• Enter ROMEO and JULIET aloft

    JULIET

    Wilt thou be gone? It is not yet near day.
    It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
    That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear.
    Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree.
    5Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.

    ROMEO

    It was the lark, the herald of the morn,
    No nightingale. Look, love, what envious streaks
    Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east.
    Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day
    10Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.
    I must be gone and live, or stay and die.

    JULIET

    Yon light is not daylight, I know it, I.
    It is some meteor that the sun exhales
    To be to thee this night a torchbearer,
    15And light thee on thy way to Mantua.
    Therefore stay yet. Thou need’st not to be gone.

    ROMEO

    Let me be ta'en. Let me be put to death.
    I am content, so thou wilt have it so.
    I’ll say yon grey is not the morning’s eye.
    20'Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia’s brow.
    Nor that is not the lark, whose notes do beat
    The vaulty heaven so high above our heads.
    I have more care to stay than will to go.
    Come, death, and welcome! Juliet wills it so.—
    25How is ’t, my soul? Let’s talk. It is not day.
  • ROMEO and JULIET enter above the stage.

    JULIET

    Are you going? It’s still a long time until daybreak. Don’t be afraid. That sound you heard was the nightingale, not the lark. Every night the nightingale chirps on that pomegranate-tree. Believe me, my love, it was the nightingale.

    nightingale

    The lark sings in the morning, the nightingale sings at night.

    ROMEO

    It was the lark, the bird that sings at dawn, not the nightingale. Look, my love, what are those streaks of light in the clouds parting in the east? Night is over, and day is coming. If I want to live, I must go. If I stay, I’ll die.

    JULIET

    That light is not daylight, I know it. It’s some meteor coming out of the sun to light your way to Mantua. So stay for a while. You don’t have to go yet.

    ROMEO

    Let me be captured. Let me be put to death. I am content, if that’s the way you want it. I’ll say the light over there isn’t morning. I’ll say it’s the reflection of the moon. I’ll say that sound isn’t the lark ringing in the sky. I want to stay more than I want to go. Come, death, and welcome! Juliet wants it this way. How are you, my love? Let’s talk. It’s not daylight.