A romantic and fairy opera.

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Libretto by James Robinson PLANCHÉ.
Music by Carl Maria VON WEBER.

First performance: April 12 1826, London.


CHARLEMAGNE king of the Franks


SIR HUON of Bourdeaux, duke of Guienne


SHERASMIN his squire


Haroun Alraschid, CALIPH


BABEKAN a Saracen prince


ALMANZOR emir of Tunis










ABDALLAH (a corsair)


OBERON king of the fairies






CAPTAIN of a vessel








TITANIA queen of the fairies



REIZA daughter of Haroun


FATIMA her attendant


ROSHANA wife of Almanzor


NAMOUNA Fatima's grandmother


NADINA a female of Almanzor's haram



...to the second edition.

The first edition of Oberon having been hastily (and by me unexpectedly) printed, I am happy to avail myself of this opportunity of correcting many serious errors, which unfortunately crept into the text, and escaped notice in the hurried inspection of the proofs. At the same time, I beg leave pubblicy to return my most sincere thanks to all the ladies and gentlemen concerned in the representation of the opera, (many of whom sustained the very trifling parts allotted to them with a zeal as honourable to their feelings as it is grateful to mine) and to every one connected with its production. They will, I am sure, forgive my particularizing mr. Fawcett, whose unwearied attention and exertions I can never acknowledge.

J. R. Planché

April 15, 1826


The story on which this opera is founded, appeared originally in that famous collection of French romances, «La bibliothèque bleue», under the title of «Huon de Bordeaux». Wieland adopted the principal incidents, and weaving them into a web of his own, composed his justly celebrated poem of «Oberon», which has been tastefully translated into English by mr. Sotheby. The subject has been frequently dramatized, twice at least in Germany, and twice in England, not counting a masque by mr. Sotheby himself, which I believe was never acted. As the baron von Weber desire, the task has been again attempted; and I am indebted principally to mr. Sotheby's elegant version for the plot of the piece; but the demerits of the dialogue and lyrical portions must be visited on my head: they are presented to the public but as the fragile threads on which a great composer has ventured to string his valuable pearls; and fully conscious of the influence that thought has had on my exertions, I feel that, even as regards these threads,

If aught like praise to me belong,

with him I must divide it;

«I am not the rose,» says the persian song,

«but I have dwelt beside it.»

J. R. Planché

Brompton Crescent,

April 15, 1826



White tunic, crimsom mantle, jewelled diadem, rich belt, etc. leg bandages of gold. The whole from a contemporary reperesentation of that monarch receiving the consecrated banner from pope Leo. Vide Montfaucon, «Monarchie Française»

Sir Huon

First dress, shirt of ring mail reaching to the knee, golden helmet, crimsom chausses or pantaloons, and gilt sandals, the military habit of a Frank of the ninth century. Second dress, Moorish slave.


First dress, brown tunic, blue pantaloons, brown leg bandages, blue cap of the period, something resembling the ancient Phrygian. Second dress, Moorish slave.

Caliph Haroun

The black burdah or gown of the prophet richly furred and ornamented, black turban, cloth of gold under dress, and cloth of gold slippers

Prince Babekan

A rich Arabian dress.


Long green gown, green turban with diamond ornaments and paradise plume, robe and trowsers of silver tissue and white satin. Second dress, plain white, hair dischevelled, etc.


First dress, black velvet turban with diamond ornaments and paradise plume, robe and trowsers of silver tissue and white satin. Second dress, plain white, hair dishevelled. etc. Third dress, rich Moorish lady's habit.


First dress, an Arabian female. Second dress, Moorish slave.


Rich Moorish lady's habit, green turban and slippers.

Oberonan fairies

Fancy dress.

Act I


Scene I

Oberon's bower. At the rising of the curtain, several picturesque groups of fairies are discovered, who sing the following

[N. 1 - Introduction]



Light as fairy foot can fall,

pace, ye elves, your master's hall;

all too loud the fountains play,

all too loud the zephyrs sigh;

chase the noisy gnat away,

keep the bee from humming by.

Stretch'd upon his lily bed,

Oberon in slumber lies;

sleep, at length, her balm hath shed

o'er his long-unclosed eyes.

O, may her spell as kindly bring

peace to the heart of the fairy king!

(During the Chorus, other fairies and spirits enter and dance.)

Enter Puck, R. U. E.


How now? how now? Why do ye loiter here?

Are there not tasks to do? The sinking sun

is not an hour's journey from the sea,

and you will deem it hard, I warrant me,

when winking stars proclaim the time for sport,

to be denied the dance. Should Oberon ~


We did but watch, that nothing might disturb our master's slumber.


Dost thou prate, vile scum?

Skip hence! or by the seal of Solomon. ~

Exeunt fairies.

He sleeps then still. 'Tis the first time his lids

have closed since he and fair Titania parted.

Mere wife and husband could not well have wrangled

on slighter grounds, ~ which was the most inconstant,

woman or man? Ha! ha! The queen of course

campion'd her sex, ~ debate rose high, ~ in anger,

one east, one west, ~ they speeded as of yore,

swearing by all that fairies reverence,

never to meet in love, till some fond pair,

through weal and woe, 'mid flood and chains and fire,

should keep their plighted faith inviolate,

unmoved by pleasure and unbent by pain!

And now the moody king would give his crown

to find this pair of turtles, and redeem

his hasty pledge. And, ~ for he knows 'tis vain

to trust to chance, ~ he spares nor sprite nor spell

to bring about the miracle. But hold ~

he wakes! He moves this way: I will

retire and mark his mood, ere I do speak with him.

(Retires to L. S. E.)

Enter Oberon, R. S. E.

[N. 2 - Air]


Fatal oath! not even slumber

can thy victim's torture tame!

Of my woes it swells the number,

of my wrath it feeds the flame.

Still I burn, and still I languish,

doubled in my dream I feel,

all my rage, and all my anguish;

but no balm their wounds to heal.


(advancing) R. C.

Hail, master!


Tardy spirit, is it thou?

Where hast thou been since cock-crow?


L. C.

Round the globe;

through India and Catay, across the sea

which rolls between them and that western world

unknown as yet to Frank or Saracen;

touched at each isle that studs the southern wave;

on his own sands outraced the dromedary;

pass'd the strong-pinioned eagle in his flight

o'er busy Europe; glanced like summer-light'ning

from pole to pole, ~ in hopes of finding that

which might console my king.



My faithful Puck!

How could I doubt thy zeal! Speak on, true servant!



Alack! I cannot speak what thou wouldst hear.

Faith I have found, which peril could not shake;

love I have seen, which absence could not cool;

passion, which triumph'd over mortal pain;

but none that spotless pass'd the harder trial

of proud prosperity! Nay, good my master,

droop not: ~ come, come, I have a tale for thee,

will wake thy wonder.


Thou dost wake it now:

for where's the thing shall make the elf-king wonder,

save that thou'st sought in vain, a constant woman?


Some two hours since I stood beside the throne

of Charlemagne, and heard the strangest sentence

pass'ed on a paladin, that ever tongue

of wrathful monarch spake. His son, prince Scharlot,

waylaid the young sir Huon of Bourdeaux,

and foully would have slain him; but, defeated

in the attempt, paid with his own vile life,

in open fight, the forfeit of his treason.

France with one voice declared sir Huon guilless:

noble and knight around the monarch kneeling

sued for his grace; but o'er the juster king

the partial father triumphed. ~ «Hence!» he cried:

«thou hast thy life, but mark on what conditions!

Speed thee to Bagdad: seek the caliph's hall;

and there on some high festival, before

the assembled court, e'en at the banquet board,

slay him who sits upon Haroun's left hand;

then kiss, and claim his daughter as thy bride!»


And rides he forth upon this perilous quest?


Ay, master.


And alone?


A single 'squire,

a foolish, faithful varlet, follows him.


Hie thee back, spirit, over land and sea,

swifter than thought till thou dost meet with them;

cast a deep sleep on both, and bring them hither

before the breath be cold that bids thee.

(Puck vanishes, R. S. E.)


The fairy king sir Huon shall befriend,

and the true knight in turn his woes may end.

The stage opens, L. C. and a flowery bank rises, on which sir Huon and Sherasmin are seen asleep; Puck standing besides them.


(runs to Oberon) R.

King of fairy land, 'tis done.

Knight and 'squire thou lookest on.



That's my good goblin!

(observing sir Huon)

R. C.

Ha! by starry night!

In this mailed breast, I ween,

love a guest hath never been!

But my piercing eye can see,

should he once installed be,

pleasure, peril, pomp, or pain,

him to shake may strive in vain!

(Clouds envelope the stage.)

Quickly to his charmed eyes

let a pleasing vision rise

of the caliph's lovely child

whom now he seeks on errand wild.

And within the same short hour,

in far Bagdad's haram bow'r,

to the sleeping lady's sight

shall the image of the knight

be shown, and equal love impart,

linking firmly heart to heart.

Spirits, hear your master's spell:

up! and do my bidding well.

Music. The clouds open, and discover the interior of a Persian kiosk. Reiza is seen seated on a couch in a melancholy attitude, with a lute in her hand. She rises and sings.

[N. 3 - Vision]


O, why art thou sleeping, sir Huon the brave?

A maiden is weeping by Babylon's wave,

up, up, gallant knight, ere a victim she falls,

Guienne to the rescue! 'Tis beauty that calls.

(The vision disappears; clouds again enclose the kiosk, and then draw off to the fairies' hall, as at first.)



Enough! Enough! The spell I break,

children of the earth, awake!



Eh! oh! o dear! sir! master!

(Shakes sir Huon.)



Stay, loveliest! For pity's sake!

Gone! ~ Where am I? Ha!

(Seeing Oberon.)


Fear not, sir Huon of Bourdeaux! Thou seest

a friend who knows thee and thine errand.

