awa wi ye, Ethiope!

Demetrius: Na, na, he’ll ettle tae brekk awa; mak oot as if ye would follae him

But didna gang. Ye are a tame man. Awa wi ye.

Lysander: Get off me, ye cat, ye burr. Vile thing, leave go

Or I will shake ye frae me lik a serpent!

Hermia: Why are ye gane sae rude! Whatna chenyge is this, sweet luve?

Lysander: Your luve! Oot, tawny tartar, oot!

Oot loathit medicine! O hatit potion, oot.

Hermia: Dae ye joke wi me?

Helena: Aye, an so dae you.

Lysander: Demetrius I will keep my word wi ye.

Demetrius: I wish I had your bond, for I can see

A waik bond hauds ye. I canna trust your word.

Lysander: What, should I hurt her, strike her, kill her deid?

Altho I hate her, I’ll no dae her nae hairm.

Hermia: What, can ye dae me ony mair hairm nor hate?

Hate me! Whit for? O, me! What news, my luve!

Am I no Hermia? Are you no Lysander?

I am as bonny nou as I was afore.

At the stert o the nicht ye luved me; yet this nicht

Ye left me.

Weel, then, ye left me – O the gods forbid –

In earnest, will I say?

Lysander: Aye, bi my life!

An never did want tae see ye mair,

Sae gie ower your hope, your questions, your doubts;

Be certain, there’s naethin truer. It’s nae joke

That I dae hate ye, an luve insteid Helena.

Hermia: Oh naw! Ye juggler! Ye canker blossom

Ye thief o luve! What hae ye cam bi nicht

An stole awa my luve’s hairt frae him?

Helena: Fine, i faith!

Have ye nae modestie, nae maiden shame,

Nae touch o bashfuness? Wid ye tear

Impatient answers frae my gentil tung?

Fie,fie! Ye counterfeit, ye puppet, ye!

Hermia: Puppet? How so? Aye, that’s her gemme.

Nou I can see that she has made compare

Atween oor twa statures; she has urged her heicht,

An wi her personage, her richt tall personage,

Her heicht forsooth, she has prevailit wi him.

An are ye grown sae heich i his esteem,

Because I am sae dwarfish an sae laigh?

Hou laigh am I, ye pentit meypole? Speak!

Hou laigh am I? I am no yet sae laigh

That my nails canna rax up tae your een.

Helena: I pray ye though ye mock me, gentilmen,

Dinna let her hurt me. I am nae fechter.

I hae nae gift at aw for shrewishness;

I’m juist a lassie in my cowardice.

Dinna let her strike me. Ye micht think that

For she is wee’er nor me

That I can match her.

Hermia: Wee’er! Listen tae her. There she gauns again.

Helena: Guid Hermia. Dinna be sae bitter wi me.

I aye loved ye, Hermia,

Did ever keep your coonsels, never did ye wrang

Save that, in luve wi Demetrius,

I tellt him o your stealth intae this wuid

He follaed ye; for luve I follaed him.

But he has sent me awa, an threatenit

Tae strike me, tae spurn me, tae kill me.

Sae nou let me quately gaun.

Tae Athens I will tak my folly back,

An follae ye nae furder. Let me gaun.

Ye see hou fond an hou simple I am.

Hermia: Awa ye go. Wha’s stoppin ye?

Helena: A foolish hairt that I leave behin.

Hermia: What, wi Lysander?

Helena: Wi Demetrius.

Lysander: Dinna be feart. She willna hairm ye, Helena.

Demetrrius: No she will nut, though you tak her pairt.

Helena: O,when she’s ragin, she’s richt sherp an shrewd.

She wis a vixen when she gaed tae schuill.

An for aw that she’s wee she’s fierce.

Hermia: “Wee” again! Naethin but “laich” an “wee”.

How will ye no stop her sayin that?

Juist let me get my haunns on her.

Lysander: Awa ye go, ye dwarf.

Ye wee totty hank o knotgrass weed!

Ye bead! Ye acorn!

Demetrius: Ye are ower officious

In her behalf that scorns your services.

Leave her alane. Dinna speak o Helena;

Dinna tak her pairt; for gif ye dae intend

Tae show even a wee sign o luve tae her

Ye will pey for it.

Lysander: Nou she hauds me not

Follae gin ye daur, tae settle wha’s richt

O yours or mine, is maist in Helena.

Demetrius: Follae! Naw, I’ll gaun wi ye, cheek bi jowl.

Exit Lysander an Demetrius

Hermia: You, ye hussy this is aw your faut.

Naw, ye’ll no gaun back.

Helena: I willna trust ye, I

Nor ony langer stey in your accursit companie.

Your haunns are quicker nor

mine for a fecht,

But my legs are langer for tae rin away.

Hermia: I am mazit, an kenna what tae say.

Exit Helena and Hermia

Oberon: This is aw your faut. Ye’re either daft or

Ye did it on purpose.

Puck: Believe me, king o sheddas, I mistook.

Ye tellt me I wad ken the man

bi the Athenian claes that he had on.

An sae far blameless proves my enterprise

That I hae ‘nointed an Athenian’s ees.

An I’m richt gled it did sae sort

As aw their janglin I esteem a sport.

Oberon: Ye see thir luvers seek a place tae fecht.

Awa then Robin, owercast the nicht.

