Author: Chris Cook
Disclaimer: Based on characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer created by Joss Whedon and his talented minionators, and A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare.
SCENE, - The Town of MONTE ATHENA in Tuscany, and a Wood not far from it.
Another part of the Wood.
[Enter FAITH, with her Fairies.]
Faith: Come, now a roundel and a fairy song;
Then, for the third part of a minute, hence;
Some to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds;
Some war with rere-mice for their leathern wings,
To make my small elves coats; and some keep back
The clamorous owl, that nightly hoots and wonders
At our quaint spirits. Sing me now asleep;
Then to your offices and let me rest.
[The Fairies sing. Faith dances along for a while, then lays down, slowly falling asleep.]
Fairy: Hence, away; now all is well;
One, aloof, stand sentinel.
[Exeunt Fairies. Faith sleeps. Enter BUFFY.]
Buffy: What thou seest, when thou dost wake,
[Squeezes the flower on Faith's eyelids.]
Do it for thy true-love take;
Love and languish for its sake;
Be it ounce, or cat, or bear,
Pard, or boar with bristled hair,
In thy eye that shall appear
When thou wak'st, it is thy dear;
Wake when some vile thing is near.
[Exit Buffy. Enter TARA and WILLOW.]
Tara: Fair love, you faint with wandering in the wood;
And, to speak truth, I have forgot our way;
We'll rest us, Willow, if you think it good,
And tarry for the comfort of the day.
Willow: Be it so, Tara; find you out a bed,
For I upon this bank will rest my head.
Tara: One turf shall serve as pillow for us both;
One heart, one bed, two bosoms - each - and one troth.
Willow: Nay, good Tara; for my sake, my dear,
Lie farther off yet, do not lie so near;
This day and night have been long, and tired am I,
Yet no rest will I have if, in sleep, my wandering hands
Should find you within easy reach.
Tara: O, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence;
Love takes the meaning in love's conference.
I mean, that my heart unto yours is knit;
So that but one heart we can make of it;
Two bosoms interchainèd with an oath;
So then two bosoms and a single troth.
Willow: All the bosom-talk helps not my restfulness...
Tara: Then by your side no bed-room me deny;
For lying so, Willow, I do not lie.
Willow: My Tara riddles very prettily; -
Now much beshrew my manners and my pride
If Willow meant to say that Tara lied.
But, gentle love, for love and courtesy
Lie farther off; in human modesty,
Such separation as may well be said
Becomes a virtuous lady and a maid;
So far be distant; and, good night, sweet love;
Thy love ne'er alter till this sweet world end.
Tara: Amen, amen, to that fair prayer, say I;
And then end world when I end loyalty;
Here is my bed; sleep give thee all his rest.
Willow: With half that wish the wisher's eyes be pressed.
[They sleep. Enter DAWN.]
Dawn: Through the forest have I gone,
But Athenian found I none,
On whose eyes I might approve
This flower's force in stirring love.
Night and silence! Who is here?
Clothes of Athens she doth wear;
This is the youth, my mistress said,
Despised the Athenian maid;
And here the maiden, sleeping sound,
On the dank and dirty ground.
Pretty soul! She durst not lie
Near this... quite luscious lack-love,
Upon whose eyes I throw
All the power this charm doth owe;
When thou wak'st let love forbid
Sleep his seat on thy eyelid;
So awake after I take flight;
For I must now to Buffy's sight.
[Exit Dawn. Enter XANDER and ANYA.]
Anya: Stay, though thou kill me, sweet Xander.
Xander: I charge thee, hence, and do not haunt me thus.
Anya: O, wilt thou darkling leave me? Do not so.
Xander: Stay on thy peril; I alone will go.
Anya: O, I am out of breath in this fond chase!
The more my prayer the lesser is my grace.
Happy is Willow, wheresoe'er she lies,
For she hath blessed and attractive eyes.
How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt tears;
If so, my eyes are oftener wash'd than hers.
No, no, I am as ugly as a bear;
For beasts that meet me run away for fear,
With exception of bunnies, from whom I flee;
Therefore no marvel though Xander
O, as a monster, flee my presence thus.
What wicked and dissembling glass of mine
Made me compare with Willow's sphery eyne? -
But who is here? - Tara! On the ground!
Tara, if you will, good lady, awake.
Tara: And run through fire I will for thy sweet sake.
[Waking.] Beauteous Anya! Nature here shows art,
That through thy bosom makes me see thy heart.
Anya: [Inspecting her dress.] My bosom's showing?
Tara: Where is Xander? O, how fit a word
Is that vile name to perish on my sword!
Anya: Do not say so, Tara; say not so!
What though you love your Willow? Lord, what though?
Yes Willow still loves you; then be content.
And anyway, thou has no sword.
Tara: I can get one. And content with Willow? No; I do repent,
The time that I have with her spent.
Not Willow but Anya do I love;
My love's for you, my angelic dove.
The will of woman is by her reason sway'd;
And reason says you are the worthier maid.
Things growing are not ripe until their season;
So I, being young, till now ripe not to reason;
And touching now the point of human skill,
Reason becomes the marshal to my will,
And leads me to your eyes, where I o'erlook
Love's stories, written in love's richest book.
Anya: Well, I admit I'm flattered, maybe a little curious, -
But no, thou mock'st me, thou love'st me not!
Wherefore was I to this keen mockery born?
When at your hands did I deserve this scorn?
Is't not enough, is't not enough, young woman,
That I did never, no, nor never can
Deserve a sweet look from Xander's eye,
But you must flout my insufficiency?
Good troth, you do me wrong, - good sooth, you do -
In such disdainful manner me to woo.
But fare you well; perforce I must confess,
I thought you a lady of more true gentleness.
O, that a lady of one man refus'd,
Should of such as thou therefore be abus'd!
Tara: She sees not Willow; - Willow, sleep thou there;
And never mayst thou come Tara near!
For now my love for you hath waned,
I see thou would pursue me tirelessly,
And I would that thou forget me,
As I shall you. Thus be better for us both,
For you to Xander address your love and might;
And I, to honour Anya, and to be her knight!
Willow: [Starting.] Help me, Tara, help me! Do thy best
To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast!
Ah me, for pity! - What a dream was here!
Tara, look how I do quake with fear!
Methought a serpent eat my heart away,
And you sat smiling at his cruel prey. -
Tara! What, removed? Tara! Lady!
What, out of hearing? Gone? No sound, no word?
Alack, where are you? Speak, if you hear;
Speak, of all loves! I swoon almost with fear.
No? - Then I well perceive you are not nigh;
Either death or you I'll find immediately.
Continue to Willow & Tara's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act Three, Scene One