I am Oberon, the king of fairy land.


(still more frightened)

Fairy! O! O! O! O!

(runs L.)



Peace, varlet! Hear me, paladin.

Relentless Charlemagne would have thy blood;

but thou shalt execute his dread command,

and to thy native France triumphantly

bear back thy beauteous bride, rest thou but true

amidst the trials fate prepares for thee.

Therefore receive, sir duke, this iv'ry horn;

whatever dangers may thy path beset,

its slightest sound will bring thee sudden aid;

need'st thou the presence of the fairy king,

a bolder blast will bring me to thy side,

tho' planets roll'd between us.

Now to thee,

friend Sherasmin, I turn.

(Sherasmin advances cautiously.)

Approach ~ nay, nearer ~

take courage, man! Here ~

(Giving him a golden cup.)

drink, and drown thy fears in Gascon wine.



An' it please your fairyship, I'm not at all thirsty; and if I were, I have no skill to drink from an empty cup.


Gascon wine, indeed! A pretty Gascon tale to tell a man!


Still faithless ~ still afraid! Quick ~ to thy mouth ~


Ye ~ ye ~ yes.


Heaven preserve me!

(Puts the cup to his lips.)


Be to thyself but true, it will not fail. (The cup fills with wine.) How sayst thou now?


(after a hearty draught)

Right Gascon, by the mass! S'life! I feel quite another creature; I'm as bold as a lion! O sweet fairy!


Keep thou the cup; its golden round will yield

pure wine, fresh springing from a thousand veins,

if touch'd by guiltless mouth; but if base lip

profane its sacred brim, 'tis void, and burns

like molten lead the guilty wretch who grasps it.

Now, Huon, haste where love and honour call:

be bold, be constant, and be happy.

Oberon waves his wand; fairies appear to the symphony, from R. and L.

[N. 4 - Trio and Chorus]


Honour and joy to the true and the brave,

a friend they shall find in the elfin king;

but oh! to the traitor, the coward, the slave,

for ever the fairy's curse shall cling!


(to Oberon)

Deign, fair spirit my steps to guide,

to the foot of the unbeliever's throne;

there let my arm and my heart be tried,

there be the truth and thy Huon known.


The sun is kissing the purple tide,

that flows round my fairy bowers,

oft must he set in those waters wide

ere mortal knight from their shore could ride

to Bagdad's distant tow'rs.

But, lo! I wave my lily wand,

once, twice, three times o'er thee,

on the banks of the Tigris thou dost stand,

and Bagdad is before thee.

The scene changes to the banks of the Tigris, with the city of Bagdad in the distance.


By saint Denis, but he's right!


Can I trust my startled sight?

Yes, the gilded domes are there,

in the last bright sunbeams glowing,

and the river broad and fair,

swiftly to the sea is flowing!

But where, alas! is she who shed

love's own light upon my slumbers?

Is that form forever fled,

hush'd for aye those magic numbers?


Grieve not, sir knight; but, bold in glory's chase,

go forth; the living maid in Babylon embrace.


Speed, Huon, speed; love and renown

soon shall they courage and constancy crown.

(Fairies disappear.)

Oberon waves his wand; the bank changes to a car, drawn by swans; in which Oberon ascends, and disappears.


R. C.

(After a pause, during which sir Huon and he appear lost in wonder.)

Master! are you awake, master? if your eyes be wide open, I pray you shake me, that I may open mine too. I would fain be assured whether I be really, bewitched or no.


I hear the murmur of the waves; I feel the evening breeze upon by cheek. Will that foaming river, those glittering minarets, vanish in their turn?


I would wager my wits that they do, and no bad stake neither; for I know not how I shall save them otherwise, an' the fairies serve me another trick of this kidney. Now any one would swear this were a cup I hold in may hand; and I dream'd but now I drank out of it; I should like to dream that dream again ~ but 'tis empty; ~ see, see, it fills, master, it fills!

(Puts it to his mouth.)

O kind fairy! dainty Oberon! better wine was never tasted.



Oh save me! Help! help! save me!


Hark! what cry was that! Ha! look, Sherasmin!


(looking out)

A single horseman attacked by a lion!


He has fastened on the steed ~ it falls! ~ draw, knave, and save the rider.

Sherasmin puts down the cup and exit with sir Huon. Babekan enters and sinks terrified on the ground. Sherasmin and sir Huon re-enter, hasten to him, and raise him.



Art hurt man? Cheerly, cheerly! Marry, thou hast an ugly customer to deal with there.

(Aside to sir Huon.)

Master, this man has a most villainously looking heathen habit. If we be out of fairy land, I trow we be near Bagdad in good earnest.

(Aloud to Babekan.)

What! shaking still? Nay then, here's what will cure thee,

(Takes up the cup.)

I warrant me. Drink man, and praise the power who sent us here to save thee.

(Putting the cup to his lips.)


(screaming and dashing the cup on the ground)

Ha! Tortures! Slave of Eblis, my lips are scorched to cinders. ~ Curse thee, and ~


Hold, blasphemer! The knave meant well; ~ 'tis thine own guilt hath turned the wine to fire.


Dog of a Frank! here come my scattered train: their scimitars shall teach thee manners.

(Enter four Saracens, armed.)


Upon them, slaves!

(Saracens attack sir Huon and Sherasmin.)


Ha! France! Ha! saint Denis!


Guienne! Guienne for the noble duke!

While sir Huon and Sherasmin defend themselves against the Saracens, Babekan steals behind sir Huon and attempts to stab him in the back; Sherasmin perceives him, and strikes the weapon from his hand. Babekan and his attendants fly, pursued by sir Huon and Sherasmin. Go off R.

Scene II

The interior of Namouna's cottage.
Enter Namouna, L. S. E.


So, so, so, ~ a fine piece of news I've picked up at the palace this evening. ~ A pretty panic Bagdad will be in to-morrow, if the wind still blows from the same quarter. ~ Ul! Ul! Ul! What freaks young women take in their heads, ~ their heads, forsooth! young women have no heads! they think in their hearts! they are led by their hearts! and when they lose their hearts, their wits are gone into the bargain. ~ A plain proof ~ a plain proof. ~ Holy prophet! talking of heads, some will be in jeopardy to-morrow, I fancy. Should the princess keep in her present mood, the caliph will make heads as cheap as turnips, before the sun goes down again.

(A knocking without, R.)

Who is there, I wonder?

(Opens the door.)

Enter sir Huon and Sherasmin.


R. C.

A word, good mother, an'it like you.



Allah guard us! What would ye, strangers?


Don't be frightened, good mother. ~ We are only two poor travellers, who would fain inquire where we may lodge in this strange town. We have had a long journey, ~


jump, I should say ~


and need rest and refreshment.


'Tis a good step to the nearest caravanserai, and I question then if you don't find it full. But, if you are not too proud, this is my humble dwelling; and if a plain, wholesome supper may content you, and clean straw till the morning, you can then look for a better lodging by daylight.



Thou sayst well, dame: we will be thy guests this night.



A better lodging! ay, and a prettier landlady; or we're come a long way to little purpose.


Enough, sir stranger; I'll spread for supper directly.



Master, I would this good dame could tell us who the craven caitiff might be, that would have murdered you out of pure gratitude for saving his worthless life from the lion, and then fled as nimbly from us, as he did from the beast before.



His dress and attendants bespeak him of rank, but his deeds had shamed the poorest serf that ever tended swine.

Re-enter Namouna, with a lamp.


Now, an' it please you, walk this way. Some milk, and a few figs, with a plate of rice, or so, is all I have to offer you; but you must make up for it at the feast to-morrow.



The feast! what feast?


L. C.

What feast? Why, was it not for the feast ye came to Bagdad then? The wedding feast, to be sure. Is not the caliph's daughter to be married to-morrow?


The caliph's daughter! to whom, good mother, I pray you?


Why, by what road came you hither, sir stranger, that the tidings have not reached your ears? The whole country round rings with them.



We came by a shortcut ~ a by-road: we travelled too fast to pick up much intelligence. On with thy tale.


Marry then, stranger, the bridegroom is prince Babekan. He's as rich as the sea, and plays at chess better than any man in Bagdad.


(Aside) L. C.

Does he? An'our knight's move do not puzzle him, say I know nothing of the game, that's all.


Ah! and a good-looking man too; in short, a prince whom all confess born for our Reiza; but, between you and I, the princess would rather marry a dragon.


Ha! sayst thou?


Marry a dragon! S'death! that would be getting a check mate.


I say it again, sir, a dragon. Ay, ay, you may well stare; but I know what I know. There may be no feast to-morrow after all. I ~ I had it in confidence, and promised not to breathe a syllable; but as you are strangers, and look as if you might be trusted, I'll tell you all about it. You wonder, no doubt, how a poor old soul like me should learn such state secrets, for the commander of the faithful himself knows it not as yet. One word will explain all. My grandaughter is the princess's favourite attendant.


'Tis well; but your story.


Well, well, I'm coming to it. Every body knows that, for some time past, the caliph has been looking out for a husband for the beautiful Reiza. Offers were made in plenty, but the princess treated every suitor with the most perfect indifference. Among them came prince Babekan, who fared no better than the rest; but the caliph, taking a great fancy to him, told the princess that, as she would not choose for herself, he must e'en choose for her, and, as she loved nobody better, she might as well marry prince Babekan; to this, at first, she made no violent objection, but within these few hours a wonderful change has taken place, and ~ would you believe it? all on account of a dream.


A dream!


Ay, a dream. She fancied she was transformed to a hind, and that prince Babekan hunted her through a forest, when suddenly a young knight, whose strange arms showed him not of eastern birth, appeared, and saved her from the darts of the huntsmen. And now, though the preparations are completed for the banquet, and the ceremony is to take place to-morrow, she has sworn never to be the bride of any one but this phantom knight; and, holy Allah! when the caliph shall hear ~


(with ardour)

It matters not! The lady shall keep her vow; the knight will mar the feasting else, I promise thee!