The starry lift cover ower anon

Wi dreepin fog , as black as Acheron,

An garr thir angert rivals gang astray

Sae they dinna come each ithers’ wey.

Lik tae Lysander sometime frame your tung

Then stir Demetrius up tae bitter wrang.

An sometime rail ye lik Demetrius

An frae each ither lead them thus.

Till ower their broos daith-counterfeitin sleep

Wi leaden legs an bauckie wings duis creep.

Syne crush this herb intae Lysander’s ee

Wha’s liquor has this virtuous propertie,

Tae tak frae thence aw error wi his micht

An mak his eyeballs roll wi wonted sicht.

When next they wake, aw this

Will seem juist lik a dreme, a fruitless vision.

An back tae Athens will the luvers wend,

In unions that sall never end.

While I in this affair dae ye employ

I’ll tae my Queen an beg her Indian boy.

An then I will her chairmit een release

Frae monster’s view an aw will be at peace.

Puck: My fairy lord thir things maun be duin wi haste

For nicht’s quick dragons cut the cloods maist quick

An yonner shines Aurora’s sign

At wha’s approach, ghaists, wannerin here an there

Mairch hame tae kirkyairds: damnit speerits aw,

That in crossroads an floods hae burial,

Already tae their wormy beds are gane.

For fear that day should luik their shames upon,

They themsels exile frae licht,

An must for aye consort wi black-brooed nicht.

Oberon: But we are speerits o anither sort.

I wi the mornin’s luve hae oft made sport;

An lik a wuidman the groves can treid

Even till the eastern yett, aw fiery-reid,

Openin on Neptune wi bonny blissit bemes,

Turns tae yella gowd his saut green streams.

But come on, mak nae delay.

We maun effect this business afore the day. Exit


Puck: Up an doun, up an doun,

I will lead them up an doun;

I am feared in field an toun;

Goblin, lead them up an doun.

Here’s yin the noo.


Enter Lysander


Lysander: Whaur are ye, prood Demetrius? Speak up the nou.

Puck: Here, ye villain, drawn an ready. Whaur are you?

Lysander: I’ll be richt there.

Puck: Follae me tae mair level grunnd. Exit Lysander


Enter Demetrius

Demetrius: Lysander! Speak again!

Ye coward, ye hae rin awa.

Whaur are ye, hidin in some bush?

Puck: Ye coward, are ye braggin tae the stars,

Tellin the bushes ye’re ready for war,

Yet ye’ll no come oot? Come on, come oot an fecht lik a man

Ye big wean.

I’ll whip ye wi a rod. He is defiled

That draws a sword on ye.

Demetrius: Aye, are ye there?

Puck: Juist follae my voice. We arena fechtin here.


Enter Lysander


Lysander: He gauns afore me an draws me on,

When I come tae whaur he wis, then he is gone.

This villain is mair lichter-heeled nor me,

I follaed quick, but quicker did he flee,

Sae nou I’ve fell intae derk, uneven weys

An here will rest me. Lies doun. Oh, hurry gentil day.

If ye juist show yae chink o guid grey licht

I’ll finnd Demetrius an revenge this spite. Sleeps

Enter Puck and Demetrius

Puck: Whaur are ye, ye coward? Why wull ye no come oot?

Demetrius: Juist you wait! Gif ye daur, for weel I ken

Ye rin afore me, joukin here an there

For ye daurna staunn an face me.

Whaur are ye nou?

Puck: Here I am.

Demetrius: Dinna mock me, ye’ll pey richt dear for this

If I ever see your face bi daylicht.

Awa wi ye. I’m that tired I need tae

Streik oot my length on this cauld bed.

I’ll seek ye oot in daylicht.

Enter Helena

Helena: O weary nicht, O lang an tedious nicht

Shorten your oors. Shine comforts frae the east

That I micht back tae Athens by daylicht,

Awa frae these that my puir companie detest;

An sleep that sometimes shuts up sorrow’s ee,

Steal me a while frae my ain companie. Sleeps

Puck: Juist the three? Come yin mair.

Twa o baith kinds maks up fower.

Here she comes, crabbit an sad;

Cupid is a knavish lad,

Thus tae mak puir weemen mad.

Enter Hermia

Hermia: Never sae weary, never sae in woe

Bedabblit wi the dew an torn wi briers,

I can nae furder crawl, nae furder go.

My legs can keep nae pace wi my desires.

Here I will rest me till the brekk o day.

Heiven shield Lysander if they mean a fray.

Lies doun an sleeps.

Puck: On the grunn

Sleep ye soun.

I’ll apply

Tae your ee,

Gentil luver, remedie.

Squeezin the juice in Lysander’s ee

When waken

See ye take

True delicht

In the sicht

O your former leddy’s ee;

An the coutry proverb ken

That every man should tak his ain.,

In your wakin sall be schawn

Jack will hae Jill,

Nocht will gae ill;

The man will hae his mare again, an aw will be weel. Exeunt







Act IV


Scene l. The wuid. Lysander, Demetrius, Helena, Hermia coorried doun sleepin.


Enter Titania, Queen o the Fairies, Bottom, an Fairies, Oberon the king ahint them.


Titania: Come, sit doun upon this flooery bed,

Sae I can stroke your lovely cheeks,

An stick musk roses in your bonny hair

An kiss your sweet big lugs, my gentil joy.

