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The Rose of Persia


Nos. 7 & 8: Chorus and Song (Hassan)

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Enter Hassan from street, bringing with him a crowd of ragged beggars, cripples, etc. His wives enter from the house and busy themselves in handing refreshments to the men, under Hassan's direction.

Men.
    Tramps and scamps
      And halt and blind,
  Empty beggar and cringing cripple too!
    Maimed and lamed,
      Who've wailed and whined
  Since the morning for food and tipple too!
      Here is truly hospitality!
Take your seats without formality!
Drown our care, conviviality!
    While there is sunshine make your hay!

Wives.
    Tramps and scamps
      Of every kind —
  Baksheesh beggar and cringing cripple too —
    Maimed and lamed
      And halt and blind
  Take his victuals and drink his tipple too!
      Here's mistaken hospitality!
Disregard for all formality!
Crazy unconventionality!
    What will his friends and neighbours say?

Hassan (to Beggars).
  My friends I am a fool!
    'Tis luck for you that I'm no wiser!
All.
    Wiser? Why, sir?
Hassan.
  With all impostors such as you
    I am a sympathiser!
All.
    Fie, sir! Fie, sir!
(To one another) He knows we are impostors,
    And he is a sympathiser!
(To Hassan) But why do you on swindlers
    Cast a sympathising eye, sir?
Hassan.
    I've been one too!

Song. — Hassan and Chorus.

Hassan.
  When my father sent me to Ispahan,
    Said he, "My boy, don't dread it:
  Here's the usual one half-crown, Hassan,
    You'll get some more, with credit.
  A nice new suit and a brush and comb,
    And a tongue that's smooth and witty,
  A man may be nothing at all at home —
    But something in the City!"
Chorus.
  That's all you want to feel at home
    As something in the City!

Hassan.
  So I came to town,where I said that I
    Was the owner of an island,
  Where the sea-birds flocked — and by and bye
    The gulls did flock to my land!
  As a sample soil I had mixed some loam
    With gold to make it gritty;
  A prophet I'd ne'er been made at home —
    But made one in the City!
Chorus.
  A prophet I'd never been at home,
    But made one in the City!

Hassan.
  Now that gold of mine was a mine of gold
    That set the town a-whirling;
  So the public and the land I sold
    For half a million sterling!
  As the Romans do you must do in Rome
    (Where thieves are called banditti),
  But impudent robbery spells at home,
    "Promotion" in the City!
Chorus.
  That's what we call it here at home,
    "Promotion" in the City!

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