The prophet preserve us! What do I hear?

(Viewing sir Huon from head to foot.)

And what do I see? An armed knight, too! ~ Habit as strange as his speech! Allah il Allah! Your pardon for a moment, ~ I ~ I'll be back anon. ~ You'll find supper laid within. ~


I must to the palace as fast as my old limbs will carry me.

(exit hastily)



The old hag will raise the city on us!



Fear not! She works the will of fate, and fate is friendly to us! O Sherasmin, the beautiful vision which the fairy raised was no delusion. ~ Such a being lives, and for me!


The caliph's daughter, too! The very woman the emperor named for your bride! An' a fool might advise, sir, I would cut the matter as short as possible. ~ You are commanded to kill the man who sits on the right of the caliph, and marry the princess. ~ Stick to the latter part of the promise, and forget the rest, master mine! Slicing off a head is but a bad preface to courtship. ~ Let the infidel 'scape free, and cleave to the lady. ~ I'll have everything prepared for flight, and ~


Knave, I have pledged my knightly word to Charlemagne, and must redeem it to the letter. ~ Huon, beyond his life, ~ beyond his love, ~ esteems his honour!

[N. 5 - Recitative and Aria]

Yes, even love to fame must yield;

no carpet knight am I:

my home it is the battle field ~

my song the battle cry!

O 'tis a glorious sight to see

the charge of the christian chivalry,

when thundering over the ground they go,

their lances levell'd in long, long row!

One shock, and their lances are shiver'd all,

but they shiver not in vain, ~

they have raised for the foe a rampart wall,

with the bodies of the slain!

On they spur over dying and dead ~

swords are flashing round ev'ry head ~

they are raised again, but they glitter no more,

ev'ry blade is dimm'd with gore!

The fight is done! ~ The field is won! ~

Their trumpets startle the singing sun!

As the night winds whirl the red leaves afar,

they have scatter'd the might of the moslemah!

Mourn ye maidens of Palestine,

your lovers lie stark in the cold moonshine,

the eyes ye kiss'd ere ye bade them go,

are food for the kits and the hooded crow!

Joy to the highborn dame of France!

Conquest waits n her warrior's lance!

Joy to the girls of fair Guienne!

Their lovers are hast'ning home again!

Hark! they come! the brave ones see,

who have humbled the pride of Paynimrie.

Twine the wreath, the feast prepare,

fill to the brim the goblet fair;

strike the harp; ~ and loud and high

swell the song of victory!


Scene III

Vestibule in the haram, looking on the Tigris, which is seen by moonlight through a balustrade in the background.
Enter Reiza, followed by Fatima, L. U. E.



Name not the prince, dear Fatima; I hate, I loathe him! Wed him! I would wed a serpent sooner! Since the wretch hath harbour'd in this court, I scarcely recognise my father. ~ O Fatima! what a hapless lot is ours! ~ shut up in this splendid prison, ~ no liberty but that of thought, which cannot be debarred us, but which only serves to aggravate the sense of our misfortune. ~

The slaves, the toys, of a sex that despises us. ~ Our very lives dependent upon the caprice of a tyrant! Surely, surely, in those western climes, to which the sun hastens every evening, as though he loved to look on them, woman's fate must be a fairer one! Ah! do not, I beseech thee, friend, strive to crush the solitary hope, which saves me from madness! Trust to my heart's fond bodings. ~ The knight of my dream! ~ my destined lord ~ is near me, and will break this dreadful bondage.


How can the daughter of the mighty Haroun suffer an idle vision to get the better of her judgment? Let my mistress listen to the words of her slave.


Fatima, dear Fatima! ~ How often must I pray thee not to address me in the language of servitude. Thou art my companion, my friend! The slavish phrases of our eastern tongue were from childhood unpleasing to me, and now, methinks, they sound more vilely than ever. ~ The elected of my heart is a Frank ~ a christian. ~ The same power which raised his form to my sight, hath also whispered truths in mine ear, which I fear to repeat even to thee, my Fatima! And canst thou speak of such a vision, as of an ordinary dream? No, no; be sure it is the work of fate. The hour draws nigh! The chains already sound! ~ But think not I will wear them. If this heart be indeed deceived, I have yet a hope in store, which cannot fail. ~ Yes, Fatima!

(In a low but determined tone, and half drawing her dagger.)

Love or death shall free me!


Merciful Allah! sheathe that dreadful weapon!

(Knockhig without, L.)

Hark! hark, lady! some one knocks at the little door that opens on the private passage, but I dare not leave you in this desperate mood.


Fear nothing, girl! The time hath not yet arrived. ~ I will act firmly, but not rashly.

(Knocking again.)

They are impatient, ~ away, and see who knocks.

(exit L.)

No, no; ~ my hope of happiness is yet too strong for me, to rush undriven, on so stern an alternative!

[N. 6 - Finale]

Haste, gallant knight! Oh, haste and save

thy Reiza from the yawning grave!

For round this hand the worm shall twine,

ere linked in other grasp than thine!

Yes, ~ my lord! ~ my joy! ~ my blessing!

Reiza lives for thee alone!

On this heart his signet pressing,

love hath claim'd it for thine own!

Yes, its core thine image beareth,

there it must for ever burn,

like the spot the tulip weareth

deep within its dewy urn! *

* «La tulipe est chez eux (les Persans et les Turcs) le symbole d'un amant passionné, à cause que cette fleur a ordinairement ses feuilles rouges, et qu'elle est marquée au fond d'une noirceur qui a quelque ressemblance à la marque que laisse l'application ou l'impression d'un baton de feu. Ainsi, disent-ils, l'amant a le feu sur le visage, et la blessure dans le cœur.» D'Herbelot: «Bibliotèque Orientale» Art. Laleh.

Re-enter Fatima hastily, L.


Joy! ~ we are rescued in the hour of need!

Joy! ~ he is found! ~ the knight is ours indeed!


Found? where? Sweet Fatima, oh quickly tell!


To old Namouna's cot, as evening fell,

he came, by fate directed: there he heard

they dream as I had told her, ~ word for word, ~

and vow'd, with glowing cheek and flashing eye

to rescue thee, or die!



Said I not, said I not?


Ah! happy maid!



Near me is my own true knight!

Hope hath not my heart betray'd!

Love hath read my dream aright!


Near thee is thy own true knight!

Hope hath not thy heart betray'd!

Love hath read my dream aright!


Hark, lady hark! On the terrace near,

the tread of the haram guard I hear ~

and lo! thy slaves that hither hie,

show that the hour of rest is nigh.

(Reiza and Fatima interchange signs of secrecy. A band of black and white slaves enter from all parts of the gardens, and the female slaves of the princess from the wings.)


Oh, my wild, exulting soul!

How shall I thy joy controul?

My kindling eye, my burning cheek,

far, oh! far too plainly speak.

Ere thy tumult they betray,

let me hence! ~ Away! Away!


Now the evening watch is set,

and from ev'ry minaret

soon the muezzin's call to prayer

will sweetly float on the quiet air.

Here no later must we stray,

hence to rest ~ Away! Away!

Act II
Scene I

A magnificent banqueting-hall in the palace of Haroun. ~ On a divan, at the back of the scene, the caliph is discovered seated. On his left hand is prince Babekan. ~ On each side of the divan hangs a rich veil, behind which are supposed to be the apartments of the females. ~ Embroidered carpets are spread before the caliph and the prince, and on them gilt trays are seen, filled with fruit, coffee, sherbets, etc. ~ The great officers of the caliph's court, black and white eunuchs, etc. form a line on each side of the stage.

[N. 7 - Chorus]


Glory to the caliph! to Haroun the just!

Bow, ye true believers, before him to the dust.

Woe betide the infidel who dares the caliph's might,

when on the breeze he floating sees

«the shadow and the night!» *

* Two black banners, so called, of the caliph of the house of Abbas.


(to attendants)

Peace. Prince,

(to Babekan)

the hour is arrived, which, my astrologers have assured me, is marked upon the table of light as the one destined by Allah for the marriage of our daughter Reiza.


Commander of the faithful! The impatience of Babekan is at its height. May it please you to give for the instant solemnization of our nuptials?


Bring forth the bride. ~

Music. ~ The veil on the right of the caliph is withdrawn, and a train of dancing girls enter, preceding the princess, who, veiled, and richly attired for the ceremony, advances, supported by Fatima, and followed by the female slaves of the haram.

[N. 8 - Allegretto grazioso]


(aside to Fatima)

He is not here! Should he desert me now ~

(Gazes round her in great agitation, and grasps the hilt of her dagger.)



Lady, he will not. Be of good cheer, sweet mistress ~


Daughter, approach!

(Clashing of swords without. L.)

Hah! the clash of swords! Head of my father!

What desperate slaves are these?

Enter sir Huon and Sherasmin, L. sword in hand.


Where is my love, my bride?


Ah! 'tis he! save me! save me!

Rushes into sir Huon's arms, C.


(kissing her)

Thus, thus thy Huon claims thee for his own!


Am I awake? Slaves! Dogs! Hew him in pieces!


(to the guards)

Hold! might caliph! be mine that task!

(Drawing his scimitar, and rushing on sir Huon.)


(disengaging himself from Reiza)

Ha! Is it thou that sittest upon the caliph's left? Fortune, I thank thee! Die, unbelieving traitor!

(Cuts him down.)


(stamping with fury)

Allah il Allah! Tear out his heart!

(The slaves, who have stood as if thunderstruck by the temerity of sir Huon, at this command rush towards him.)


(to sir Huon quickly)

Master! the horn! the horn!

(Sir Huon winds the horn: all exept himself and Sherasmin stand motionless in their various attitudes.)


