Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
1507. In Mexico
By Evaleen Stein
THE CACTUS towers, straight and tall,
Through fallow fields of chapparal;
  And here and there, in paths apart,
  A dusky peon guides his cart,
    And yokes of oxen journey slow,        5
            In Mexico.
And oft some distant thinkling tells
Of muleteers, with wagon bells
  That jangle sweet across the maize,
  And green agave stalks that raise        10
    Rich spires of blossoms, row on row,
            In Mexico.
Upon the whitened city walls
The golden sunshine softly falls,
  On archways set with orange trees,        15
  On paven courts and balconies
    Where trailing vines toss to and fro,
            In Mexico.
And patient little donkeys fare
With laden saddle-bags, and bear        20
  Through narrow ways quaint water-jars
  Wreathed round with waxen lily stars
    And scarlet poppy-buds that blow,
            In Mexico.
When twilight falls, more near and clear        25
The tender southern skies appear,
  And down green slopes of blooming limes
  Come cascades of cathedral chimes;
    And prayerful figures worship low,
            In Mexico.        30
A land of lutes and witching tones,
Of silver, onyx, opal stones;
  A lazy land, wherein all seems
  Enchanted into endless dreams;
    And never any need they know,        35
            In Mexico,
Of life’s unquiet, swift advance;
But slipped into such gracious trance,
  The restless world speeds on, unfelt,
  Unheeded, as by those who dwelt        40
    In olden ages, long ago,
            In Mexico.


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