In Bordighera's groves of palm
I linger at the close of day,
And watch, beyond the ocean's calm,
A range of mountains far away.

Their snowy summits, white and cold,
Flush crimson like a tinted shell,
As sinks the sun in clouds of gold
Behind the peaks of Esterel.

No unsubstantial shapes are they,-
The offspring of the mist and sea;
No splendid vision of Cathay,
Recalled in dreamful revery;

Their solid bastions,-towering high
Though rooted in earth's primal plan,-
Proclaim to every passer by
The cradle of the Corsican.

What martial soul there found rebirth,
When on those cliffs, then scarcely known,
There once more visited the earth
The spirit called Napoleon?

Three islands, like the sister Fates,
His life-thread wove upon their loom
From fair Ajaccio's silvered gates
To Saint Helena's mournful tomb;-

The first, his birthplace; whence appeared
His baleful star with lurid glow;
Next, Elba, where the world still feared
The fugitive from Fontainebleau;

Last, England's lonely prison-block,
Grim fragment 'neath a tropic sky,
Where, like Prometheus on his rock,
The captive Caesar came to die,

O Corsica, sublimely wild
And riven by the winds and waves,
Thy fame is deathless from thy child,
Whose glory filled a million graves.