Is that you, my beloved Napoleon,
Who has come to me since your long-ago death,
To your Joséphine, whose image was engraved
upon the heart of you, the great Bonaparte.
It has been even longer still, since my own
untimely parting, my own exile from life
and everything you meant to me, my Only;
Mistress Rose & then your Empress Joséphine.
I had six summers and six winters before
Your own sun shown itself on the horizon;
Babe in arms, youth & master, and Emperor;
And lover, though like a son to me, my third.
To raise you as my own Beauharnais, mon cher,
Thus to live, and have me be sixteen again,
And never be annulled because you could not
claim your seed an issue from our wedding bed.
And so, ‘twas not to be in the stars for me,
although issues of my blood are mine alone
that carry on the beating sake of my heart;
Such is the irony, our history, and you.