The Rock and the Bubble

Beach Bubbles

A bare brown rock
Stood up in the sea,
The waves at its feet
Danced merrily.

A bright little bubble
Came sailing by,
And thus to the rock
Did it gaily cry:

" Oh bare brown stone,
Make way for me;
I'm the fairest thing
In all the sea.

See my rainbow robe
And crown of light,
See my glittering form
So airy and bright.

O'er the waters blue
I am floating away,
To dance by the shore
With the foam and spray.

Then let me pass,
For the waves are strong,
And their rippling feet
Bear me fast along. "

But the great rock stood
In the midst of the sea,
And looking down
Said pleasantly,

" Little friend, you must go
Some other way,
I have not moved
This many a day.

Billows have dashed,
And fierce winds blown,
But my sturdy form
Is not o'erthrown.

Nothing can stir me
In air or sea.
Then how can I move,
Little bubble, for thee? "

Then the waves all laughed
In their voices sweet,
And the sea-birds looked
From their rocky seat

At the foolish bubble,
Who loudly cried,
While its round cheek glowed
With angry pride,

" You shall move for me,
And you shall not mock
At what I say,
You rough old rock!

Be still, rude birds,
Why stare you so?
Stop laughing, waves,
And let me go,

For I am the queen
Of the ocean here,
And this unkind stone
Cannot make me fear. "

And dashing rudely up
With a scornful word,
The foolish bubble broke ,
And the rock never stirred .

Then the sea-birds whispered,
Sitting in their nests,
To the downy little ones
Lying 'neath their breasts,

" Be not like the bubble,
Headstrong and vain,
Seeking by violence
Your object to gain.

But be like the rock,
Steadfast and strong,
Yet cheerful and friendly
And firm against wrong.

So mind, little birdlings,
And wiser you may be
For the lesson of the bubble
And the rock in the sea. "
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