Spain, early XX century. Mountain village. The play begins in the house of the Bridegroom. Mother, learning that he is going to the vineyard and wants to take a knife, breaks into curses to the one who invented the knives, and the guns and pistols are all that can kill a man. Her husband and elder son are dead, perished in knife fights with the Felix family, the hated Mother. The mother hardly endures the idea of the wedding, the bride is annoyed in advance, the Bridegroom leaves, the Neighbor appears. The mother asks her about the Bride and finds out that the first one had a fiancé who has already been married to her cousin for two years. This is Leonardo, from the Felix family, who was very small at the time of the quarrel between the two families. Mother decides not to tell her son anything.
The house of Leonardo. Mother-in-law Leonardo sings a lullaby to her child “about a high horse that does not want water.” Leonardo’s wife knits. Leonardo enters. He had just come from the smithy, he changed the horse’s horseshoe. To the wife it seems that Leonardo travels too much on him, and yesterday he was seen on the plain. Leonardo says he was not there. His wife informs Leonardo about the forthcoming wedding of his cousin in a month. Leonardo is getting dark. The wife wants to know what oppresses him, but he abruptly breaks it off and leaves. Leonardo’s wife and mother-in-law continue to sing a lullaby
The bride and groom come to the house of the Bride to make a match. The Father of the Bride comes to them. They agree on the day of the wedding. The mother remembers her deceased eldest son every time. The Bride appears. The Bridegroom’s mother instructs her, explaining what it means to get married: “Husband, children and a wall two cubits thick – that’s all.” The bride seriously promises: “I will be able to live like this.” After the departure of the Bridegroom and the Mother, the Maid wants to consider the presents brought to the Bride (among them – delicate silk stockings, “women’s dream”). But the Bride talk about gifts and about the upcoming wedding are enraged. The maid says she saw a rider at night, standing under the window of the Bride – she found out it was Leonardo. There is a clatter of hooves. Leonardo is passing under the windows again.
Wedding day. The maid puts the bride’s hair in a convoluted hairstyle. The bride stops all the free talk of the Servant about marriage. She is gloomy, but full of determination, and the servant’s question whether she loves her fiancé, answers in the affirmative. There is a knock. The maid opens the door to the first guest. They are Leonardo. The bride and Leonardo are talking like quarreled and mortally offended lovers. “I have pride, that’s why I’m getting married, I’m locked in with my husband, whom I should love more than anything else,” says the Bride. “Pride will not help you. It’s the most terrible punishment for us to burn, it’s the worst punishment we can put ourselves in. Did my pride help me, helped that I did not see you, and you did not sleep at night? Not at all! I was alone on fire! You think that time heals, and walls hide everything, but this is not so. What gets into the heart, you can not tear it out! “- Leonardo’s rebuke sounds.” The maid tries to drive Leonardo away. “The song of the approaching guests is heard:” You wake up, bride, This is the morning of the wedding… “
The bride runs away to herself. Leonardo goes deep into the house. The guests appear and read the poetry to the Bride: “Come down, darkie, a train of silk withering along the echoing steps.”
Appears Bride – in a black dress of the nineties, with flounces and a wide train. A wreath is on his head. Everyone welcomes the Bride. The Bridegroom’s mother sees Leonardo and his wife. “They are family members.” Today is the day when we must forgive, “the Bride’s Father tells her. “I endure, but I do not forgive,” she replies. The bride is hurrying the Bridegroom: “I want to be your wife, to stay with you alone and hear only your voice.” The groom and the bride and the guests are leaving. On the stage are Leonardo and his Wife. She asks her husband not to leave on horseback, to go with her together in a wagon. They are arguing. “I do not understand what’s wrong with you,” the wife confesses, “I do not even want to think, I know one thing: my life is broken, but I have a child, and I expect another, but I will not give up my.” They go together. Voices behind the stage continue to sing: “Remember that you come out of the house to church.
Before entering the house of the Bride, the Servant, singing, arranges trays and glasses on the table. The Mother of the Bridegroom and the Father of the Bride enter. Mother with difficulty leaves the thoughts of her dead loved ones and together with the Father of the Bride dreams of her grandchildren, of a large family. But Mother understands that it will take a long time to wait. (“That’s why it’s terrible to watch your blood flow through the earth.” The brook dries up in a minute, and it costs us many years of life… “)
Appearing cheerful guests, young people follow them by the arm. Leonardo almost immediately goes inside the house. A few minutes later the Bride leaves. When she returns, the girls come to her for pins: the one she will give her a pin before, will soon get married. The bride is excited, it is clear that in her heart there is a struggle, she absently responds to the girls. In the depths of the scene is Leonardo. It seems to the bridegroom that the Bride is alarmed. She denies this, asks him not to leave her, although she shies away from his embrace. Leonardo’s wife asks about the guests about him: she can not find him and his horse is not in the stall. The bride leaves to rest. After a while, her absence is found. Leonardo’s wife enters with a cry: “They ran, they fled! She and Leonardo! On a horse.” Embraced and flew a whirlwind! “
The wedding splits into two camps. The groom and his relatives rush into the pursuit.
