Macmahon up the street of Paris came,
In triumph from Magenta; every one
Had heard and praised the fearless marshal's name,
And gloried in the deeds that he had done.
Crowds packed the walks, and at each pane of glass
A face was set to see the hero pass.
Grand music lifted in the morning air
Its eloquent voice; loud-mouthed bells were rung;
Guns boomed till echoes welcomed everywhere;
On buildings and in streets the French flag hung,
And, of a breeze, like fortune, made the toy,
Thrilled every heart with patriotic joy.
But while the marshal up the street made way,
There came a little girl clothed all in white,
Bringing in happy hands a large bouquet;
Her flower-sweet face seemed fragrant with delight.
Well pleased, the soldier, dark and fierce at need,
Raised up the child before him on his steed.
The pearly necklace of her loving arms
She bound on him, and laid her spring-like head
Against the autumn of his cheek, with charms
Of smile and mien; while to his shoulder fled
Her gold, loose hair with flowers like jewels set,
And made thereon a wondrous epaulet.
He seemed more like an angel than a man,
As, father-like, he paid back each caress;
Better than all his deeds in war's red van
Appeared this simple act of tenderness.
The people cried "Huzza!" and did not pause
Until the town seemed shaken with applause.