Bottom: Whaur’s Peaseblossom?

Peaseblossom: Aye Ready.

Bottom: Scart my heid, Peaseblossom. Whaur’s Moonsoor Cobwab?

Cobwab: Ready tae.

Bottom: Guid mounsoor, tak your weapins in your haunn an kill for me

A reid-hippit bummle bee frae the tap o a thrissle; an bring me the honey bag

. Dinna fret ower much daein it, and guid moonsoor watch the honey bag disna

burst. I widna want ye covert in honey when ye’re ettlin tae flee. An whaur’s

Moonsoor Mustardseed?

Mustardseed: Here, Maister.

Bottom: Gie’s your neive, Moonsoor Mustardseed, never mind the curtseyin.

Mustardseed: What’s your will?

Bottom: Naethin, guid moonsoor, but juist tae help Cavalery Cobwab tae scart. I think I

need tae gaun tae the barber’s for I’m feelin richt hairy about the face, ye

ken. An I’m sic a tender ass that if my hair itches an tickles, I hae tae gie it a

guid scart.

Titania: Would ye like tae hear some music, my luve?

Bottom: I hae quite a guid ear for music. Gie’s the auld tongs an the banes.

Titania: Or tell me what ye would like tae eat.

Bottom: D’ye ken, I could fair go some guid dry oats? Or I could chow a guid bunnle

o hey. Ye canna beat some guid hey.

Titania: I hae a richt venturesome fairy that will seek

The squirrel’s hoard, an fetch ye some tasty nits.

Bottom: I’d rather hae a moothfu o dryit peas.

But dinna bother the wee fowk, I’m gettin richt sleepy.

Titania: Sleep then, an I will wind ye in my airms.

Fairies, awa, awa. Exeunt fairies


Enter Puck


Oberon: Haudin forrit Walcome, guid Robin, D’ye see this sweet sicht?

Her dotage nou I dae begin tae peety.

For, meetin her a wee while ago ahint the wuid,

Seekin sweet favours frae this hatefu fool,

I fell oot wi her.

For she his hairy temples then had set aroon

Wi a croon o fresh an fragrant flooers;

An that same dew that sometimes on the buds

Yeesed tae swell, lik roun an lustrous pearls,

Stuid nou within the denty flooret’s een,

Lik tears, that did their ain disgrace bewail.

When I had at my pleasure tauntit her

An she in mild termis beggit my patience,

I then did ask o her her cheyngelin bairn

Quhilk strecht she gied me, an her fairy sent

Tae bear him tae my bower in fairy launn.

An nou I hae the boy. I will undae

The hatefu imperfectioun o her ee.

An gentil Puck, tak ye this transformit scalp

Frae aff the heid o this Athenian

That, wakenin up wi aw the rest,

Micht aw tae Athens back again retour,

An think nae mair o this nicht’s accidents,

But as the fierce vexatioun o a dreme.

But first I will release the Fairy Queen.

Be as ye yeesed tae be;

See as ye yeesed tae see.

Diana’s bud owre Cupid’s flooer,

Has sic force an blissit pouer.

Nou, my Titania, wake, my sweet sweet Queen.

Titania: My Oberon, what veesions I hae seen!

I thocht I was enamorit o a muckle hairy cuddy!

Oberon: Yonner lies your luve.

Titania: Hou cam thir things tae pass?

O, hou my een dae hate him nou/ O whit an awfy lookin scunner.

Oberon: Wheesht. Puck tak aff this heid.

Titania, caa for music. An strike mair deid

Than common sleep o aa thir five the sense.

Titania: Music, ho, music! Sic as chairms sleep.

Puck: Nou when ye wauken, see wi your ain daft een.

Oberon: Music, music! (Music) Come. My Queen,

Tak haunns wi me.

An rock the grunnd whauron thir sleepers be. Dance

Nou you an me are new in amitie

An will the morn’s midnicht solemnlie

Dance in Duke Theseus’ hous triumphantlie,

An bliss tae it aw richt prosperitie.

There sall the pairs o faithfu lovers be

Waddit wi Theseus, aw in jollity.

Puck: Fairy King, attend an mark

I can hear the morning lark.

Oberon: Then, my Queen, in silence sad,

Trip we eftir last nicht’s shade.

We the globe can compass suin

Quicker nor the wannerin muin.

Titania: Come my lord, an in oor flicht,

Tell me hou it cam this nicht

That I sleepin here was funnd

Wi thir mortals on the grunnd.



Wind horn. Enter Theseus an aw his train, wi Hippolyta an Egeus.


Theseus: Awa, yin o ye an finnd oot the wuidman

For nou oor observatioun is performit.

An nou that it’s the dawin

My luve sall hear the music o my hoonds.

Uncouple i the western glen; let them go.

Awa ye go, an finnd the wuidman.

Exit an attendant.

We’ll awa, fair Queen, up tae the mountain tap,

An mark the musical confusioun

O hoonds an echo in conjunction

Hippolyta: I was wi Hercules an Cadmus yince

When in a Cretan wuid they bayed a bear

Wi hoonds o Sparta. Never did I hear

Sic gallus soond; for besides the groves,

The skies, the foontains, every regioun near

Seemed aw yin gret big cry. I never heard

Sae musical a discord, sic sweet thunner.

Theseus: My hoonds are bred oot o the Spartan kind,

Sleek an sanny broun, an their heids are hung.

