Act 2, Prologue

[A single actor (referred to as a chorus) comes to the front of the stage to deliver this introductory prologue to the second act.  Shakespeare did not write prologues for any of the other acts in Romeo and Juliet.]


Now old desire doth in his death-bed lie,
And young affection gapes to be his heir;
That fair for which love groaned for and would die,
With tender Juliet matched, is now not fair.
Now Romeo is beloved and loves again,
Alike bewitched by the charm of looks;
But to his foe supposed he must complain,
And she steal love's sweet bait from fearful hooks.
Being held a foe, he may not have access
To breathe such vows as lovers use to swear;               
And she as much in love, her means much less
To meet her new beloved any where.
But passion lends them power, time means to meet,
Tempering extremities with extreme sweet.