James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

March 16


By Emma Lazarus (1849–1887)

  • The French Prince Imperial, only son of Louis Napoleon, born March 16, 1856.

  • PARIS, from throats of iron, silver, brass,

    Joy-thundering cannon, blent with chiming bells,

    And martial strains, the full-voiced pæan swells.

    The air is starred with flags, the chanted mass

    Throngs all the churches, yet the broad streets swarm

    With glad-eyed groups who chatter, laugh, and pass,

    In holiday confusion, class with class.

    And over all the spring, the sun-floods warm!

    In the Imperial palace that March morn,

    The beautiful young mother lay and smiled;

    For by her side just breathed the Prince, her child,

    Heir to an empire, to the purple born,

    Crowned with the Titan’s name that stirs the heart

    Like a blown clarion—one more Bonaparte.