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

December 2

To Louis Napoleon

By George H. Boker (1823–1890)

O, SHAMELESS thief! a nation trusted thee

With all the wealth her bleeding hands had won,

Proclaimed thee guardian of her liberty:

So proud a title never lay upon

Thy uncle’s forehead: thou wast linked with one,

First President of France, whose name shall be

Fixed in the heavens, like God’s eternal sun—

Second to him alone—to Washington!

Was it for thee to stoop unto a crown?

Pick up the Bourbon’s leavings? yield thy height

Of simple majesty, and totter down

Full of discovered frailties—sorry sight!

One of a mob of kings? or, baser grown,

Was it for thee to steal it in the night?