Napoleon At Les Invalides

Julia Stockton Dinsmore

From the lorn island in the distant main —
The rock that marks how far a meteor fell-
Freed from his alien sepulchre's lone cell,
The banished Emperor came home again.
Homesick he died, longing, and not in vain,
That France would bear his ashes back to dwell
Among the people that he loved so well,
Upon the bank of his beloved Seine.
Around his dust the fadeless laurel twines,
A spell of victory woven guards his urn;
The azure light of endless summer shines
From dome to crypt, and altar candles burn
In the strange citadel, where — last retreat-
He sleeps, nor dreams of exile or defeat.

Napoleon's body was brought back from the remote island of St Helena, where he had been exiled, and was buried in grandeur in Les Invalides in Paris.