The Divorce


M Y Conservative Senators! here is your Queen!
The accomplish'd, the chaste, the sublime Josephine!
You 'll perhaps be surpriz'd — that we 're going to part ,
And I fear it will break this Imperial heart.
But the fault is your own; for the pulse of your health
Is the Bank and the Fountain of National Wealth.
No Circassian is more to my taste in a bed;
But, since I was her Husband, she never has bred .
We are, both, of opinion to cancel the bond,
And we, both of us, think she had better abscond;
That an Empress, at hand , with endearments pacific,
May enjoy, without stint, occupation prolific.
In a selfish account the first Love may be said,
With her income, her title, and guards to be fed;
But these obloquies taint, and belie Josephine —
We are still, in attachment, the same King and Queen;
Though a bit of a Hero, as well as myself,
She has feelings that cannot be laid on the shelf.
Had we liv'd in a cot by the side of a rill,
Not a couple the time with more pleasure would kill;
But " the world must be peopled " by children of mine ,
Whose fraternal embrace in the sword can refine.
[ After a pause ] I am forty; and sure have no cause to despair
That my Corsican prowess may give you a Heir;
As to Nephews or Nieces I 've nothing to say,
But that Cyphers like those must not stand in your way.
In a gallantry-fit I adopted her Son;
But we laugh'd at the Sceptre that Frolick had won;
I am told " that I must get an Empress with child , "
For a boy of my getting the Nation is wild.
Fame; report the Decree, on your tri-colour'd wings;
Turn your back on the Pope, and his old-fashion'd Kings!
All Religions are mine , as they suit me the best;
And by turns they command my respect or my jest.
Those of Egypt were told, by a man of his word ,
That in him was their God , and their Mahomet heard.
I am still of that Faith to the end of my life;
In the multiply'd knots of a Mussulman's wife;
As my chickens before they are hatch'd have been reckon'd,
Should I fail as a getter by Empress the Second ,
You will not be surpriz'd, or will deem it absurd,
If I shift the Imperial embrace to a Third .
Where 's the Chancellor? — Bid him record the Decree,
" That consent has divorc'd my dear Empress and me. "


" Though I 've shar'd his Imperial Majesty's bed,
I appeal to the world, if I toss'd-up my head;
I remember, when first I attracted his love,
That we call'd for no Priest but the Cyprian Dove;
On a sopha, Love's altar, the service I read,
It was copied from that for Angelica's bed .
But, reform'd in his lap, from no perils I ran,
For I married a Nation , as well as a Man!
We are guiltless of Apathy's blame in the work,
And, if I'm a " Circassian ," the King is a Turk .
Like two volatile Sparrows, we part, as we met;
On a King of the World my own claim I forget:
We despair of a child in his Majesty's arms,
And we both have compassion for Europe's alarms.
May Abdallah himself, by Napoleon surpass'd,
Give you five at a birth , of the Emperor's cast!
I decamp — self-divorc'd — but the child-making Queen
Shall in sympathy never eclipse Josephine . "
" France! — contemplate your Thrones! — at their feet let us fall!
Here's your Husband — and there is a Wife to us all —
They are born for a Nation, the gem of its age,
And they beam upon History's eloquent page;
Not a pulse of the heart in their system is found,
Not a personal feeling is crippled or bound;
All their animal spirits for us they employ,
They are guardians , for us, of the love they enjoy;
But their taste is controul'd, and their flame is not fed,
When Sterility baffles the National bed .
" Josephine gives a dignified charm to distress,
And we love her the more as we own her the less;
Yet her back will be turn'd on the Palace in vain,
And in every heart in her Sceptre to reign.
" He has conquer'd himself, and Marengo must yield;
Fame is dazzled the most in his conjugal field;
Josephine is the Mistress and Queen of his heart,
Yet with her , at a National word, he 's to part.
'Tis the Nation , that never could sleep in its bed,
If it has not a King in his Nursery fed.
What a contrast is here to the Islanders' Brute ,
Who beheaded his Queens — for a new wedding suit.
All the Emperor means — a first -love unimpair'd,
Is a Wife in whose claim Josephine may be shar'd.
On his cheek, never crimson'd by Conscience or Fear,
What a goodness of heart was embalm'd in the tear!
And the feminine softness that melts Josephine
Is controul'd by a National Emperor's Queen .
With all blessings upon it from all the Religions,
Let us title the act — A DIVORCE OF THE P IGEONS. "
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