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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Mercedes
By Elizabeth Drew Barstow Stoddard (1823–1902)
 
UNDER a sultry yellow sky
On the yellow sand I lie;
The crinkled vapors smite my brain,—
I smolder 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 I left my dagger in the gate;—
Now she knows her lover’s fate!
 
 
CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY
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