Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
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James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
 
July 22
Napoleon II., Duke of Reichstadt
By Francis Saltus Saltus (1849–1889)
 
          Napoleon II., the son of Napoleon I., better known as the Duke of Reichstadt, died at Vienna on July 22nd, 1832.

DOVE that found birth within an eagle’s nest,
  Bauble of circumstance and shifting fate,
  Thou wast too young to know thy imperial state,
Before thy marvelous father, foe-oppressed,
 
Fell like a hero! And thou hadst not guessed,        5
  In thy sweet, guileless play, that thou wast great,
  And that his name, with its gigantic weight,
Upon thy weakness was ordained to rest.
 
When thou in after years, with tears and pain,
  The dazzling records of his deeds supreme,        10
  With all their pomp and splendor, didst peruse,
How must have passed in thy bewildered brain
  Fantastic visions, fugitive as a dream,
    Of glorious Jenas and dire Waterloos!
 
 
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