Two bubbles on a mountain stream,
Began their race one shining morn,
And lighted by the ruddy beam,
Went dancing down 'mid shrub and thorn.
The stream was narrow, wild and lone,
But gayly dashed o'er mound and rock,
And brighter still the bubbles shone,
As if they loved the whirling shock.
Each leaf, and flower, and sunny ray,
Was pictured on them as they flew,
And o'er their bosoms seemed to play
In lovelier forms and colors new.
Thus on they went, and side by side,
They kept in sad and sunny weather,
And rough or smooth the flowing tide,
They brightest shone when close together.
Nor did they deem that they could sever,
That clouds could rise, or morning wane;
They loved, and thought that love for ever
Would bind them in its gentle chain.
But soon the mountain slope was o'er,
And 'mid new scenes the waters flowed,
And the two bubbles now no more
With their first morning beauty glowed.
They parted, and the sunny ray
That from each other's love they borrowed;
That made their dancing bosoms gay,
While other bubbles round them sorrowed:
That ray was dimmed, and on the wind
A shadow came, as if from Heaven;
Yet on they flew, and sought to find
From strife, the bliss that love had given.
They parted, yet in sight they kept,
And rivals now the friends became,
And if, perchance, the eddies swept
Them close, they flashed with flame.
And fiercer forward seemed to bound,
With the swift ripples toward the main;
And all the lesser bubbles round,
Each sought to gather in its train.
They strove, and in that eager strife
Their morning friendship was forgot,
And all the joys that sweeten life,
The rival bubbles knew them not.
The leaves, the flowers, the grassy shore,
Were all neglected in the chase,
And on their bosoms now no more
These forms of beauty found a place.
But all was dim and drear within,
And envy dwelt where love was known,
And images of fear and sin
Were traced, where truth and pleasure shone.
The clouds grew dark, the tide swelled high,
And gloom was o'er the waters flung,
But riding on the billows, nigh
Each other now the bubbles swung.
Closer and closer still they rushed,
In anger o'er the rolling river;
They met, and 'mid the waters crushed,
The rival bubbles burst for ever!