Wi lugs that sweep awa the mornin dew

Crook-kneed an dew-lappit lik Thessalian bulls

Slaw in pursuit, but matcht in mooth lik bells

Every yin different. A pack o dugs wis ne’er mair tunable

Was never holloed tae, nor cheerit on wi horns

In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly,

Judge when ye hear them. But saft! What nymphs are these?

Egeus: My lord, this is my dochter here asleep;

An this Lysander; this Demetrius is;

This Helena, auld Nedar’s Helena;

I wunner at them bein here thegither.

Theseus: Nae doot they rase up early tae observe

The rite o Mey; an hearin oor intent,

Cam here in grace o oor solemnitie.

But speak, Egeus, is it no the day

That Hermia suld gie answer o her choice?

Egeus: It is, my lord.

Theseus: Gae bid the huntsmen wake them wi their horns.


Shout inbye. They aw stert up. Wind horns.

Guid morra freens . Sanct Valentine is bye;

Will thir wuid birds begin tae couple nou?

Lysander: Pardon, my lord.

Theseus: I pray ye aw staunn up.

I ken ye twa are enemies.

Hou comes this gentil concord in the warld?

That hatred is sae far frae jalousie,

Tae sleep bi hate, an fear nae enmity?

Lysander: My lord, I maun reply amazedly,

Hauf-sleep, hauf-waken; but as yet I sweer

I canna richtly say hou I cam here.

But I think- for I would speak true,

An nou I come tae think o’t, sae it is –

I cam wi Hermia tae this place. Oor intent

Was tae be gane frae Athens, whaur we micht,

Awa frae the peril o the Athenian law –

Egeus: Enough, enough my lord; ye hae enough.

I beg the law, the law, upon his heid.

They wad hae stole awa; they wad, Demetrius

Thereby tae hae deprivit you an me,

You o your wife an me o my consent,

O my consent that she should be your wife.

Demetrius: My lord, fair Helen tellt me o their stealth,

An o their purpose hither in this wuid,

An I in anger follaed them,

Helena, mad wi luve, follaed me.

But my guid lord, I kenna hou-

But bi some pouer it is – my luve tae Hermia,

Meltit as the snaw, seems tae me nou

Lik the remembrance o an idle gaud,

That in my bairnheid I did dote upon;

An aw the faith, the virtu o my hairt,,

The object an the pleisure o my ee,

Is only Helena. Tae her my lord,

I was betrothit afore ever I saw Hermia;

But lik a seeckness, did I loathe this food;

Nou in health I hae come tae my natural taste,

Nou I dae wish it, luve it, long for it,

An will for evermair be true to it.

Theseus: Fair lovers, ye are maist fortunately met.

O this discoorse we will hear mair anon.

Egeus, I will owerbear your will,

For in the temple, by an by, wi us

Thir couples will eternally be knit;

And, for the morning nou is sometime worn,

Oor purposed huntin will be set aside.

Awa wi us tae Athens! Three an three,

We’ll haud a feast in gret solemnitie.

Come, Hippolyta.

Exeunt Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus, an train.

Demetrius: Thir things seem wee an undistinguishable

Lik far-off mountains turnt intae cloods.

Hermia: I think I’m seein things wi different een

Whaur everthin seems dooble.

Helena: It’s the same wi me

An I hae funnd Demetrius lik a jewel,

My ain an no my ain.

Demetrius: Are ye shair

That we’re awake? It seems tae me

That yet we sleep, we dreme. Did ye no think

The Duke was here, an bade us follae him?

Hermia: Aye, an my faither.

Helena: An Hippolyta.

Lysander: An he did bid us follae tae the temple.

Demetrius: Weel then, we’re awake. Let’s follae him,

An on the wey let us recoont oor dremes. Exeunt

Bottom (waking): When my cue comes, gie’s a shout an I’ll answer. The next yin’s “ Maist fair Pyramus”. Och aye, Peter Quince? Flute, the bellas mender? Snoot, the tinkie? Stairvelin? Guidsakes, whaur hae they went, an juist left me here sleepin? I’ve had a richt guid veesion. I hae had a dreme, past the wit o man tae say whit dreme it wis. A man wid juist look lik an ass gin he ettilt tae expoond this dreme. I thocht I was – there’s naebody can say what. I thocht I was- I thocht I had- but I wid be juist a glaikit fool if I tryit tae explain what I thocht I had. The ee o man hasna heard, the lug o man hasna seen, man’s haunns isna able tae taste, his tung tae conceive, nor his hairt tae report, whit ma dreme wis. I’ll get Peter Quince taae scrieve a ballat on’t. It will be cawed “Bottom’s Dreme”, for there’s nae bottom tae’t; an I’ll sing it at the hinner-enn o the play, afore the Duke. Maybe I’ll sing it whn Thisby dees.




Scene ll. Athens. Quince’s Hous.


Enter Quince, Flute (Thisby), an the rabble (Snoot, Stairvelin)

Quince: Have ye tried his hous? Has he no come hame yet?

Stairvelin: Naebody’s heard ocht aboot him. I’m tellin ye, he’s been taen awa bi the fairies.

Flute: If he disna come, we canna dae the play, can we?

Quince: Naw. There’s no a man in the haill o Athens could play Pyramus but him.

Flute: Aye, he’s the smertest craftsman in the toun.

