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MIDI Symbol

SIMON (looking in). Who stands within?
JOAN.   Hush! 'tis a Holy Friar.

JOAN and SIMON enter.

DEVIL. Chide not this simple maid; the fault was mine!
JOAN.   No fault, in sooth!
SIMON.   'Twas not 'gainst such as thee
Our door was barred!
JOAN.   Yet, holy father, say
How comes it that the light of Heaven hath crept
To our dark home?
DEVIL. My children, I have heard
Ye stand in little favour in this town;
Wherefore I thought to pause upon my way
And proffer comfort.
Sooth, and as ye came,
In pleasant converse with yon crippled child
I chanced to shew her this!

He holds up the bag containing the stone, which now glows with supernatural light. SIMON and JOAN shrink back, half in terror.

SIMON and JOAN. What is it? Speak!
DEVIL. Well may ye ask, for hidden here doth lie
A little stone hewn from a sunken rock
Whose giant shadow rising from the deep
Empurples the blue sea! Yet long ago,
In Holier days, it reared its sacred head
Moss-mantled o'er the wave; and on its crest
Once trod the Virgin's feet. And since that hour
This little particle of precious stone —
A relic rescued from the wreck of time —
Hath so much virtue, that on man or maid,
Whoe'er it be who owns it, there doth fall
The gift of perfect beauty!
SIMON.   Beauty!
JOAN.     Beauty!
LAINE. Yea, truly 'twas of beauty that he spake
E'en as ye came.
SIMON.   Ah, prithee, tell me then,
How falls this miracle!
JOAN.     Aye, tell us that!

The DEVIL produces the stone, through which is threaded a fine cord.

  Draw anear and ye shall hear!
Tremble not, 'tis naught to fear!
    On the bare breast of man or maid
Naked shall this stone be laid;
  Snug and secret must it lie
Hidden close from every eye,
    For one and only one shall own
The mystic virtues of this stone.

  Father, bestow it! Aye, bestow it here!
No home in Flanders is so waste and drear,
    Lacking a comely presence: we are worn,
And bent with years and toiling night and morn!
Our child is sickly, hapless was she born!
      Bestow it here!

  Weaver, thou didst not heed me; I have shewn
This wondrous gift is not for all to own,
But whoso wears it, he or she alone,
    May hope to win
    The beauty that lies hidden deep within
      This glittering stone.

  Though that should be,
Ah, Holy Mother, little yet on our knees we pray,
need had they To crave this lamp Grant to this darkened home
to light them on their way the light of day! Weaver, thou didst
Had I been fair! Oh, hear our prayer! not heed me didst not heed me;
Wherefore I In pity hear us! O hear us!  
too would kneel to thee today; Let but Heaven's sweet ray Whoso wears it,
O, hear their prayer! Make one face fair! he or she alone,
O, hear their prayer! Make one face fair! May hope to win
Wherefore I   The beauty that lies
too would kneel to thee today; In pity hear us! hidden deep within
would kneel, Let but Heaven's sweet ray This glitt'ring stone!
O, hear, O, make one face fair! Only one,
O, hear their prayer! make one face fair! only one!

  Take it! 'tis thine!
My blessing go with it.

Father, we thank thee!
day has dawned at last! My blessing go with it.
  Gives stone to SIMON.

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