Thanks, Oberon! Cæsar, I have fulfilled my promise! ~ Haste, Sherasmin, ~ the power of the spell extends throughout the palace! While it lasts, let us secure the princess.

(Exit, bearing out Reiza, L.)


And the waiting maid into the bargain. ~ Up and away, my pretty pagan! Like master, like man, say I ~ and a nicer little armful never fell to the lot of a Frank. ~ Don't stir, my good friends, I entreat ~ I couldn't think of troubling you.

(Exit, bearing out Fatima, L.)

Scene II

The palace gardens.
Enter four Saracens (the same as in the first act).


Prithee, no more of thy foolery, Amrou; ~ the blows thou didst take from those christian dogs last night, have left such a singing in thine ears, that thou art incapable of understanding a plain tale, and dost confound accounts most vilely. ~

What possible relation can exist between those miserable infidels, and the daughter of the commander of the faithful?


That I know not. All I say is, that there is a rumour throughout the city, of a Frankish enchanter who has cast a spell upon the princess, and has vowed to carry her off on a fiery dragon, and ~


Peace ~ look yonder ~ what be they, hurrying hitherward, with each a woman in his arms?


The two infidels, by the beard of the prophet!


Amrou! Ali! let us behind these bushes. Be he Eblis himself, I'll be revenged on that foremost dog for the panic he put me in yesterday ~


Quick! Quick! We are four to two, and the guard within call. They cannot escape ~ unless they be devils indeed.

(They retire.)

Enter sir Huon and Sherasmin hastily ~ bearing Reiza and Fatima, L.



We have taken the wrong path. This leads us back to the palace.


No, no, sir. We are right enough ~ forward! forward!

(The Saracens rush from their hiding-place, and seize sir Huon and Sherasmin.)


We have the slaves! What ho! there ~ a guard! a guard!


Hold him fast. ~

(Snatching the magic horn.)

There's that shall bring assistance.

(Blows a furious blast.)

Violent thunder and lightning ~ the Saracens fly in terror ~ the stage fills with clouds, which open in the centre, and Oberon appears ~ Reiza and Fatima start from their trance.


(to sir Huon)

Huon, thou hast redeem'd thy knightly pledge,

and I am well content. The maid is thine!

Yet ere thou waft her from her native shore, ~

speak, Reiza! Dost thou willingly forego

pomp, riches, pow'r, thy native court and throne

to be the bride of a young wand'ring knight,

to love but him alone, and with him share

each stern vicissitude his fate may know?

Reflect, ere yet too late. If this alarm thee,

bid love's delusive visions melt away,

and at my word, the past no longer known,

the caliph shall again his child embrace,

and Reiza, great and glorious as before,

shall reign the queen of Fars and Araby.



King of the genii! for sure thou art no less! thy piercing eye can read my heart, and witness to the truth of my tongue. Come weal, come woe, Reiza will love and follow this valiant knight throughout the world, so he will prove as true!



Else may all good desert me.



(Waves his wand.)

Scene III

The clouds disperse, and discover the sea-shore, with the port of Ascalon: a vessel lying at anchor.


Behold the port of Ascalon!

Yon bark is bound for Greece. Hie thee on board.

Whate'er may hap, remember Oberon

befriends ye, whilst his friendship you deserve.

Farewell! Be true, and triumph!

(Oberon vanishes through floor.) R. C.

(Exeunt sir Huon and Reiza.)


(to Fatima)

Don't be frightened, my little unbeliever. He's an old friend, bless you. He didn't ask you if you'll love me; but there's little doubt of that when we come to be better acquainted. I'll make thee a marvellous fond husband, I warrant thee.



I must needs trust thee, for I have no other hope to follow my lady, and I would rather thou shouldst prove a bad one than part me from her.



Why then, most faithful of infidels! thou christian-hearted little mohammedan! thou shalt have me by this light, for thou deserv'st me; and I am not for every woman's market, I promise thee.


But canst thou love one of another faith?


'Faith can I, if she can love me; love is of all faiths.


And sometimes of none, in Araby. I know not if the men be truer in Frangistan ~


Frangi ~ O ~ ah ~ I know ~ you mean my country. Why, my dear, for the matter of that, a ~ a man's a man, you know, all the world over, except when he betrays an affectionate woman; and then, curse him, he's no man.


Ay, that's the way you all talk at the beginning. None of you ever dream of betraying an affectionate woman, till you find the woman is affectionate, and then an excuse is easily found for the action. But what will your other wives sav when you bring a stranger amongst them?


My other wives! O, never trouble your head about that, my love. We Franks find one wife at a time enough in all conscience.


One wife! how odd!


Odd! Ay, according to your matrimonial arithmetic, perhaps; but in my country we should call two wives the odd number; besides, we couldn't so easily get rid of a refractory spouse as your eastern husbands.


Do you Franks then never tie your wives up in sacks, and fling them into the river?


No; nor send them bow-strings with their husband's compliments, and beg they'll be so good as to be strangled immediately. But many in my country would be happy, I dare say, if you could introduce either of the customs.


Not I, for the world: I shall be too glad to live in a country where I need not be every moment putting my hand to my head, to feel if it be still on my shoulders.


Well, well, my little pagan, you have nothing to fear on that score; I have lived a stout bachelor these five-and-thirty years in despite of all the simpers and ogles of all the girls in Gascony. But there's something in those little heathen twinklers of thine which makes me fancy I shall love thee most furiously.


And shall I pay visits, and make feasts, as the married women do in Bagdad?


You shall walk till you're tired, and eat as long as you're able; you shall go to court, and see the emperor; you shall go to Rome, and see the pope; bid adieu to locks, bolts and bars, palaces that are prisons, and husbands that are gaolers. We'll be contracted here by a cadi, and married at home by a monk. In less than a year you'll drink wine, and abjure the koran; and then you and your first boy may be christened together. What sayest thou, my girl; dost think thou canst love me? Wilt thou follow me? And wilt thou follow nobody else afterwards? For such things do happen in France, once in a century or so.


Bless me, what a many questions you ask at a time; I hardly know how to answer you. But, I think I may promise.

[N. 9 - Aria]

A lonely Arab maid,

the desert's simple child,

unskill'd in arts by which, 'tis said,

men's love may be beguil'd.

Like some uprooted flow'r am I,

upon a river a little hour, then die,

unheeded as I sprung.

But if thy friendly hand

should lift me from the tide,

and bear me to some distant land,

to bloom thy bosom's pride,

o, sooner from his darling rose

the nightingale shall roam,

than I disturb that heart's repose,

which love hath made my home.


Enough, my little warbler, thou art mine. This kiss to seal the bargain. By my faith, thou art the rose and the nightingale blended that thou sing'st of. An' my master be as well pleased as I am, there are not two happier fellows in christendom.

Re-enter sir Huon and Reiza, R. S. E. with the captain of the vessel.


Now, Sherasmin, to the port. The wind is fair for Greece. The captain stays for us. Dear Reiza, I burn to kneel with thee before the throne of Charlesmagne! That sweet revenge is all I ask of heaven!

[N. 10 - Quartetto]


Over the dark blue waters,

over the wide, wide sea,

fairest of Araby's daughters,

say, wilt thou sail with me?


Were there no bounds to the water,

no shore to the wide, wide sea,

still fearless would Araby's daughters

sail on through life with thee.


On board then, on board, while the skies are light,

and friendly blows the gale;

our hearts are as true as our bark, and bright

our hopes as its sun-lit sail.

(Exeunt.) L. S. E.

Scene IV


Enter Puck, R.

[N. 11 - Air and Chorus]



Here, by Oberon's command,

have I flown from fairy land,

ere to earth a dewy gem

could drop from a rose's diadem

gifted with his power to call

those whose art may raise a squall,

which shall make old ocean roll,

foaming in his rocky bowl,

till in wrath he piecemeal tear

the bark which beareth yonder pair,

and fling them on the island nigh;

first trial of their constancy.

Spirits of air, and earth, and sea,

spirits of fire, which holy be,

all that have pow'r o'er wind and wave,

come hither, come hither, my spirits so brave.

Whether ye be in the caverns dark

lighted alone by the diamond spark,

or beneath the waters deep,

where the prison'd pearl doth sleep,

or in skies beyond the one

mortal eyes do lock upon,

or in the womb of some groaning hill,

where the lava streams is boiling still, ~

spirits, wherever you chance to be,

come hither, come hither, come hither to me;

I charge ye by the magic ring

of your faithful friend, the fairy king.

(Spirits appear in various parts of the stage.)


We are here! we are here!

Say, what must be done?

Must we cleave the moon's sphere?

Must we darken the sun?

Must we empty the ocean upon its own shore?

Speak! speak! we heave pow'r to do this and more!


Nay, nay, your task will be, at most,

to wreck a bark upon this coast,

which simple fairy may not do,

and, therefore have I summon'd you!


Nought but that? Ho, ho, ho, ho!

Lighter labour none we know.

Winds and waves obey the spell:

hark! 'tis done! Farewell! farewell!

(Thunder and lightning. Puck and spirits vanish.) R.

Scene V

Cavern on the sea-beach. The ocean seen through the mouth of it. Other perforations lead through the rock to the interior of the island. Storm continued. Stage wery dark: fragments of wreck are thrown upon the stage.
Enter sir Huon, supporting Reiza, who is nearly exhausted.


Look up, my love! my wife! O heaven, she dies! my Reiza dies! And I ~ I am her murderer! ~ 'Twas for my sake she gave up every thing ~ a throne! ~ a father! ~ O spare her, gracious heaven!

(Reiza falls on a rock.) C.

[N. 12 - Air]


Ruler of this awful hour,

spare! oh, spare you tender flow'r!

If thou must strike, oh let thy thunder fall

on me! on me! the wretched cause of all!





