Friday, February 14, 2014

Living Inside the Bubble

Oh! a bare, brown rock
Stood up in the sea,
The waves at its feet
Dancing merrily.

A little bubble
Once came sailing by,
And thus to the rock
Did it gayly cry,

Ho! clumsy brown stone,
Quick, make way for me:
I'm the fairest thing
That floats on the sea.

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

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

Now, make way, make way;
For the waves are strong,
And their rippling feet
Bear me fast along."

But the great rock stood
Straight up in the sea:
It looked gravely down,
And said pleasantly

Little friend, you must
Go some other way;
For I have not stirred
this many a long day.

Great billows have dashed,
And angry winds blown;
But my sturdy form
Is not overthrown.

Nothing can stir me
In the air or sea;
Then, how can I move,
Little friend, for thee?

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

At the bubble gay,
Who angrily cried,
While its round cheek glowed
With a foolish pride

You shall move for me;
And you shall not mock
At the words I say,
You ugly, rough rock.

Be silent, wild birds!
While stare you so?
Stop laughing, rude waves,
And help me to go!

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

Dashing fiercely up,
With a scornful word,
Foolish Bubble broke;
But Rock never stirred.

Then said the sea-birds,
Sitting in their nests
To the little ones
Leaning on their breasts,

Be not like Bubble,
Headstrong, rude, and vain,
Seeking by violence
Your object to gain;

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

Heed, little birdlings,
And wiser you'll be
For the lesson learned
To-day by the sea.
- Louisa May Alcott , "The Rock and The Bubble"

3 comments:

-FJ said...

from Wikipedia

This song, according to the band's frontman Johnny Rzeznik, is about a woman with a heroin addiction and how her lover is desperately trying to save her. He has also said that it is about "seeing someone you love that is so great just screw up so bad." Speculation as to the song's subject has included bassist Robby Takac's ex-wife (who overdosed on heroin).

Always On Watch said...

Alcott wrote about heroin addiction? Who knew?

BTW, lately I've been revisiting Little Women and Little Men via audio books. Amazing how well Alcott's work stands up -- although a bit preachy. I didn't detect that preachiness when I was younger and so enchanted by her books.

Thersites said...

No... she... didn't!

But she did write about the difference between living life as a bubble... and living life as a rock... and the difference between them.

And if you're a heroine addict, I suspect that the life that you are leading is more like either "one" or the "other".

Baby's black balloon makes her fly
I almost fell into that hole in your life
And you're not thinking about tomorrow
'Cause you were the same as me
But on your knees