Quince: Aye, an the best man tae: he is a very paramour for a sweet voice.

Flute: “Paragon”. “Paragon”. A paramour’s no a guid thing tae be.

Enter Snug the jyner

Snug: Maisters, the Duke is comin frae the temple an there’s twa,three ither lords an leddies

Tae be mairriet. If we’d been able tae dae the play we’d hae been weel peyed.

Flute: O Bottom my auld freen, that’s you lost yir pension nou. He could hae got a tanner a day. He wadna hae got less nor a tanner. The Duke wad hae gien him saxpence a day for playin Pyramus. Imagine it, saxpence a day!

Enter Bottom

Bottom: Her, whit’s gaun on? Whit wey are ye say doun-hairtit?

Quince: Bottom! O ya beauty! O happy oor!.

Bottom: Maisters, I could tell ye wunners, but dinna ask me aboot it; for if I tell ye, I’m no a true Athenian. I’ll tell ye aw aboot it, juist the wey it happenit.

Quince: Let us hear, sweet Bottom.

Bottom: No a word oot o me. Aw I’m sayin is that the Duke his feastit. Get yir gear thegither, guid strings tae yir bairds, new ribbons tae yir gutties, meet up at the Palace; everybody ken their ain bits, for the lang an the short o’t is they want tae hear oor play. Thisby pit on clean claes, an dinna let the lion cut his nails, for they’ll be lik the lion’s claws. An, maist dear actors, dinna be eatin onions or garlic, for oor braith maun be sweet. Then I’ve nae doot they’ll say it is a sweet comedy. Nae mair words. Awa! Awa!.





Act V


Scene l. Athens, the Palace o Theseus.


Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, an Philostrate, lords an attendants.

Hippolyta: Tis byordnar, my Theseus, that thir lovers talk o.

Theseus: Mair byordnar nor true. I canna believe

Thir antic blethers or daft stories aboot fairies.

Lunatics an lovers hae sic seethin brains,

Sic shapin fantasies, they see

Mair nor cauld reasoun ever sees..

The lunatic, the lover and the makar

Are o imaginatioun aw compact.

Yin sees mair deils nor hell can haud,

That is the madman. The lover, juist as frantic

Sees Helen’s beauty in an Egyptian’s broo.

The poet’s ee in a fine frenzy rollin,

Glances frae heiven tae yirth, frae yirth tae heiven;

An as imaginatioun bodies forth

The form o things unkent, the poet’s pen

Gies them shape an gies tae airy naethin

A local habitatioun an a name.

Sic tricks has strong imaginatioun,

That, gin it could juist apprehend some joy

It maun comprehend some bringer o that joy.

Or in the nicht, imaginin some fear,

Hou easy is a bush supposed a bear!

Hippolyta: But wi the story o the nicht aw by,

An aw their minds transfigurit thegither


An grows tae something o gret constancie;

Yet byordnar an fou o wonders.


Enter lovers: Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia, Helena.

Theseus: Here come the lovers, fou o joy an mirth.

Joy, gentil freens! Joy an fresch dayis o luve

Accompanie your hairts!

Lysander: Mair nor tae us

Wait in your royal walks, your brod, your bed!

Theseus: Come, whit masques an daunces will we hae

Tae wear awa this lang three oors

Eftir oor denner an bedtime?

Whaur is oor yaisual manager o mirth?

What revels are at haunn? Is there nae play,

Tae ease the anguish o a torturin oor?

Caw Philostrate.

Philostrate: Here, michty Theseus.

Theseus: Tell us whit diversioun ye hae for this nicht?

What masque, what music? Hou sall we beguile

The lazy time, if no wi some delicht?

Philostrate: There is a brief hou mony ploys are ripe:

Mak choice o quilk your Highness wad see first.

Giein a paper.

Theseus: “The battle wi the Centaurs, tae bi sung

Bi an Athenian tae the harp.”

We’ll no hae ony o that. That I hae tellt my luve,

In glorie o my guid freen Hercules.

“The Riot o the Drucken Bacchanals,

Teerin the Thracian singer in their ragin.”

That’s a gey auld yin, an it was duin

When I last cam frae Thebes, a conqueror.

“The thrice three Muses moornin for the daith

O Lear, late deceasit in beggarie.”

That’s a kin o satire, keen an critical,

No fittin for a nuptial ceremonie.

“A Dreich Brief Scene o Young Pyramus

An his luve Thisby; richt tragical mirth.”

Merry an tragical? Dreich an brief?

That is het ice, an richt byordnar snaw.

Hou will we finnd the concord o this discord?

Philostrate: A play there is, my lord, some ten words lang,

The quilk is as brief as ony I hae kent

But its ower lang, my lord, bi aboot ten words,

Quilk maks it dreich. For in the haill play

There isna yin word richt, yin player fitted,

An tragical, my nobil lord, it is.

For Pyramus kills himsel,

An when I saw it rehearsed, I maun confess,

It brocht tears tae my een, but mirrier tears

The passioun o lood lauchter never shed.

Theseus: What are they that play it?

Philostrate: Rouch-haundit men that wark in Athens here,

An never warkit wi their minds till nou;

An nou hae warkit their unwarkit memories

Wi this same play tae celebrate your nuptial.

Theseus: An we will hear it.