Ah! she speaks! she speaks! But wretch that I am! where shall I find food and shelter for her on this frightful shore? O my sweet bride! to see thee thus forlorn and desolate, and know myself the cause drives me to madness!


Dearest Huon, do not speak thus. If I must die, it is enough that I breathe my last upon thy bosom.


My fond, true girl! ~ This kindness but augments my agony! That such should be the fate of love like thine! O Oberon! is this thy friendship? Cruel spirit! no help! No. ~

(The waves cast the magic cup on shore.)

Hah! can it be?

(Snatching it up, and putting it to his lips.)

It is! It is the magic cup! Forgive me, fairy! Drink, drink, sweet Reiza; for thee its richest stream will surely flow.


(rising, after having drank)

O cheering draught! thy power is great indeed; I feel new strength; new hope thrill through my veins. Dear Huon, a wonder chained our hearts together, and wonders still surround us. Yes, these are but trials surely, and though severe they be, will end in happiness.


I must needs think so, but alas! this cup! where is its faithful bearer? My poor varlet! my trusty Sherasmin! drowned! drowned!


And Fatima, the kind devoted Fatima, she too, I fear, hath perished. Thou and I alone have 'scaped the general wreck!


Not so. The heartless captain and his crew took to the boats. Despairing then, I plunged with thee

into the waves, followed by Sherasmin with Fatima; and from that moment I saw them no more.




But what must mow be done? The storm is abating, as if satisfied with the destruction it hath made: this cavern is dry and overgrown with moss. What if thou should'st rest thee here while I ascend the cliffs, and look around to see if aught like human aid be near us?


Be it so. But stay not long from me.


I will not sweetest. Ah! where is now the ivory horn that would have brought us succour instantly?

(Exit sir Huon, R.)

[N. 13 - Recitative and Aria]


Ocean! thou mighty monster that liest curled

like a green serpent, round about the world!

To musing eye thou art an awful sight,

when calmly sleeping in the morning light,

but when thou risest in thy wrath, as now,

and fling'st thy folds around some fated prow,

crushing the strong-ribb'd bark as 'twere a reed,

then, ocean, art thou terrible indeed!

Still I see thy billows flashing,

through the gloom their white foaming flinging,

and the breaker's sullen dashing,

in mine ear hope's knell is ringing!

But lo! methinks a light is breaking

slowly o'er the distant deep,

like a second morn awaking,

pale and feeble from its sleep!

Brighter now, behold, 'tis beaming

on the storm whose misty train,

like some shatter'd flag is streaming,

or a wild steed's flying mane!

And now the sun bursts forth! the wind is lulling fast,

and the broad wave but pants from fury past!

Cloudless o'er the blushing water,

now the setting sun is burning!

Like a victor red with slaughter,

to his tent in triumph turning!

Ah! perchance these eyes may never

look upon its light again!

Fare thee well, bright orb, forever!

Thou for me wilt rise in vain!

But what gleams so white and fair,

heaving with the heaving billow?

'Tis a seabird wheeling there

o'er some wretch's wat'ry pillow!

No! it is no bird I mark.

Joy! It is a boat! a sail

and yonder rides a gallant bark

uninjur'd by the gale!

O transport! my Huon! haste down to the shore! Quick, quick, for a signal, this scarf shall be waved! they see me! they answer! they ply the strong oar! my husband, my love! we are saved! we are saved!

(During this scene, the storm clears off as described; the setting sun breaks forth in full splendour; a small boat is seen, and immediately afterwards a large vessel. Towards the conclusion of the scena the boat disappears as making in for the shore.)

Huon! Huon! why tarriest thou? Se, they near the beach! they leap into the surf ~ they come.

Enter Abdallah and pirates, L.


Hah! a fair prize, by Mahomet! Seize her, my lads, and away to sea again: she's worth a fortune to us!

(They seize her.)


What mean ye, strangers? I cannot go alone! One dear to me as life is ranging o'er the cliffs; but he will return speedily. Huon! Huon!


He will return! It's a man then. No, no, my Peri! we have neither time to wait his return, nor wish for his company. The market's overstocked with male rubbish. Thou art just the bale of goods we were looking for. To the boat with her!


Ah! Huon! Huon! save me! help! help!

Sir Huon rushes in, R.


Madness and misery! villains, release her!


(aising his sword to plunge into his bosom)

Down with the dog.

(Sir Huon is struck to the ground senseless.) R.


(breaking from the grasp of the pirates, and flinging herself before sir Huon)

Mercy! Mercy!


Dost thou plead for him? Well, 'twere almost a pity to stain a good Damascus blade with the blood of so sorry a slave as this. So I'll be merciful for once. Bind him and leave him to his fate. He'll starve and rot; and there's an ablution saved. Away with her to the boat.


O horrible! Leave him not to perish here alone! If ye be men, have pity on us both: sell us for slaves, but do not separate us!


To the boat I say!

(They drag off Reiza) L. (while another party bind the arms of sir Huon, who remains insensible) R.

As soon as they have quitted the stage, a symphony is heard. Oberon descends in a car drawn by swans.


Alas! poor mortal! Oberon deplores

the cruel fate which bids him to the quick

probe the hurt spirit of a child of clay,

so free from all the leaven of his race!

But keep thou true; and once thy trials o'er,

the fairy friend, released from his rash vow,

shall pay thee, for each moment past of pain,

years of high honour and unfading love!


Puck! my brave spirit!


(appearing) L.

Here, great Oberon!


Servant, here is more to do;

thou must guard this child of clay

from the night's unwholesome dew,

from the scorching beams of day,

'till yon sun, about to set,

hath seven times the waters met;

for, when seven days have past,

the pirate shall his anchor cast

in Tunis' bay. Then through the air,

as quick as light this mortal bear,

and lay him gently down before

old Ibrahim the gard'ner's door.

Lo! upon his lids I shed

sleep like that which binds the dead.

Sound nor shock the spell shall brake,

'till thou in Tunis bid him wake.



Mighty king of fairy land,

be it as thou dost command,

him to shield from sun and shower,

Puck will build a fairy bow'r

here upon this desert shore,

where never flow'ret bloomed before.

Waves his wand; a pavilion of flowers rises and encloses sir Huon. The sun sets and the stars appear.


See ~ 'tis done; nor noxious dew

nor scorching ray shall pierce it through,

though ev'ry gentle beam and air

may freely find an entrance there.

But, master! mark where in the sky

the night star opes its silver eye,

the herald of the lady moon,

whose light will gladden the waters soon!

And, hark! ~ the mermaids' witching strain

steals o'er the lull'd and list'ning main!

[N. 14 - Finale]



O! 'tis pleasant to float on the sea,

when the wearied waves in a deep sleep be,

and the last faint light of the sun hath fled,

and the stars are must'ring over head,

and the night-breeze comes with its breath so bland,

laden with sweets from a distant land!

O! 'tis pleasant to float and sing,

while ever our dripping locks we wring.


O! 'tis pleasant to float on the sea,

when nothing stirs on its breast but we!

The warder leans at the twilight hour,

over the wall of his time-worn tow'r

and signs himself and mutters a pray'r,

then listens again to the 'witching air!

O! 'tis pleasant to float and sing,

while ever our dripping locks we wring!


Master! say ~ our toil is o'er,

may we dance upon this shore?

And a merry burden bear

to the mermaids' ditty rare?


Better boon thy zeal hath won

I will stay and see it done.


Hither! hither! ye elfin throng,

come dance on the sands to the mermaids' song;

hasten and prove to the nymphs of the sea,

that the spirits of earth can as jocund be;

come as lightly, and look as fair,

as blossoms that sail on the summer air.

Hither! hither! ye elfin throng,

come dance on the sands to the mermaids' song.

During the duo the stage becomes illuminated by the light of the moon. Mermaids and water nymphs appear on the sea, and fairies enter, and sing the following chorus.


Who would stay in her coral cave,

when the moon shines o'er the quiet wave,

and the stars are studding the dark blue arch,

through which she speeds on her nightly march.

Merrily, merrily, let us sail

over the sea by her light so pale!


Who would sleep in the lily's bell,

when the moon shines over each wood and dell,

and the stars are studding the dark blue arch,

through which she speeds on her nightly march.

Merrily, merrily, dance we here

over the sands by her light so clear.

Scene I

Exterior of Ibrahim the gardener's house. Sunrise.
Enter Fatima, in a slave dress, from the house, L.


Alas! poor Fatima, how changed is thy lot! The sun, which so lately beheld thee, the favourite attendant of a mighty princess, now rises upon the lowly slave of Ibrahim, the gardener of the emir of Tunis. And that beloved mistress, where is she ~ the beautiful, the powerful, the worshipped Reiza? sunk in the merciless ocean, or perishing on some barren rock, with the chosen of her heart, her gallant but ill-fated Huon! Yet surely that powerful spirit who professed himself so strongly their protector, cannot thus barbarously have deserted them. No, ~ I will cherish the hope, that we shall shortly meet again. My own unlooked for preservation makes may well encourage the idea. Besides, I had a dream last night which should prognosticate good fortunes.

[N. 15 - Air]

O Araby! dear Araby!

My own, my native land!

Methought I cross'd the dark blue sea,

and trod again thy strand.

And there I saw my father's tent

beneath the tall date-trees,

and the sound of music and merriment

came sweetly on the breeze.

And thus to the lightly touch'd guitar,

I heard a maiden tell

of one who fled from proud Serdar,

with the youth she lov'd so well.

Al, al al al! though the nightstar be high,

'tis the morning of love for my Yusuf and me;

though the flow'rs of the garden have clos'd ev'ry one,

the rose of the heart blooms in love's rising sun.

Al, al al al! soon will Zeenab be far,

from the drear anderûn* of cruel Serdar.

Al, al al al! 'tis the neigh of his steed!