Forest. Night. Three woodcutters talk about the fate of fugitives. One of them believes: “We must listen to the heart, they did well that they fled.” Another agrees: “Better to bleed to death and die than to live with rotten blood.” The third woodcutter speaks of the Bridegroom: “He flew like an angry star, his face was ash gray, and the fate of his kind was written on it.” They are going away. The scene lights up with a bright blue light. It appears the Moon in the form of a young lumberjack with a pale face. He reads a monologue in verse: “I am a light swan on the river, I am the eye of gloomy cathedrals, on the leaves the imaginary dawn, / I am everything, they can not hide anywhere.” “Let them not have a shadow, or a place where they could hide!”
“Oh, I want to get into the heart / and get warm in it, give the heart – let her chest leave and spread out over the mountains!” Oh, let me penetrate the heart, penetrate into the heart… “The
moon disappears behind the trees, the scene plunges into darkness. Death enters the image of Poverty… The
beggar calls the Moon and asks for more light, “light up the waistcoat and shade buttons,” and then the knives will find their way. ”
Appears groom, accompanied by one of the boys. The groom had just heard the tramping of hooves, which he could not be confused with any other. The groom and the young man diverge, so as not to miss the fugitives. On the road with the Bridegroom there is Pisces-Death. “A handsome young man,” remarked, looking at the Bridegroom, “A beggar, but you must be more beautiful, asleep.” She leaves with the Bridegroom. Enter the Bride and Leonardo.
Leonardo: “What the glass into the tongue pierced! / La wanted to forget you, I built a stone wall between our houses.” When I saw you in the distance, I filled my eyes with sand. “Well, I mounted the horse and the horse flew to your door… ”
The bride echoes him:” How it all mixed up, I do not want to share bed and food with you. “Well, you do not have a minute, when I did not aspire to you, I’m attracted to you – I’m going, you say, so that I returned, but I was borne in the air after you by lightning. “
The bride persuades Leonardo to flee, but he carries her along with him, and they leave, embracing. Very slowly, the moon appears. The scene is flooded with a bright blue light. There are violins. Suddenly, one after another, there are two heart-rending screams. At the second scream, Nishchenka appears, stops in the middle of the scene with her back to the spectators and opens her cloak, becoming like a bird with huge wings.
White room. Arches, thick walls. On the right and on the left are white benches. Brilliant white floor. Two girls in dark blue dresses unwind a red ball and sing: “The lover is silent, the scarlet is the groom.” On the shore of the dead I saw them, “
Enter the wife and mother-in-law of Leonardo. The wife wants to go back and find out what happened, but the mother-in-law sends her home: “Go to your house.” Be of good cheer: from now on, you will live alone in this house, grow old and weep in it, only the door, remember, will not open in it. He is dead or alive, but we will score all these windows, rains and nights let their tears fall to the bitterness of the grasses. ” They are going away. Appears beggar. Asking the girls, she replies: “I saw them, there will soon be both – two streams.” The hour passed – they froze between large stones, two husbands sleep at the feet of the horse motionless, dead both, the night shines with beauty, they are killed! Yes, they are killed! “
The beggar, and then the girls leave. Soon the Mother and the Neighbor appear. The neighbor cries, and the mother’s eyes are dry. Now she is waited with unbroken calmness – in fact all have died. She no longer has to worry about her son, look out the window, whether he is coming. She does not want to see anyone and does not want to show her grief. The Bride comes in a black cloak. Mother goes menacingly towards her, but, having mastered herself, stops. Then the Bride strikes. The neighbor tries to stand up, but the Bride says that she came next to be killed and buried next to the dead. “But I will be buried clean – no man admired the whiteness of my chest.” She tries to explain to the Mother her flight: “I was burnt in the fire, the whole soul was in my wounds and wounds, and your son was a stream of water for me – I was expecting from him children, calm, healing power, but he was a dark river,
The bride asks the Mother for permission to cry with her, and she allows, but – at the door.
The funeral procession is approaching. “Four young men inclined to bear them: How tired shoulders! Four adolescent lovers carry death to us in the air!”