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Act I, Scene 1

MIDI Symbol

The home of SIMON LIMAL, the weaver — a sombre, wretched-looking dwelling. At the back is a window-opening, giving a view of a narrow alley leading to the market-place; and on the left of the window is the street-door. On the right of the room there is a flight of steep steps leading to the entrance to a loft; and below the steps stands the weaver's loom. On the left of the room is the hearth; below the hearth is a poor shrine containing an image of the Virgin; and, below that, a door admitting to a bed- chamber. In the centre stands a table and chair, and on each side of the hearth is a stool.

There is sunshine without, and a narrow shaft of light streams through a little window which is seen in the roof of the loft.

SIMON LIMAL is at the loom, JOAN is making a fire with sticks. They are a feeble, prematurely-aged pair — ragged, poverty- stricken, bent with toil.

No. 1: DUET. — SIMON and JOAN.

SIMON.
  Click, clack, click, clack, click, clack —
    For ever the shuttle flies!
      Here in the gloom
From out the loom
    It groans and rattles and cries!
    Oh, would the day were ended
      when the end of the daylight dies!
    Oh, would the day were ended,
      were ended when the end of the daylight dies!
  Click, clack, click, clack, click, clack, click, clack,
    For ever the shuttle flies!

SIMON. Wife, where is Laine?

JOAN. Gone to buy bread and to draw water.

JOAN.
  Click, clack, click, clack, click, clack —
    The night and the day are one!
      The moon may sleep
On the castle keep,
    But our travail outstays the sun!
    Yea, when the daylight is ended
      our day is only begun!
    Yea, when the daylight is ended,
      is ended our day is only begun!
  Click, clack, click, clack, click, clack, click, clack,
    The night and the day are one!

JOAN. SIMON.
  Across the narrow street
The crooked shadows meet,
And the sound of falling feet
  Across the narrow street
The crooked shadows meet,
And the sound of falling feet
    Echoes faintly and grows dumb;     Echoes faintly and grows dumb;
      And the moonbeams
  And the moonbeams     creep and crawl
    creep and crawl   Down each gable
  Down each gable     to the wall.
    to the wall.      
  Ah, could night but end it all,   Ah, could night but end it all,
    We would pray the night were come!     We would pray the night were come!
  Click, clack, click, clack,   Click, clack, click, clack,
    click, clack, click, clack.     click, clack, click, clack.

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