O, prove, my good barb, thou art worthy thy breed!

Now o'er the salt desert we fly like the wind;

and our fears fade as fast as the turrets behind.

Al, al al al! we the frontier have won,

and may laugh at the lord of the drear anderûn.

* The haram, or women's apartment.

Enter Sherasmin, L. in a garden's dress, with a spade in one hand, and a basket of flowers in the other.


Ah! Fatima, art there, my girl? Here am I, in the garb of my new occupation, you see, which I have taken to as kindly as possible, considering circumstances. Hast seen our master this morning?


No, but he is up, and gone into the city on some business.


He's a kind-hearted old soul, Fatima. I marked his eye twinkle, when he heard the captain of the vessel, who picked us up, say, how narrowly we escaped being food for fish; and I shall never forget the tone in which he said, «Poor devils! the waves didn't separate you, and shall I be more cruel than they? ~ No, there's your price, captain; and now get you two along together; work hard, feed well, and be merry!»


Ay, Sherasmin, it was kind indeed of him not to part us. Our lot would have been truly miserable, if destitute of that last consolation, the opportunity of deploring it together. Heaven grant that our poor lord and lady were ~


Ah! that's a bad business, indeed, Fatima; but not so bad, I hope, as it seems. I cannot suppress the strong conviction, that they are safe. The magic horn, I fear, was left in the haram gardens at Bagdad, and the fairy cup is full of salt-water. ~ But, though the gifts be lost, the giver is as powerful as ever. ~ So kiss thy fond husband, my girl, and a fig for misfortune. Let's make up our minds to be happy ~ there's a good deal in that, I can tell you. ~ Gad, what merry days I have seen in my time, and I hope to see some more yet, Fatima.

[N. 16 - Duo]

On the banks of sweet Garonne,

I was born one fine spring morning.

Soon as I could run alone,

kicks, and cuffs, and tumbles, scorning,

shirking labour, loving fun,

quaffing wine, and hating water,

fighting ev'ry neighbor's daughter,

and kissing every neighbour's daughter,

o how fast the days have flown,

on the banks of sweet Garonne!


On the waves of Bund-emir

first I saw the day-beams quiver;

there I wander'd, year by year,

on the banks of that fair river;

roaming with my roaming race,

wheresoe'er the date-tree lured them;

on a greener resting-place,

pasture for their flocks ensured them.

Never knew I grief or fear

on the banks of Bund-emir!


Times have alter'd, mistress mine!


Fled is fortune's sunny weather.

We are slaves ~


Yet why repine

while, my dear, we're slaves together!

Let's be merry while we're true,

love our song, and joy the chorus,

dig and delve, and bill and coo,

as Eve and Adam did before us.


Let's be merry


(Exeunt Fatima and Sherasmin, L.)

Puck descends with sir Huon.


Seven times hath blush'd the morn,

since thy love was from thee torn;

seven times the sun hath set,

since thine eyes his light hath met.

Now in port the bark doth ride,

which contains thy captive bride.

Wake! a faithful friend is nigh!

Back to fairy land I fly!

(Puck disappears, R. sir Huon shows signs of returning animation.)

Re-enter Sherasmin, L.


So, that's all right. ~ Now for ~

(seeing sir Huon)

Hollo! what have we here? ~ Eh! ~ No! ~ Yes! ~ Is it possible? my master! my dear master! I shall go mad with joy.

(Helping him to rise.)

Sir, sir! speak to me ~ don't you know me? It's Sherasmin, your faithful Sherasmin.


(gazing about him wildly)

Sherasmin! where am I? How came I here? What new miracle is this? Is it a dream, or did I dream till now?


By saint Denis, master, I am as much puzzled as yourself; but this I know, that you are here in Tunis, before the door of old Ibrahim, the emir's gardener, who bought both Fatima and me in the slave-market two days ago.


Fatima here too!


Yes, sir, we were picked up at sea by a corsair of Tunis, just as we were at the last gasp. But where's my lady, sir? Safe and sound, I hope, if not with you.


O Sherasmin! now you rend open my wound again! Twelve hours have scarcely passed, since a band of pirates tore her from the rude rock on which the waves had cast us, and these weaponless arms, which could no longer defend her. Whither they have borne her, heaven only knows.


Twelve hours ago! ~ Why, master, the desert shore on which our vessel struck, is full four days' sail from Tunis with the fairest wind, and ~


Well! it may be so ~ I was felled to the earth by the ruffian crew, and how long I lay senseless, I know as little as the means by which I was wafted to this spot. But doubtless Oberon hath stood my friend ~ and from that thought I gather new hope and courage to struggle with my fate.


I said it! I said but now to Fatima, we shall all meet again, and be merry! See, sir, here she comes. Lord, lord, how glad she will be to see you!

Re-enter Fatima, hastily, L..


Oh Sherasmin! such news!

(seeing sir Huon)

Ah! mercy on me! what do I see?


See! Why, you see my noble master alive and well, Fatima! ~ Praised be the kind fairy! I knew it, I felt it all along. I couldn't be melancholy, though I tried, and now I somehow, ~ I can't help crying for the life and soul of me: this turning gardener has made my head like an old watering-pot.


And came my noble lord with my lady?


Your lady! Alas! Fatima, I know not where or in whose power she pines!


Wonder on wonder then! ~ For 'twas of her I came to tell. ~ My lady lives ~ my lady is in Tunis!


Here! in Tunis!


At the palace.


Hast seen her, Fatima? Speak! speak, for heaven's sake!


No, my dear lord, I have not seen her; but this morning a bark put into Tunis, and the rumour runs, that within this hour the captain has presented to the emir a most beautiful female, found on a desert island. Almanzor was enchanted at the first glance, dismissed the captain with a magnificent present, and has lodged her in a pavilion in the haram gardens, which till now, belonged to his wife

Roshana. The crew of the vessel have blazoned her beauty through the city; and from their description I have no doubt of its being the princess.


'Tis she! ~ my conscious heart assures me 'tis my Reiza! Your counsel, my kind friends: what's to be done?


Mortal force will avail us nothing, and we have no magic horn to aid us as at Bagdad. ~ Our first care must be to establish you, unsuspected, in this neighbourhood. I will pray Ibrahim to take you also into his service; and if I succeed, you must e'en be content to dig beside your poor Sherasmin, till time and fate shall favour our enterprise. Come in, sir; ~ the old man is from home at present ~ and ere he return, we must manage to equip you in a less suspicious habit than that. But stay ~ yonder comes a Greek ~ a fellow servant of ours, who is as anxious to get out of the clutches of the infidels as we are. The varlet has all the cunning of his country ~ I'll just let him into as much of your situation as 'tis fit he should know, and he'll help me to patch up a story, I warrant you!

Enter Arcon, L.

(Sherasmin takes him aside, and during the commencement of the trio converses with him in dumb show.)

[N. 17 - Trio]


And must I then dissemble?


No other hope I know ~


But let the tyrant tremble ~

unscathed he shall not go!


Viewless spirit of pow'r and light!

Thou who mak'st virtue and love thy care,

restore to the best and the bravest knight

the fondest and fairest of the fair!


Spirit adored!

Strike on our part!

Bless the good sword,

and the faithful heart!

Scene II

An apartament in the haram of the emir.
Enter Almanzor, followed by a black slave, R.


Has the lovely stranger been refreshed and habited, as we commanded?


The will of my lord has been faithfully executed by his slave.


Conduct her hither.

(Exit slave, L.)


Yes ~ I will again behold those eyes, dark and tender as the mountain roe's; again listen to that voice, sweet as the breeze-rung bells of paradise! Thrice blessed be the waves which flung her back upon that desert shore! They cover not so fair a pearl, they never bore a richer treasure. She comes! ~ she comes! ~ Unseen, awhile I'll gaze upon her beauty; then pay a prince's tribute to its power!


Enter Reiza, richly habited, L.

[N. 18 - Air]


Mourn thou, poor heart, for the joys that are dead;

flow, ye sad tears, for the joys that are fled:

sorrow is now the sole treasure I prize;

as peris on perfume, I feed on its sighs:

and bitter to some as its fountain may be,

'tis sweet as the waters of Gelum to me.*

Ye that are basking in pleasure's gay beam,

ye that are sailing on hope's golden stream,

a cloud may come o'er ye, ~ a wave sweep the deck,

and picture a future of darkness and wreck;

but the scourge of the desert** o'er my heart hath past,

and the tree that's blighted fears no second blast.

* «The water of Gelum, on account of its purity, is called the water of paradise.» Dow.

** The kamsin, a devastating wind, so called by the Arabs.



Beautiful being! wherefore that plaintive lay, sweet and sad as the moan of the dove over the fallen cypress? ~ Tell me thy grief, that I may bring to thee the balm will cure it. ~ Almanzor can do much.


Can he awake the dead?


No: ~ but he can surround the living with such delights, that they will weep the dead no longer.


Indeed! Then waste them not on me ~ for I would still weep on. ~ My hopes have passed from me, like the phantom streams which mock the fainting traveller in the desert; and, like him, would I lay me down and die.


Hath Almanzor then no power to bid a spring gush forth for thee in the wilderness? Is there no green oasis, to which his hand may lead thee? Bethink thee, loveliest, ~ all that charmeth woman, ~ gay chambers, ~ costly robes, ~ high feasting, and sweet music, these are mine to offer thee, and ~


All these I had, and I left them without a sigh! Without a sigh I can remember that I had them. They increased not my happiness when I was happy, and they can take no jot from my wretchedness! ~ A costly robe but adds to the weight of a sinking spirit; and when the nightingale is dead, and the canker in the heart of the rose, she careth not for the smile of the sun, or the song of the fountain.


