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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889


By Elizabeth Drew Barstow Stoddard (1823–1902)

[Born in Mattapoisset, Mass., 1823. Died, 1902.]

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 fire-flies in her hair.

I waited till the break of day,

Then I rose and stole away;

But left my dagger in her gate:—

Now she knows her lover’s fate.