Philostrate: Naw, my nobil lord,

It’s no for you. I hae heard it aw

An it is naethin, naethin i the warld.

Forbye you can finnd sport in their intents,

Gey streekit oot an learnit wi cruel pain,

Tae dae ye service.

Theseus: I will hear yon play;

For never ocht can be amiss,

When simpleness an duty tender it.

Awa, bring them in; an, leddies, tak ye your places.

Exit Philostrate

Hippolyta: I dinna like tae see puir fowk made fools

Bi tryin ower hard tae dae things they arena practist in.

Theseus: Why, gentil sweet, ye will see nae sic thing.

Hippolyta: He says they canna dae it richt.

Theseus: Then we suld be mair kind, tae gie them thanks for nocht.

Oor sport will be tae tak what they mistak;

An what puir duty canna dae, nobil respec

Maun praise the speerit,gif no the merit.

Whaur I hae come, gret scholaris hae purposit

Tae greet me wi forethocht walcoums;

Whaur I hae seen them trummle an look pale,

Stop i the middle o their sentences,

Strangle their practised accent wi their fears,

An, in conclusioun, dumbly hae brokk off,

No peyin me a walcoum. Trust me, seet,

Oot o this silence, yet I pickt a walcoum:

An in the modestie o fearfu duty,

I read as much as frae the rattlin tung

O gallus eloquence.

Luve, therefore, an tung-tyit simplicitie

In least speak maist, tae my knowledge.


Enter Philostrate


Philostrate: Sae please your Grace, the Prologue is ready.

Theseus: Let him enter. The Soun o Trumpets


Enter the Prologue [Quince].


Quince: Gif we offend, it is wae oor guid will.

Ye suld ken we cam no tae offend,

But wi guid will. Tae schaw oor simple skill

That is the simple beginnin o oor end.

Consider, then, we come but in despite.

We dinna come, as mindin tae content ye,

Oor true intent is. Aw for your delicht,

We arena here. That ye suld here repent ye,

The actors are at haunn: an bi their schaw

Ye sall ken aw, that ye hae need tae ken.

Theseus: This yin disna bother about the points.

Lysander: He has rode his prologue lik a rouch clip;

He disna ken hou tae stop. A guid moral, my lord,

It isna enough tae speak, but ye maun speak true.

Hippolyta: Aye, he’s played on the prologue lik a wean playin on a whistle ?

He’s made a soun but no a soun that maks ony sense.

Theseus: His speech was lik a fankelt cheyn; naethin broken, but aw ower the bit.

Wha’s next?


Enter Pyramus an Thisby an Waa an Muinlicht an Lion in a dumbschaw.


Prologue: Perchance ye mervel at this schaw;

But mervel on, till truth maks aw things plain.

This man is Pyramus, ye micht ken;

This the bonny leddy Thisby.

This man, wi lime an roughcast, is

Waa, yon vile waa that did thir lovers teer apairt

An throu Waa’s chink, puir sauls, they are content

Tae whisper. Let nae man wunner at this.

This man, wi lantern, dug, an bush o thorn,

Represents Muinlicht; for as ye ken

It was bi muinlicht that thir lovers met

At Ninus’ tomb, there tae woo yin anither.

This grisly baist is cryit lion,

The trustin Thysby, comin first bi nicht

Did fricht awa,

An as she fled, her mantil she let faa.

The ugsome lion, wi bluidy maw did it stain.

Alang cam Pyramus, sweet youth, an braw,

An funnd his trustin Thisby’s mantil slain;

Sae wi blade, his bluidy balmefu blade,

He bravelie, broacht his bylin bluidy breist;

An Thysby, tarryin in mulberry shade,

His dirk she drew an deed. For aw the rest

Let Lion, Muinlicht, Waa, an lovers twae,

Discoorse, while here they dae remain.

Theseus: I wunner if the lion is gaun tae speak.

Demetrius. It wad be nae wunner. Yin lion micht, whaur sae mony asses dae.


Exit Lion. Thisby an Muinlicht


Waa: In this same interlude it duis befaa

That I, yin Snoot bi name, present a waa;

An sic a waa, as I would hae ye think,

That had in it a howkt-oot hole or chink,,

Throu quilk the lovers, Pyramus an Thisby,

Did whisper often richt secretly.

This loam, this roughcast, an this stane, dae schaw

That I am yon self-same waa; that’s the truth,

An this the cranny is, richt an left,

Throu quhilk the lovers is tae whisper.

Theseus: Would ye want lime an hair tae talk better?

Demetrius: It’s the smertest parteetion ever I heard discoorse

My lord.

Theseus: Wheesht! Pyramus, draws near the waa.


Pyramus: O grim-lookt nicht! O nicht wi hue sae black!

O nicht, quilk ever art when day is no!

O nicht, O nicht! O, wae, wae, wae.

I fear my Thisby’s promise is forgot!

An you, O waa, O sweet, O bonny waa,

That staunns atween her faither’s grunnd an mines!

You waa, O waa, O sweet an bonny waa,

Schaw me your chink, tae blink throu wi my een.

Waa hauds up his fingers.

Thanks, coorteous waa. Jove shield ye weel for this!

But what dae I see? Nae Thisby.

O wicked waa, throu wha I see nae bliss!

Cursit be yir stanes for thus deceivin me.

Theseus: I think the talkin waa suld curse him back.

