Bob Cole
James Weldon Johnson
Jos. W. Stern & Co.
The insertion of the biblical “Selah” may be a way to indicate this is “oriental” poetry.

An Arab chieftain living in a bungalow is another example of the oriental mishmash in these songs: the Anglo-Indian dwelling can be moved to “Bizerta Land [Bizerte, North Africa]”

Way off in Bizerta Land, Near the burning desert sand,
Hid behind her lattice shade, Lived a lovely Moorish maid.
Selah! Selah!
So fair, so fair was she. But an Arab chieftain bold
Chanced her beauty to behold; One spark from her fleeting gaze
Set his Arab heart ablaze.
Selah! Selah!
In love, in love was he. One night his steed bestriding,
Across the desert riding, Love’s star his courser guiding,
This chieftain rode to woo. He rode, he rode
And sang while on he rode.

Zel-Zel! My oriental belle!
How I love you no one can tell,
My belle of the Orient!
Come to my bungalow and dwell.
Zel-Zel! My oriental belle!

On his steed so fleet and strong, Fast this chieftain sped along,
Till at last his course he stayed Neath the window of the maid.
Selah! Selah!
In haste to woo was he. There he told her of his love,
Swore by all the stars above; But although his love he proved,
She appeared to be unmoved.
Selah! Selah!
So coy, so coy was she. It seemed that she grew colder,
The more of love he told her, But he at last grew bolder,
And seized her in his arms, Then back, he rode,
And sang while on he rode