ARABIAN GIRL, THE

ARABIAN GIRL, THE
Adieux de l’hotesse arabe
Song
Georges Bizet
Theo. Marzials
Metzler & Co., London, n.d. [French ed., Choudens, Paris, 1867]
French title: Adieux de l’hotesse arabe by Victor Hugo

A romantic song describing, from a European perspective, the languid life in the sultry desert where a lovely woman will take care of all one’s needs. How a rosy dawn comes from a Southern sea in the desert is best ascribed to poetic license.

Is there nought keeps thee back, in this our eastern land,
Nor the palm tree nor the shade
Nor the well so close at hand.
Nor rest beneath the awning spread at noon.
Nor to watch our maidens blush
Like dark roses at your glance,
When beneath the silver moon,
Hand in hand in a dance,
We vigil round the holy desert dune.
Farewell, farewell, sweet stranger
Alas, farewell.

Why art thou, not of those
Who are so well content,
To dwell, in the desert in the shade of their tent,
Just to hark as in sleep, to the tales of lands afar
And at night in the cool, in the cool, just to dream,
Just to dream their souls are wand’ring,
wand’ring from star to star.
Farewell, Farewell, Farewell,
Farewell, sweet stranger.

Had you wish’d in our midst
To have found some one to love,
Some heart had lov’d you deep
As the houris love above.
Some heart had serv’d you ‘neath the plantane tree,
She had lull’d thee to sleep,
like a child on her breast,
And with a fan of leaves
She had waited on thy rest,
Till the dawn came rosy from the Southern sea.

If you return no more,
Think a little now and then
Of the maids you left behind
In the sultry desert plain,
Where they dance with naked feet
On the moon besilver’d sand.
Oh! stranger with pale eyes, Oh northern bird of flight,
Oh remember, Oh remember,
for perhaps, day and night, day and night,
A heart may be burning for thee,
In the far desert land.
Farewell, Farewell, Farewell, Farewell, sweet stranger,
Alas! Alas, Oh! remember, remember,
Alas! Oh! remember.

ARABIAN GIRL, THE