Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
427. Mercedes
 
By Elizabeth Stoddard
 
 
UNDER a sultry, yellow sky,
On the yellow sand I lie;
The crinkled vapors smite my brain,
I smoulder in a fiery pain.
 
Above the crags the condor flies;        5
He knows where the red gold lies,
He knows where the diamonds shine;—
If I knew, would she be mine?
 
Mercedes in her hammock swings;
In her court a palm-tree flings        10
Its slender shadow on the ground,
The fountain falls with silver sound.
 
Her lips are like this cactus cup;
With my hand I crush it up;
I tear its flaming leaves apart;—        15
Would that I could tear her heart!
 
Last night a man was at her gate;
In the hedge I lay in wait;
I saw Mercedes meet him there,
By the fireflies in her hair.        20
 
I waited till the break of day,
Then I rose and stole away;
But left my dagger in the gate;—
Now she knows her lover’s fate!
 

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