You mean Kamehameha First, I’m sure.
Yes, I am of his line.
May it endure
Until the end of time; for you are great;
The world needs women like you.
[Girl turns to go.
Oh, now wait!
I want some flowers; please hang about my neck
A dozen lais; and give me half a peck
Of nice bouquets; then I will hire a band
And celebrate my entrance to your land.
I’ll dance the Hula, up and down the street
And cry Aloha, to each girl I meet;
And if she frowns, and calls me cad, and churl,
I’ll shout, Long Live the New Hawaiian Girl —
Rah, rah, rah, Yale, Yale, Yale!
[A Hawaiian Band is heard approaching.]
Girl (laughingly, as she hangs lais about his neck)
Well, there’s your band; and since you are so
To purchase all my flowers, I’ve half a mind
To favour you with, not the Hula, sir,
But something more refined, and prettier.
I’ll teach it to you; ask the band out there
To play the Hula Kui dancing air;
Then follow all I do, and copy me.
This is the way it starts, now one, two, three.
[After the dance ends, Ralph approaches the girl with tense face and speaks with great seriousness.]
Girl, though I do not even know your name,
Yet here I stand, and offer you my own;
It was for you I came, for you alone,
Across the half world. I have never known
Forgetfulness, since first your face I saw.
In coming here, I but obeyed Love’s law;
I thought it fancy, passion, or caprice;
I know now it is love.
Flower girl (with emotion)
I pray you, cease;
You do not understand yourself; go, go;
[Urges him towards exit.
Ralph (seizing her hand)
I will not go until I hear you say
That you remember even as I do
That brief encounter on the street one day.
[Flower girl turns her face away and tries to free her hand.]
Oh, it is fate; and Fate we must obey.
[Takes ring from his finger.]
Let the ship go; but with my heart I stay.
[Attempts to place ring on girl’s finger. She wrenches her hand free, and stands with both hands behind her as she speaks with suppressed emotion.]
The heart of every Island girl on earth
I think hides one sweet dream, and it is this;
To one day meet a man of higher birth —
To win his heart,—to feel his tender kiss —
And sail with him to some far distant land.
This too has been my dream; wherein your face
Shone like a beacon.
[Repels Ralph as he starts forward.]
But I know your race,
Too well, too well. I know how such dreams end,
You could not claim me in your land, my friend,
For colour prejudice is rampant there.