Tabb’s Poetry XXXII

The Bubble

A momentary miracle,
   Wherein Eternal Light,
A child among His children still,
   Forgets the Infinite,
Among His toys to multiply
The larger bubble of the sky.


Upon the Isle of Time we trace
The signs of many a vanished race:
But on the sea that laps it round,
No memory of man is found.

The Sea Bubble

Yea; a bubble though I be,
   Love, O man, that fashioned thee
   Of the dust, created me
Not of earth, but of the sea:
Kindred blossoms then are we—
Time-blooms on eternity.


The calm horizon circles only me,
The center of its measureless embrace—
A bubble on the bosom of the sea,
Itself a bubble in the bound of space.


A boat unmoored, wherein a dreamer lies,
   The slumberous waves low-lisping of a land
Where Love, forever with unclouded eyes,
   Goes, wed with wandering Music, hand in hand.

John B. Tabb

For a recitation, click the play button:

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“The Bubble”: Later Lyrics, p. 37; Poetry, p. 161. October 1891.

“Vestiges”: Lyrics, p. 161; Poetry, p. 366. 1897.

“The Sea Bubble”: Lyrics, p. 44; Poetry, p. 134. December 1892.

“Adrift”: Lyrics, p. 159; Poetry, p. 353. December 1895.

“Fancy”: Lyrics, p. 151; Poetry, p. 364. 1897. Slumberous is sleepy or drowsy.

A convert to the Catholic faith, Rev. John Banister Tabb (1845-1909) was a priest of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, and Professor of English at St. Charles’ College, Ellicott City, Maryland. Poems selected, arranged, and annotated by E.L. Core.
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