OF LI FANG FU
Composed By Sax Rohmer
Transcription for Piano Arranged by T. W. Thurban
Theatre and Music Hall rights reserved
NOTES: A Southern Chinaman regards
his pigtail with superstitious reverence.
Ali should be pronounced Ah-lee.
Ramsa Lal should be pronounced Ram-sa Lawl.
Bhiwani should be pronounced Bhee-wahnee.
Kashmiri should be pronounced kash-meery.
Ameer Khan Motee should be pronounced Am-eer Kahn Moo-tee.
Chandu should be pronounced Chahn-doo.
They speak of a dead man's
they whisper a deed of hell
'Neath the Mosque of Mohammed Ali.
And this is the thing they tell.
In a deep and a midnight gully,
by the street where the goldsmiths are,
'Neath the Mosque of Mohammed Ali,
at the back of the Scent Bazaar,
Was the House of a Hundred Raptures,
the tomb of a thousand sighs;
Where the sleepers lay in that living death
which the opium-smoker dies.
At the House of a Hundred Raptures,
where the reek of the joss-stick rose
From the knees of the golden idol
to the tip of his gilded nose,
Through the billowing oily vapour,
the smoke of the black chandu,
There a lantern green
cast a serpent sheen
on the pigtail of Li-Fang-Fu.
There was Ramsa Lal of Bhiwâni,
who could smoke more than any three,
A pair of Kashmîri dancing girls
and Ameer Khân Môtee;
And there was a grey-haired soldier too,
the wreck of a splendid man;
When the place was still
I've heard mounted drill
being muttered by "Captain Dan."
Then one night as I lay a-dreaming,
there was shuttering, frenzied screams;
But the smoke had a spell upon me;
I was chained to that couch of dreams.
All my strength, all my will had left me,
because of the black chandu,
And upon the floor,
by the close-barred door,
lay the daughter of Li-Fang-Fu.
'Twas the first time I ever saw her,
but often I dream of her now;
For she was as sweet as a lotus,
with the grace of a willow bough,
The daintiest ivory maiden
that ever a man called fair,
And I saw blood drip
where Li-Fang-Fu's whip
had tattered her shoulders bare!
I fought for the power to curse him--
and never a word would come!--
To reach him-- to kill him!--
but opium had stricken me helpless-- dumb.
He lashed her a-gain-- and a-gain,
un-til she uttered a moaning prayer,
And as he whipped so the red bloo[d]
dripped from those ivory shoulders bare.
When crash! went the window behind me,
and in leapt a grey-haired man,
As he tore the whip
from that devil's grip,
I knew him: 'twas "Captain Dan!"
Ne'er a word spoke he, but re-morseless,
his brow with anger black,
He lashed and lashed
till the shirt was slashed
from the Chinaman's writhing back.
And when in his grasp the whip broke
he cut with a long keen knife The pigtail,
for a Chinaman would barter his gold, his life--
He cut the pig-tail from Li-Fang-Fu.
And this is the thing they tell.
By the Mosque of Mohammed Ali--
for it led to a deed of hell.
In his terrible, icy passion, Captain Dan that pig-tail plied,
And with it he thrashed the Chinaman,
until any but he had died--
Until Li-Fang-Fu dropped limply down,
too feeble, it seemed to stand.
But swift to a-rise, with death in his
and the long keen knife in his hand!
Like fiends of an opium vision
they closed in a fight for life,
And nearer the breast of the Captain
crept the blade of the gleaming knife.
Then a shot! a groan-- and a wisp of smoke.
I swooned and knew no more--
Save that Li-Fang-Fu lay silent and still
in a red pool near the door.
But ever shall I re-member
how that curtain of sleep was drawn
And I woke. 'mid a deathly silence,
in the darkness before the dawn.
There was blood on the golden idol!
My God! that dream was true!
For there, like a slumbering serpent.
lay the pigtail of Li-Fang-Fu.
From the House of a Hundred Raptures
I crept ere the news should spread
That the Devil's due
had claimed Li-Fang-Fu,
and that Li-Fang-Fu was dead
'Twas the end of that Indian summer,
when Fate--or the ancient ties--
Drew my steps again to the gully,
to the Tomb of a Thousand sighs;
And the door of the House was open!
All the blood in my heart grew cold.
For with-in sat the golden idol,
and he leered as he leered of old!
And I thought that his eyes were moving
in a sinister, vile gri-mace
When suddenly, there at his feet
I saw a staring and well-known face!
With the shriek of a soul in torment,
I turned like a frenzied man,
Falling back from the spot
where the moon-light poured
down upon "Captain Dan!"
He was dead, and in death was fearful;
with features of ghastly hue--
And snake-like around his throat
was wound the pig-tail of Li-Fang-Fu!
in all countries,
by REYNOLDS & Co.