Hear me, fair creature! I know not whom thou art, or whence thou comest, beyond what they could tell, who brought thee hither! ~ But this I know, thy beauty is above all price. The caliph, my great master, before whom the whole world falls prostrate, should not buy thee from me! ~ Nay, by Allah! if rank and power can move thy heart to love, speak but the word, I will fling off allegiance, defy Haroun, and share with thee the independent throne of Tunis.


Dream it not! ~ Almanzor, there is a gulfh between us: its dark shore is strewed with the wreck of happiness: come not thou near it with thy gilded bark, if thou wouldst save thyself.


Thou art Almanzor's sovereign; but yet hear me. Thy grief shall be respected: no boisterous mirth shall break its spell, ~ no rude intrusion profane its sanctuary; but gentlest cares shall daily steal away some unmarked portion of thy melancholy, till the light of joy may pierce its last thin shadow. ~ Nay, reply not! ~ For thine own sake, do not wake me from this vision, even though it be delusive. Leave me, while yet I feel myself thy slave. A moment longer, and I may remember I am also thy master.

(Exit Reiza, L.)

As Almanzor is rushing out on the opposite side, Enter Roshana, R.




Light of my eyes! what shakes my lord so strongly? ~ your cheek is flushed, your look is wild, Almanzor! ~ Why do you frown on me? ~ have I offended?


Your sight offends me ~ stand from out my path.


The emir of Tunis was not wont to speak thus to Roshana. The blood of the prophet runs in these veins; let my lord shed it, but not insult his wife.


My wife! my slave! By Allah, one word more, and Tunis shall not hold a slave so wretched as I will make the proud Roshana. Out of my path, before I spurn thee! Hence, and vent thy spleen upon thy women; but for thy life, wake not Almanzor's fury!

(Exit.) R.



O holy prophet! why have I lived to see this day? ~ Why do I live to bear this foul disgrace? ~ Why, but for vengeance! Yes, by Allah! terrible vengeance! Cast off, ~ despised, ~ insulted, ~ for this new toy, ~ this pining stranger. ~ Roshana, awake! Hast thou no power in Tunis? ~ Yes, to-day, ~ But wilt thou have to-morrow? Not if this minion listen to the suit of thy faithless lord. Well then, to-day, while I have power, let me use it. ~ Her vengeance glutted, Roshana knows how to die, and foil that of her enemies.

(Exit.) L.

Scene III

Myrtle grove in the garden of Almanzor.
Enter Fatima, R.


Well, that's settled: ~ our master the gardener has consented to employ our master the paladin; and the latter has already commenced operations. Sherasmin told the old man a famous story about his sham kinsman's skill in raising tulips! ~ Heaven send he put it not to the proof, for there'll not be a plant left alive in the whole garden, I'm sure. ~ He doesn't know a tulip from a sun-flower! He handles a hoe as if it were a lance, and slashes about with his pruning knife, as though he were lopping heads instead of branches. ~ Hah! here he comes.

Enter sir Huon, L. dressed as a gardener, hastily: in his hand is a bouquet, which he examines minutely.


It must be from my Reiza! I've heard that in these climes, each flower hath a meaning, and that lovers often express their passionate thoughts in such sweet letters! O for some clue to read this riddle!

(Seeing Fatima.)

Hah! Fatima! tell me, my kind girl, what may this mean? Standing but now, gazing upon the cruel walls which bar me from my Reiza, I saw the small fair hand of a female issue from the only lattice which opens on these garderts, ~ and presently this bunch of flowers fell from it at my feet.

(Giving them to her.)


Ha! they are token-flowers.

(Examining the bouquet, and explaining its meaning to sir Huon.)

See, my lord, a jonquil, ~ that means «Have pity on my passion.» These cinnamon blossoms, ~ « My fortune is yours.» ~ Stay, what is this? ~ these flowers puzzle me ~ I have it ~ no ~ I cannot make that out. The gold wire that binds them should mean, «I die for thee ~ come quickly!» ~ And look ~ here are some characters scratched upon this laurel leaf, ~ «At sunset, the gate in the myrtle grove ~ love, and vengeance on a tyrant.» It's from my lady, ~ she has doubtless gained some slave, who will direct your steps to her; but ah! the danger ~


Talk not of danger in a cause like this! Hasten to Sherasmin: tell him to prepare for instant flight. ~ Day is closing fast, and there is no time for consultation. Do thou and he await me at the well behind the gardener's house. There, if fate smile upon my enterprise, will I bring thy mistress.


And if fate does not smile upon us, to-morrow morning will find Sherasmin and I at the bottom of the well; for never will we outlive the loss of our dear lord and lady.

(Exit.) R.


At sunset, the gate in the myrtle grove! 'Tis here at hand, and the moment is almost as nigh. My own true Reiza! A few brief seconds, and I shall clasp her again to this devoted bosom.

[N. 19 - Air]

I revel in hope and joy again;

a ray shines over my breaking chain,

beams like a beacon the gloom above,

and lights my path to my lady love!

I feel like a mountain stream set free

from the stern frost-spirit's mastery,

rushing down from its rocky height,

leaping and sparkling in wild delight.

I revel in hope and joy again!

I seek my love as that stream the main:

they shall turn the tide with a silken glove,

ere they bar my way to my lady love!

Scene IV

Saloon in the kiosk of Roshana: in the flat an arch closed with rich curtains. The stage is quite dark.
Enter Nadina, leading Sir Huon, L.


Where is she? Gentle guide, ~ where is my love?


Rest thou here ~ anon thou shalt behold her.

(Exit.) M. D.


My heart misgives me! ~ why this strange delay? ~ the passage was free for her as for the slave, and by this time we should have joined our friends. She comes not ~ how torturing is this suspense!

The curtains of the arch fly open and discover a recess illuminated, in which Roshana is reclining, covered with a rich veil.


Ah! she is there! My love! my life!

(Rushing to her, and clasping her in his arms.)

Why dost thou loiter here? Let us away! the morn shall see us far from Tunis!


(throwing off her veil)

Nay, christian, not so. The morn shall see thee on the throne of Tunis, if thou wilt share it with Roshana!


Merciful heaven! I am betrayed!


Thou hast no cause for fear: ~ listen to me, christian. Thou seest before thee the wife of Almanzor, the proud emir of Tunis. I mark'd thee toiling in the garden beneath the eye of Ibrahim, and could see thy spirit spurned the menial task. Thou art no common slave ~ there is a fire in thine eye, a pride in thy port, which speak thee noble: ~ suffice it to say, I saw and loved thee. ~ Let not thy colder nature start at this plain avowal. ~ The passions of the daughters of Africa burn as fiercely as the sun which blazes over them. Two of the wildest now rage within my bosom ~ vengeance and love. Nerve thine arm, christian, to gratify the first ~ the latter shall reward thee beyond thy most sanguine wishes!



Whither hath my rashness led me? How shall I answer this impetuous woman?


Thou art silent. Canst thou hesitate to accept the good I offer thee? ~ Arouse thee, christian. Is it not thy glory to smite the moslem? Listen ~ I will lead thee this night to the couch of Almanzor. When his brain swims with the forbidden wine, and his lids are heavy with the fumes of the banquet, stab him to the heart! His slaves shall fall like dust at thy feet. The haram yields obedience to my nod. Wealth, rank, and power ~ liberty and love ~ reward thee for one blow!


Never, mighty princess! If Almanzor has wronged thee, give me a sword, and let me hand to hand strive with the tyrant! I will shed my blood freely to right an injured woman; but I am no assassin to stab a sleeping man!


Is he not the enemy of thy race and creed? Must the lances glitter in the sun, and the mighty steed paw up the earth, before thy blood can boil, and thy steel spring from its scabbard? Think on thy countrymen who pine in chains around thee, and nourish with the sweat of their brows the soil of the infidel! Thou shalt be their liberator, and I will be thy proselyte! Thou shalt have the glory of giving freedom to five hundred Franks, and of converting a princess of the blood of Mohammed! What care I for a prince who spurns me, or a prophet who denies me the privileges of my fellow clay? Christian! gallant christian! revenge thyself and me ~ strike the tyrant and the unbeliever, and defy the caliph on his distant throne.


Urge me no more, lady. I love another; and while I freely own thy dazzling beauty, and my unworthiness, I must declare as plainly, that naught can shake my honour or my faith.



Destruction to my hopes! Wretched Roshana, where is the boasted power of thine eyes? where are the charms that poets have sung, and princes have sighed for? A slave, whose life hangs on thy breath, calmly rejects thine hand, even with a jewell'd sceptre in its grasp! ~ But shall this be? shall I be baffled thus? Come all ye arts of woman to my aid! the touch that disarms the mighty ~ the look that blinds the wise! He must be more or less than man if he break through the net I cast around him.

She claps her hands. ~ A troop of dancing girls and female slaves, riched attired, enter and surround sir Huon with garlands. One presents him with a cup of wine.

[N. 20 - Chorus and Ballet]


For thee hath beauty decked her bower,

for thee the cup of joy is filled:

o drain the draught and cull the flower,

ere the rose be dead, and the wine be spilled!


Hence! The flow'rs ye proffer fair,

poison in their fragrance bear!

And the goblet's purple flood

seems to me a draught of blood!

(He breaks from the garlands, and is met by Roshana, who clings to him and prevents his flight.)


When woman's eye with love is bright,

canst thou shun its 'witching light?

Bearest thou the heart to flee

when her white arms circle thee?


There is no beauty in woman's eye,

when it burns with unholy brilliancy!

'Tis like the glare of the sightless dead,

when the soul which should kindle their orbs hath fled!

There is no charm that can yield delight

in the wanton's hand, be it never so white ~

sooner its fingers should o'er me stray,

when the worm hath eaten the flesh away!

(Disengages himself from Roshana, and rushes to the wing by which he entered. ~ The dancing girls and slaves anticipate his intention, and group themselves so as opposite his exit.)


