What are Bubbles?


“What are bubbles?” asked a child,
Gazing, with bewildered eyes,
On the spheres of fairy form,
Glittering with the rainbow dyes;
“They seem to sail so gaily on,
Yet when I grasp them they are gone.”

What are bubbles? — Careless boy,
Thou ask’st a question rife
With stern meaning deeply trac’d
On the varied page of life;
And a voice, with sadness fraught
Answers from the cells of thought:

Hopes are bubbles, born to burst
When their hues the brightest seem;
And the joy, that o’er our path
Scatter a delusive gleam,
Like bubbles sparkling in the sun,
Are only bright when shone upon.

Fame, ambition, the delights
We have longed for years to clasp,
Won at length, through toil and strife,
Perish in our eager grasp:
Grief and gladness — pleasure, troubles,
All alike are empty bubbles!

Life’s a bubble, bright and brief,
And its ever changing dyes
With a purer brilliance glow,
As it mounts towards the skies;
Till wafted on Time’s passing breath,
‘Tis shattered by the touch of death.

Newport Daily News (Newport, Rhode Island) Aug 28, 1846

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