The Blinded Bourbons (Poem by Victor Hugo)

the Old Poems

The Blinded Bourbons
By Victor Hugo

Who then, to them [1] had told the Future's story?
Or said that France, low bowed before their glory,
    One day would mindful be
Of them and of their mournful fate no more,
Than of the wrecks its waters have swept o'er
    The unremembering sea?

That their old Tuileries should see the fall
Of blazons from its high heraldic hall,
    Dismantled, crumbling, prone; [2]
Or that, o'er yon dark Louvre's architrave [3]
A Corsican, as yet unborn, should grave
    An eagle, then unknown?

That gay St. Cloud another lord awaited,
Or that in scenes Le NĂ´tre's art created
    For princely sport and ease,
Crimean steeds, trampling the velvet glade,
Should browse the bark beneath the stately shade
    Of the great Louis' trees?

[1] The young princes, afterwards Louis XVIII. and Charles X.
[2] The Tuileries, several times stormed by mobs, was so irreparably injured by the Communists that, in 1882, the Paris Town Council decided that the ruins should be cleared away.
[3] After the Eagle and the Bee superseded the Lily-flowers, the Third Napoleon's initial "N" flourished for two decades, but has been excised or plastered over, the words "National Property" or "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" being cut in the stone profusely.

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