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The Rose of Persia


ACT I

Introduction & No. 1: Chorus and Song (Hassan)
Midi Symbol MIDI File [28KB, 6' 09"]

SCENE. — Court of Hassan's house. Entrance to house on left. At back and on right view of streets.

Hassan is seated contemplating the view over the city. He is surrounded by his wives, who are lying on divans. It is a beautiful moonlit night.

CHORUS OF WIVES.

As we lie in languor lazy,
  Lounging on a low divan,
Flood of interesting chatter
  Flows behind each dainty fan:
"Is our husband going crazy?
  Neighbours call him "Mad Hassan!"
Not an unimportant matter
  For the wives of any man!

(addressing Hassan.)

Hassan! Hassan! Hassan!
Inform us if you can!
  Irresponsible and hazy,
Unconventional and mazy
Seem your actions — are you crazy?
Are you crazy, O Hassan?
Hassan and his wives

Hassan turns round on his seat, and faces the audience.

SONG. — Hassan.

Walter Passmore as Hassan in the original production
Hassan
I'm Abu'l Hassan;
  I'm neither sick nor sad:
A most contented man,
  Though foolish persons think me mad!
The laziest of lives
  I live in peace and plenty,
Surrounded by my wives
  Who number only five-and-twenty!
You'll find that five-and-twenty
Are practically plenty,
    If you've a craze
To make your days
  A dolce far niente!
    Another wife
Might spoil my life,
Because you see
('Twixt you and me),
She might have tricks
That would not mix
  With dolce far niente!

Chorus (to one another).
    Another wife,
Might spoil his life,
Because you see
('Twixt you and me),
She might have tricks
That would not mix
  With dolce far niente!

Hassan.
  It may occur to you
    That only twenty-five
  Are singularly few —
    To that, of course, I'm quite alive!
  My wealth is so immense
    Their number I could double;
  I do not fear expense
    So much, you see, as extra trouble!
    I smoke my hubble-bubble,
And calculate the trouble;
      The trouble I've
With twenty-five
    Twice twenty-five would double!
      A simple thumb
And finger sum —
It's rule of three
It seems to me;
Our Arabic
Arithmetic
    Would prove the trouble double!

Chorus (to one another).
    A simple thumb,
And finger sum
It's rule of three
It seems to me;
Our Arabic
Arithmetic
  Would prove the trouble double!


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