Elizabeth Stoddard




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!


Copyright 1895
Houghton, Mifflin And Company, Boston And New York