Pyramus: Naw, naw. Ye see, “Deceivin me” is Thisby’s cue. She has tae come in nou

an I hae tae spy her throu the waa. Juist watch an it will happen juist the

wey I tellt ye. Yonner she comes nou.

Enter Thisby

Thisby: O waa, fu often hae ye heard me makkin mane

For pairtin my braw Pyramus an me!

My cherrie lips hae often kisst your stanes,

Your stanes wi lime an hair knit up in ye.

Pyramus: I see a voice; nou I’ll tae the chink

Tae spy gif I can hear my Thisby’s face.


Thisby: My luve ye are, my luve I think.

Pyramus: Think what ye want, I am yir lover braw;

An lik Limander, I am trusty still.

Thisby: An I lik Helen, till the Fates me kill.

Pyramus: No even Shafalus tae Procrus wis sae true!

Thisby: As Shafalus tae Procrus, me tae you.

Pyramus: O kiss me throu the hole o this vile waa!

Thisby: I kiss the waa’s hole an no your lips.

Pyramus: Will ye meet me at Ninny’s tomb strecht awa?

Thisby: Tide life tide death, I’ll come strechtawa.


Exeunt Pryramus and Thisby


Waa: Thus hae I my pairt dischairgit so

An bein duin, thus waa awa duis go. Exit

Theseus: Nou the muin sal help the twa neebours.

Demetrius: That will be nae help when waas themsels can

Listen withoot warnin.

Hippolyta: This is the daftest stuff that ever I hae heard.

Theseus: The best o thir kind is but shaddas; an the worst nae waur,

gin imaginatioun amend them. Gif ye yaise a bit o imaginatioun

Hippolyta: It maun be your imagination then an no theirs.

Theseus: If we imagine nae waur o them than they o themsels, they maun pass for

excellent men. But look here come twa nobil beastis, a man an a lion.


Enter Lion an Muinlicht


Lion: Lassie, wha’s gentil hairts dae fear

The wee’est monstrous mous that creeps aboot the flair,

Micht nou perchance baith quake an trummle here,

When lion rouch in wildest rage duis roar.

Then ken that I,Snug the jyner, am

A lion fell, nor else nae lion’s dam;

For gin I suld as lion come in strife

Intae this bit here, ‘twad be peety on my life.

Theseus: A verra gentil beast, an o a guid conscience.

Demetrius: The verra best at a beast, my lord, that ever I saw.

Lysander: Yon lion is a verra tod for his valour.

Theseus: Aye an a verra deuk for his discretioun.

Demetrius: Na, na, my lord, for his valour canna cairry his discretioun, but a tod can

cairry a deuk..

Theseus: His discretioun canna cairry his valour, for the deuk disna cairry the tod.

Never mind, let’s leave it tae his discretioun an listen tae the muin.

Muinlicht: This lantren duis the hornit muin present-

Demetrius: He suld hae wore the horns on his heid.

Theseus: He’s nae crescent, ye canna see his horns inside the circumference.

Muinlicht: This lantren duis the hornit muin present;

Masel the man i the muin dae seem tae be.

Theseus: This is the daftest thing yet.

The man suld be pit in the lantern. Hou else can the man be in the muin?

Demetrius: He canna dae that, for the caunnle’s nearly oot already.

Hippolyta: I’m growin richt tired o this muin. I wish he wad cheynge.

Theseus: It appears bi his smaa licht o discretioun, that he’s on the wane. But yet, in

coortesie, in aw reasoun, we maun stey the time.

Lysander: Cairry on, Muin.

Muinlicht: Aw I hae tae say is tae tell yese that the lantren is the muin, I’m the man in

the muin, the thorn bush is a thorn bush, an the dug’s ma dug.

Demetrius: They suld aw be in the lantern, for they’re aw in the muin. But wheesht!

Here comes Thisby.


Enter Thisby

Thisby: This is auld Ninny’s tomb. Whaur is my luve?

Lion: Oh - The lion roars. Thisby runs awa.

Demetrius: Weel-roared ,Lion.

Theseus: Weel-rin, Thisby.

Hippolyta: Weel-shone, Muin. Truly the muin shines wi a richt guid grace.


The Lion shaks Thisby’s manil an exits.


Theseus: Weel-moosed, Lion.

Demetrius: An then cam Pyramus.

Lysander:An sae the Lion vanisht.


Enter Pyramus


Pyramus: Sweet Muin, I thank ye for yir sunny beamis;

I thank ye, Muin, for sheenin nou sae bricht;

For bi yir gracious, gowden, glitterin gleams,

I trust tae tak o truest Thisby sicht,

But stey, O spite!

But merk, puir knight,

Whit dreidfu dool is here!

Een , dae ye see?

Hou can it be?

O denty deuk! O dear!

Yir mantil guid,

What, satined wi bluid!

Approach, ye Furies fell!

O Fates, come, come,

Cut threid an thrum;

Quail, crush,conclude an quell!

Theseus: This passioun an the daith o a guid freen

Wad gang near tae mak a man look sad.

Hippolyta: Curse my hairt, but I peety the man.

Pyramus: O wherefore, Nature, did ye lions frame?

Since lion vile has here deflooered my dear;

Wha is – naw, naw – wha wis the fairest dame

that ever leeved, that loved, that liked, that lookt

wi cheer.