O turn not away from the banquet of bliss!

O lose not a moment so precious as this!

Remember the sage* who sung o'er his repast

«How pleasant were life if a shadow could last.»

Then, mortal, be happy, and laugh at the wise

who know life's shadow, yet wait till it flies!

* Abdolmélik, the fifth caliph of the house of Ommiyah, and the eleventh from the prophet; whilst he was at supper, he said, «How sweetly we live, if a shadow would last!» Vide Ockley, «History of Saracens».


Off! let me pass! I would not willingly lay an ungentle hand upon a woman, but patience hath its bounds! Give way I say!

As he is about to force his way through them, the slaves disperse, and Almanzor, L. enters, followed by some armed negroes. Sir Huon is instantly seized.


Eternal curses! A man within these walls!


(aside) C.

Almanzor! flushed with wine too ~ 'tis well, the slave shall die the death his folly merits!

(Aloud, and falling at Almanzor's feet.)

Allah be praised! I owe thee more than life! This christian dog, for some vile purpose, and by unknown means, gained access to this sacred spot. My slaves discovered him, and he would have fled. Shrieking, they strove with their weak arms to bar his passage; when happily my lord arrived, as sent by heaven to our assistance!


Drag him away to death. In the palace court let him be burned alive, within this hour!

(They force sir Huon from the stage.)


(to Roshana)

Woman, I doubt this tale, but be it as it may, he dies! For thee ~

(Pauses a while and observes her: then, turning to one of the remaining negroes, he silently motions him towards Roshana.)



Hah! is it so? There is no time to lose then.

(As two of the negroes approach her, she evades their grasp; and, rushing on Almanzor, aims a blow at him with her dagger: her arm is caught, and the weapon wrested from her, by a third slave.)


(in a calm low tone)

Thou hast been dangerous too long. Farewell, Roshana. Thine is a towering spirit, but the ocean is deep enough to cover it.


(in the same tone)

Were it as deep as gehennem, it should not separate us, Almanzor. In the banquet hall and the haram bower, in the blaze of noon and the darkness of night, Roshana shall be with thee; her blue lip shall meet thine on the brim of the goblet; her glassy eye glare on thee from the midst of the roses. The rushing of waters and the shriek of their victim shall be heard above the song of joy and the trumpet of triumph. Sleeping and waking shall they ring in thine ears; and when the angel of death shall stand at the foot of thy couch, there shall Roshana be also, to smile on the last struggle of her despairing murderer!

(Almanzor signs to the negroes to remove Roshana.)

The scene closes.

Scene V

Garden behind Ibrahim's house ~ a rose-bush particularly prominent. ~ Moonlight.
Enter Sherasmin, R.


No, I can see nobody. Mischief! mischief. I greatly fear thou art afoot! My master must have been here long ago, had he succeeded in his project! If they have discovered him, they'll twist his neck with as little compunction as if it were a pigeon's! Fatima returns not, neither! Has she heard nothing? Or has she heard too much? Sir Oberon! Sir Oberon! I begin to fear that thou wilt turn out a scurvy fairy, after all. ~ O murder! what the devil's that? I've trod on a snake, and it has bitten my leg through! O I'm a dead man!

(A lily rises through the stage, and the ivory horn is seen swinging upon it.)

There it is! ~ No ~ it isn't ~ it's a ~ no ~ why. ~

(Approaching cautiously, and looking at it.)

The horn! the horn! the fairy horn!

(Snatching it from the lily, which sinks again, and dancing about delightedly.)

We're all right! we're all safe ~ we are all ~ Lira, lira la! lira, lira la! Ah, Fatima!

Enter Fatima, hastily, R.


Misery! misery! all's lost! all's ruined! We were deceived! The token came from the wife of the emir! Almanzor surprised sir Huon in the haram, and they are going to burn him alive!


Burn him alive! ~ My master ~ ha! ha! ha! that's a good joke!


A good joke! art thou mad? I tell thee even now they are raising stake and pile in the court of the haram.


Excellent! 'twill be rare sport ~ follow me, Fatima!


He's frantic! the dreadful tidings have turned his brain.


No, they hav'n't. Don't be frighten'd. If I am mad, I'm only horn-mad, and that's nothing very extraordinary for a married man, you know, Fatima.


What! the fairy horn restored to us? But are you sure it's the fairy horn? It may be some trick, perhaps.


Sure! why, ~ yes, ~ it must be ~ it ~ at least, it looks very much like it. ~

(Blows a soft note. Fatima bursts into, a loud laugh.)

Oh yes. I can swear to the notes ~ come ~ come, don't stand laughing there ~ every moment is precious now.


Oh! oh! oh! ha! ha! ha! I can't help it! ha! ha! ha!


What the deuce ails the girl! Fatima! ~ Fatima! ~ Oh murder! it's the horn ~ that's for doubting the fairy, you know ~ what's to be done now? ~ If I blow again, I shall do more mischief. ~ So, you must e'en laugh on, till I get within hearing of the enemy, and then take your chance with the rest. ~ Follow me, you grinning goose, do «Guienne for the noble duke!»


Ha! ha! ha!

(Exeunt.) L. (Fatima laughing.)

Scene VI

The court of the haram. In the centre of the stage is a stake, surrounded by fagots. A band of negroes are discovered, with lighted torches.
Enter Almanzor, attended, L.


Bring forth the guilty slave!

(Exeunt Negroes.)

A shriek is heard within: L. Reiza rushes from the haram, and flings herself at the feet of Almanzor.


The lovely stranger!


At thy feet, Almanzor, I crave a first and only boon.


What canst thou ask, fair creature, that Almanzor can deny? Speak; it is thine.


Pardon for him thou hast but now condemned to a most cruel and unmerited death.


How! for that vile slave who dared profane the haram! What is that dog to thee?


He was deceived, and he is innocent. I have heard all. Ask thine own slaves, the slaves of that wretched princess now struggling with the waters. Spare him! O spare him!


It cannot be! He hath transgressed the law. Waste not a thought upon a wretch like that.


Almanzor, hear me ~ he is my husband.


Hah! thy husband! He whom thy captors left bound upon the beach, and thou didst deem dead? Praised be the prophet! Now, lady, hear Almanzor; you ask me to be merciful ~ do thou set the example. Pity my sufferings, smile upon my love; and I will not only spare his life, but load him with riches, and give him safe and honourable conduct to his native land.





Beware! the bow, o'erstrained, may break.


Barbarian, do thy worst; I fear thee not. The man I love would shame to live on terms so base; and I would rather share his dreadful fate, than free him from it by such infamy.



Then be it so. Thou hast condemned thyself; for yield thou shalt, or mount the pile with him. Bind her to the stake, and bring the christian forth.

(Slaves seize and bind Reiza.)

Negroes enter with sir Huon, R.


Reiza! O heavy hour!



O happy hour! Huon, we die together.


Enough! To the stake with them, and fire the pile!


(As they are dragging him to the stake.)

Tyrant, beware! Thou killest the caliph's daughter; Haroun will rend thee piecemeal.


(laughing scornfully)

Ha! ha! ha! that lie will scarcely serve thy turn. But, were it true, she hath wedded with a vile christian, and deserves to die. Slaves, fire the pile, I say!

(As the negroes are about to set fire to the pile, the faint sound of a horn is heard. ~ Almanzor becomes motionless. ~ The negroes and other slaves dance to the following chorus.)

[N. 21 - Finale]


Hark! what notes are swelling?

Whence that wondrous sound,

ev'ry foot compelling

in merry dance to bound?

Enter Arcon, and Sherasmin with the horn, followed by Fatima, L.


Rejoice, rejoice, 'tis the horn of power!

They dance in the court and they dance in the tow'r,

they dance in the garden, they dance in the hall,

on the ocean's beach, and the city wall.

A second and louder blast shall bring

the donor himself ~ the elfin king!

(Sherasmin blows a louder blast; the bonds of sir Huon and Reiza are burst asunder; the fagots and stake sink. ~ The stage fills with clouds, as in the second act. The negroes and Almanzor fly in terror.)

The clouds open: Oberon and Titania appear, C.


Hail, faithful pair! your woes are ended!

Your friend in turn you have befriended!

His pledge redeem'd by you hath been:

again in love he clasps his fairy queen!

Swift as the lightning's glance,

brave knight, behold, I bring

thee and thine to thy native France,

and the palace of thy king.

Kneel at his feet with the bride thou has won;

Europe shall ring with the deed thou hast done:

now for ever I break the spell

with the grateful fairy's last farewell.

The clouds envelope Oberon and Titania, then rise and discover the palace of Charlemagne.

Grand march.

Enter guards, nobles, and ladies of the emperor's court, and lastly Charlemagne. Flourish.

Sir Huon, Reiza, Sherasmin, and Fatima, who have left the stage at the change of scene, re-enter; sir Huon armed as in first scene. ~ They kneel.

[N. 22 - March]


Behold! obedient to the oath he swore,

Huon is kneeling at thy feet once more;

for, by the help of heav'n, his hand hat done

the daring deed, and from the caliph won

this lovely maid, ~ by ev'ry peril tried,

the heiress of his throne, and now thy vassal's bride.

(Charlemagne rises and welcomes sir Huon and Reiza.)


Hail to the knight, with his own good brand,

who hath won a fair bride from the Saracen's hand!

Hail to the maiden who o'er the sea

hath follow'd her champion so faithfully!

By bards yet unborn oft the tale shall be told

of Reiza the lovely and Huon the bold!

The end.

End of the libretto.

Generazione pagina: 13/02/2016
Pagina: ridotto, rid
Versione H: 3.00.40 (D)

Locandina Act I Scene I Scene II Scene III Act II Scene I Scene II Scene III Scene IV Scene V Act III Scene I Scene II Scene III Scene IV Scene V Scene VI