3 SEPTEMBER 1898, Page 16



Sin,—The enclosed lines, forming a portion of a poem, may interest those among your readers who observe with curiosity the periodic recurrence of a belief in the Napoleonic legend. They were written by an uncle of mine, the father of Sir Francis Grenfell, who, having just left Eton, was sent to Lyons to learn French, and there saw the entry of the EMperor on his return from Elba, perhaps the most triumphant incident of his whole life. My uncle was placed by the kindness of a Captain of Dragoons between two horses of his dismounted regiment as the Emperor passed by on foot. About three hundred Grenadiers of the Old Guard marched in in the evening of the review, and my uncle had some interesting conversation with more than one of these

vieilles moustaches.—I am, Sir, &c., H. R. GRENFELL.

Bacres, Henley-on-Thames, August 15th.

" It was a stirring sight

For an English boy to see When, like an eagle winging his flight From the chain he bad broken free, The man I was taught from my very birth To regard as the plague and scourge of earth, Stood scarcely a yard from me.

It was a gallant sight In Lyons' ample square, When plumes were waving and arms shone bright On the thousands that mustered there; When ever and anon some distant drum

Told of a new battalion come,

And helmets gleamed and sabres flashed As into the town fresh squadrons dashed; For then from gunner and cuirassier From bearded sapper and grenadier, From lancer and voltigeur, With caps thrown up and swords tossed high, Burst forth as though it would rend the sky, The shout of Vivo l'Empereur.'

It was a thrilling sight As first of a brilliant train That warrior chief passed by in his might So unadorned and plain.

I shall never forget till the day I die The light that shot from his clear dark eye, Or the smile that over his features played, As one swift glance that scene surveyed.

I could read his thoughts as he looked on the men,

That all he had lost was his own again.

It was a noble sight, Those warriors' stately march, But far beyond all in mien and height Were the men of the vieille moustache : The veterans of his brave Old Guard, Grizzled with service, seamed and scarred, Men that had faced unnumbered foes, From Lodi's bridge to Russia's snows, Still true to their master's side.

A handful, they had formed the band Who shared his exile on Elba's strand, And once more followed with step of pride To death or triumph their eagle guide.

But her pinions drooped and their sun was set When they crossed with the British bayonet.

P. ST. L.