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;
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
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; --
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.
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!
Houghton, Mifflin And Company, Boston And New York