by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)

I dream'd there was an Emperor Antony
Language: English 
CLEOPATRA
    I [dream'd]1 there was an Emperor Antony:
    O, such another sleep, that I might see
    But such another man!

DOLABELLA
    If it might please ye,--

CLEOPATRA
    [His face was as the heavens; and therein stuck
    A sun and moon, which kept their course, and lighted
    The little O, the earth.]2

DOLABELLA
    Most sovereign creature,--

CLEOPATRA
    His legs bestrid the ocean: his rear'd arm
    Crested the world: [his voice was propertied
    As all the tuned spheres, and that to friends;
    But when he meant to quail and shake the orb,
    He was as rattling thunder. For his bounty,
    There was no winter in't; an autumn 'twas
    That grew the more by reaping:]2 his delights
    Were dolphin-like; they show'd his back above
    The element they lived in: [in his livery
    Walk'd crowns and crownets; realms and islands were
    As plates dropp'd from his pocket.]2

DOLABELLA
    Cleopatra!

CLEOPATRA
    Think you there was, or might be, such a man
    As this I dream'd of?

DOLABELLA
    Gentle madam, no.

CLEOPATRA
    You lie, up to the hearing of the gods.
    But, if there be, or ever were, one such,
    It's past the size of dreaming: [nature wants stuff
    To vie strange forms with fancy; yet, to imagine
    And Antony, were nature's piece 'gainst fancy,
    Condemning shadows quite.]2

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Note: Mollicone's setting omits all of Dolabella's lines; Barber's includes only "Gentle madam, no". Mollicone's setting ends "As plates dropp'd from his pocket"

1 Barber: "dream't"
2 omitted by Barber.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2019-05-24
Line count: 38
Word count: 212