Day 7 of advent: 

What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?…

…I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again:

Mine ear is much enamour’d of thy note;

So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape;

And thy fair virtue’s force perforce doth move me

On the first view to say, to swear, I love thee…

…Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful….

…Out of this wood do not desire to go:

Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no.

I am a spirit of no common rate;

The summer still doth tend upon my state;

And I do love thee: therefore, go with me;

I’ll give thee fairies to attend on thee,

And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep,

And sing while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep;

And I will purge thy mortal grossness so

That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.

Peaseblossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustardseed!

Titania, Queen of the Fairies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 3, Scene 1

The photo shows Kathleen Michael as Titania surrounded by her fairies, in the 1949 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Michael Benthall in the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre. Photo by Angus McBean © RSC