The Mikado/Act II/Part I

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The Mikado by W. S. Gilbert
Act 2, part I. Braid the raven hair
Braid the raven hair is the opening to Act II of Gilbert and Sullivan's 1885 comic operetta The Mikado written by W. S. Gilbert (libretto) and Arthur Sullivan (music). As the curtain goes up, Yum-Yum is seated in Ko-Ko's garden, surrounded by maidens preparing her for her upcoming wedding.

Chorus:
Braid the raven hair —
Weave the supple tress —
Deck the maiden fair
In her loveliness —
Paint the pretty face —
Dye the coral lip —
Emphasize the grace
Of her ladyship!
Art and nature, thus allied,
Go to make a pretty bride.
Art and nature, thus allied,
Go to make a pretty bride.

Pitti-Sing:
Sit with downcast eye —
Let it brim with dew —
Try if you can cry —
We will do so, too.
When you're summoned, start
Like a frightened roe —
Flutter, little heart,
Colour, come and go!
Modesty at marriage-tide
Well becomes a pretty bride!
Modesty at marriage-tide
Well becomes a pretty bride!

Chorus:
Braid the raven hair —
Weave the supple tress —
Deck the maiden fair
In her loveliness —
Paint the pretty face —
Dye the coral lip —
Emphasize the grace
Of her ladyship!
Art and nature, thus allied,
Go to make a pretty bride.
Art and nature, thus allied,
Go to make a pretty bride.

[Exeunt Pitti-Sing, Peep-Bo & Chorus]