In the 9th grade, my world literature teacher assigned a task of memorization: every student assumed a monologue or soliloquy from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and preformed the piece in front of the class. I was 14 years old. Eight years wedge time passed between Then and Now. Since the very day I realized that I have forgotten the monologue, the sing song meter of the lyric continues to torture me, half synced in a diluted memory.
Today, I went on a very long walk and found a paperback only bookstore that I had never seen before. With books spilling out the windows and overflowing buckets, who wouldn’t have entered? I stumbled upon a copy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and flipped through the pages searching for the monologue I remember that I forgot. And I found it! Finally! I read it with the fluency of riding a bicycle. I am archiving this re-discovery for myself so next time the meter sticks in my mind, I can try to recite the words right out of my head. Without further ado:
ACT II SCENE I
Set your heart at rest:
The fairy land buys not the child of me.
His mother was a votaress of my order:
And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,
Full often hath she gossip’d by my side,
And sat with me on Neptune’s yellow sands,
Marking the embarked traders on the flood,
When we have laugh’d to see the sails conceive
And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind;
Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait
Following,–her womb then rich with my young squire,–
Would imitate, and sail upon the land,
To fetch me trifles, and return again,
As from a voyage, rich with merchandise.
But she, being mortal, of that boy did die;
And for her sake do I rear up her boy,
And for her sake I will not part with him.