PING-CHO:Gracious maidens, gentle lords
Pray attend me while I tell my tale
Of Ala-eddin, the Old Man of the Mountain
Who by devious schemes, evil designs
And foul murders ruled the land.
No host of arms, no vast array
Of banners served this wicked lord.
They were but few - ruthless, reckless men
Who obeyed his cruel commands.
Thus did he persuade them
Promising paradise, he gave his followers
A potent draught and whilst they slept
Transported them to a vale where
Streams of milk and honey, wine and water, flowed.
Here were gardens and flowers of every hue
And essence. Here, too Golden pavilions outshone the sun
And even the stars of heaven envied
The bejewelled interiors strewn with incomparable silks, tapestries,
Soft of face, attended them, and thus bemused
Did they dwell in this man-made paradise
Until Ala-eddin intent upon some evil deed
Proffered again the hashish draught
And brought them sleeping to his castle.
What lord, are we cast out of paradise
Awakening, they cried.
Not so, Go abroad, seek out my enemies
And strike them down.
But care not for your lives.
Paradise is eternal.
So terror stalked the land for many years.
Then one day, came mighty Hulagu
To stand before Ala-eddin’s lair
For three long years in siege
And thus fell Ala-eddin and his men.
Now honest hands reap harvests of life
From the soil where death and evil Reigned.
And those who journey
Through the vale are heard to say
Tis truly paradise today.
One of our favourite scenes in ‘Marco Polo’ as Ping Cho recites her story to the group, and the Doctor wraps his arms around Susan. We love that the scene takes its time, allowing us to hear every part of Ping Cho’s story performance with its beautiful words. It’s just very special and extremely cute.