Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
Maxixe
By Osbert Sitwell
 
        Los enanitos
Se enojaren
(Old Mexican Song)

THE MEXICAN dwarfs can dance for miles,
Stamping their feet and scattering smiles;
Till the loud hills laugh and laugh again
At the dancing dwarfs in the golden plain,
Till the bamboos sing as the dwarfs dance by        5
Kicking their feet at a jagged sky,
That, torn by leaves and gashed by hills,
Rocks to the rhythm the hot sun shrills.
The bubble sun sketches shadows that pass
To noiseless jumping-jacks of glass        10
So long and thin, so silent and opaque,
That the lions shake their orange manes, and quake,
And a shadow that leaps over Popocatepetl
Terrifies the tigers, as they settle
Cat-like limbs cut with golden bars        15
Under bowers of flowers that shimmer like stars.
Buzzing of insects flutters above,
Shaking the rich trees’ treasure-trove
Till the fruit rushes down, like a comet whose tail
Thrashes the night with its golden flail.        20
The fruit hisses down with a plomp from its tree,
Like the singing of a rainbow as it dips into the sea.
Loud red trumpets of great blossoms blare
Triumphantly like heralds who blow a fanfare;
Till the humming-bird, bearing heaven on its wing,        25
Flies from the terrible blossoming,
And the humble honey-bee is frightened by the fine
Honey that is heavy like money, and purple like wine;
While birds that flaunt their pinions like pennons
Shriek from their trees of oranges and lemons,        30
And the scent rises up in a cloud, to make
The hairy swinging monkeys feel so weak
That they each throw down a bitten cocoanut or mango.
Up flames a flamingo over the fandango;
Glowing like a fire, and gleaming like a ruby,        35
From Guadalajara to Guadalupe
It flies; in flying drops a feather …
And the snatching dwarfs stop dancing and fight together.
 
 
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