From the collection of Lawrence Knapp

Musical Monologues: Recitations With Musical Accompaniments (No 237)
Reynolds & Co,, 62a, Berners Street, London, W.1. Price 2s, nett

A Chinese Tale By Sax Rohmer
written and composed for Bransby Williams.

My little Orange Blossom -- light of my life.
Sleep on, tender flower -- sleep on!

Hist! --   Wu Chang! --  Greetings! greetings!
Ha! Wu Chang, long have I waited.
But that my friend would answer my call I had no fear.
See, old friend, the tea a - waits,
It is the fa - mous Pe - koe!

Sit!! My friend, Wu Chang.
Wu Chang, my friend!
I love you for your heart of gold.
Alas! Wu Chang, much water's flown
from Ho-nan to the Yellow Sea
since you and I were playmates --
playmates in the valley where opium poppies grow.

The tea is to your liking? 
Then we smoke.
You gaze 'round for my wife?
Ah! The little Orange Blossom.
I know you loved her well      
For my sake?
Yes, Wu Chang, my friend!
Have Courage!  Courage!   heart of gold!
It is the incense that you smell --
The little Orange Blossom's dead! 

You start!   
'Twas sudden?
She died at dawn.
But let us smoke.
At dawn she lived,
To - night her soul is free.
Her body lies in yonder.
Come!  Come! Wu Chang and kiss her.
No?   Her lips smile, Her eyes are kind.
So slender is the thread of life,
that even I,  or you,   Wu Chang,
might die to - night!

How pale you grow!
The tea is to your liking?
Is the incense so op _ pressive?
Well, the flowers are fresh.
For she, too, was a flower, Wu Chang.
a lily, slender white -- 
so frail a flower --
my wife.

My journeys left her much a - lone.
But when I placed her in your care,
My old and trusted friend Wu Chang,
I deemed her safe,   But see!
your tea grows cold.
Drink up!

Her lips were red,
Her heart was young.
How fair she was!
and I so far a - way!
You shudder!
yet, your brow is wet,
nor do you smoke.
Your face is grey,
And how you twitch and clutch with clammy fingers.
You thought me safe in far Ho-nan!
So did the little Orange Blossom! --
Sit!! --  Look well in - to your empty cup --
The same from which your mistress drank at dawn,
Wu Chang -- her last!

Your whispered vows,
each stolen kiss,
all reached my ears!
I heard -- 
I saw -- 
my friend Wu Chang!
In yonder room,
The room where now our little Orange Blossom lies --

I   lay, con - cealed!

No, no!
You have no strength to raise your knife!
The poison cup has done its work.
Her lips were sweet?
Her arms were soft?
You writhe, and why,   
your eyes are glazed!

'Twas so with her, at dawn,
as 'tis with you tonight
Go!   sleep in hell --
in  HELL! 
my friend Wu Chang!

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Copyright 1998 Lawrence Knapp. All rights reserved.