A FAERY CHILD
SCENE: In the Barony of Kilmacowan, in the county of Sligo, at a remote time. SETTING: a room with a hearth on the floor in the middle of a deep alcove on the right. There are benches in the alcove, and a table; a crucifix on the wall. The alcove is full of a glow of light from the fire. There is an open door facing the audience, to the left, and to the left of this a bench. Through the door one can see the forest. It is night, but the moon or a late sunset glimmers through the trees, and carries the eye far off into a vague, mysterious world.
MAURTEEN BRUIN, SHAWN BRUIN, and BRIDGET BRUIN sit in the alcove at the table, or about the fire. They are dressed in the costume of some remote time, and near them sits an old priest, FATHER HART, in the garb of a friar. There is food and drink upon the table. MAIRE BRUIN stands by the door, reading a yellow manuscript. If she looks up, she can see through the door into the wood. BRIDGET BRUIN Because I bade her go and feed the calves,
She took that old book down out of the thatch
And has been doubled over it all day.
We should be deafened by her groans and moans
Had she to work as some do, Father Hart,
Get up at dawn like me, and mend and scour;
Or ride abroad in the boisterous night like you,
The pyx and blessed bread under your arm.
SHAWN BRUIN You are too cross.
BRIDGET BRUIN The young side with the young.
MAURTEEN BRUIN She quarrels with my wife a bit at times,
And is too deep just now in the old book!
But do not blame her greatly; she will grow
As quiet as a puff-ball in a tree
When but the moons of marriage dawn and die
For half a score of times.
FATHER HART Their hearts are wild
As be the hearts of birds, till children come.
BRIDGET BRUIN She would not mind the griddle, milk the cow,