Come, tears, confoond;

Out, sword an wound

The pap o Pyramus;

Aye, yon left pap,

Whaur hairt duis hop. Stabs himsel.

Thus I dee. Thus, thus, thus.

Nou am I deid,

Nou am I fled;

My saul is in the lift

Tung, loss yir licht

Muin, tak yir flicht. exit muinlicht

Nou dee, dee, dee,dee, dee.


Demetrius: Nae die, but an ace for him, for he is yin.

Lysander: less than an ace, man, for he is nocht.

Theseus: Wi the help o a surgeon, he micht yet recover, an yet micht still prove an


Hippolyta: Hou is’t the muin has gane afore

Thisby comes back an finds her lover?

Theseus: She maun find him bi starlicht. Here she comes, an

Her passioun enns the play.


Enter Thisby


Hippolyta: I hope she isna gang tae talk ower lang aboot sic a Pyramus. I

Demetrius: A mote will turn the balance, what yin’s the best, him for a man, God save us, her for a wumman, Guid sakes.

Lysander: She has spied him already wi yon sweet een.

Demetrius: An thus she greets, videlicet.

Thisby: Asleep my loo?

Whit, deid, my doo?

O Pyramus arise!

Speak, speak. Are ye sae dumb?

Deid, deid? A tomb

Maun cover yir sweet een

Thir lily lips

This cherrie nose

Thir yella cooslip cheeks. Are gane, are gane,

Lovers mak mane.

His een war green as leeks.

O sisters three,

Come, come tae me,

Wi haunns as pale as milk;

Lay them in gore

Since ye hae shore

Wi shears his threid o silk.

Tung, no a word

Come, trustie sword

Come, blade, my breist imbrue! Stabs hersel.


An fareweel freens

Sae Thisby enns

Fareweel. Fareweel

Theseus; Muinlicht and Lion are left tae bury the deid.

Demetrius: Aye, an the waa tae.

Bottom: Naw,naw, I tell ye, the waa is doun that pairtit their faithers. Wid ye like for

tae see the epilogue, or hear a Bergomask daunce atween twa o oor


Theseus: Nae epilogue, I pray ye, for your play needs nae excuse. Never excuse, for

when the players are aw deid, there need nane be blamit. If he that had wrote

it had played Pyramus himsel an hung himsel wi Thisby’s gairter, it wad hae

been a grann tragedie; an sae it truly is; an richt weel dischairgit. But come,

your Bergomask. Let your epilogue alane.


A daunce

The iron tung o midnicht has tauld twal.

Lovers, tae bed; tis geynear fairy time.

I fear we micht ootsleep the comin morn,

As much as we this nicht hae owerwatcht.

This palpable-gross play has weel beguiled

The heavy gait o nicht. Sweet freens, tae bed.

A fortnicht haud we this solemnitie,

In nichtly revels an new jollity. Exeunt


Enter Puck wi a besom.


Puck: Nou the hungry lion roars,

An the wolf behowls the muin;

While the heavy plooman snores,

Aw wi weary darg forduin.

Nou the wastit brands duis glow,

While the houlet, screichin lood,

Pits the wretch that lies in woe

In remembrance o a shrood.

Nou it is the time o nicht

That the graves aw gapin wide

Every yin lets oot his sprite

In the kirkyaird paths tae glide;

An us fairies that dae rin

Bi the triple Hecate’s team,

Frae the presence o the sun,

Followin derkness lik a dreme,

Nou are frolic. No a mous

Sall disturb this hallowed hous;

Wi besom I am sent afore

Tae sweep the stoor ahin the door.


Enter King and Queen o Fairies wi aw their train.


Oberon: Throu this hous gie glimmerin licht,

Bi the dreid an drowsy fire; deein ???

Every elf an fairy sprite

Hop as licht as bird frae brier;

An this ditty eftir me,

Sing an daunce it trippinlie.

Titania; First rehears your sang bi rote,

Gie each word a warblin note;

Haun in haun wi fairy grace,

Will we sing an bliss this place.

Sang an daunce.

Oberon: Nou until the brekk o day,

Throu this hous each fairy stray.

Tae the best bride-bed will we,

Qhuilk bi us will blissit be,

An the issue there create

Ever sall be fortunate.

Sae sall aw the couples three

Ever true in lovin be;

An the blots o Nature’s haun

Willna in their issue staun.

Never mole, harelip nor scar,

Nor merk prodigious, sic as are

Despisit in nativitie,

Sall upon their bairnies be.

Wi this field-dew consecrat

Every fairy tak his gait,

An ilka several chaummer bliss,

Throu this palis, wi sweet peace,

An the owner o it blisst

Ever sall in safety rest.

Trip awa; mak nae stey;

Meet me aw bi brekk o day.


Exeunt aw bar Puck.


Puck: Gif we shaddas hae offendit,

Think but this an aw is mendit;

That ye hae but slumbert here

While thir visions did appear.

An this waik an idle theme,

Nae mair yieldin nor a dreme,

Gentils, dinna reprehend;

Gin ye pardon, we will mend.

An, as I am an honest Puck,

Gif we hae unearnit luck,

Nou tae scape the serpent’s tung,

We’ll mak amends afore too lang;

Else the Puck a liar caw;

Sae guidnicht untae ye aw.

Gie me your haunns, gif we be freens,

An Robin will restore amends. Exit





© John Burns


© Winamop 2011