A Bubble

An Asinine Classic

by Ambrose G. Bierce

MRS. Mehitable Marcia Moore
Was a dame of superior mind,
With a gown which, modestly fitting before,
Was greatly puffed up behind.
The bustle she wore was ingeniously planned
With an inspiration bright:
It magnified seven diameters and
Was remarkably nice and light.
It was made of rubber and edged with lace
And riveted all with brass,
And the whole immense interior space
Inflated with hydrogen gas.
The ladies all said when she hove in view
Like the round and rising moon:
"She's a stuck up thing!" which was partly true,
And men called her the Captive Balloon.
To Manhattan Beach for a bath one day
She went and she said: "O dear!
If I leave of this what will people say?
I shall look so uncommonly queer!"
So a costume she had accordingly made
To take it all nicely in,
And when she appeared in that suit arrayed,
She was greeted with many a grin.
Proudly and happily looking around,
She waded out into the wet;
But the water was very, very profound,
And her feet and her forehead met!
As her bubble drifted away from the shore,
On the glassy billows borne,
All cried: "Why, where is Mehitable Moore?
I saw her go in, I'll be sworn!"
Then the bulb it swelled as the sun grew hot,
Till it burst with a sullen roar,
And the sea like oil closed over the spot--
Farewell, O Mehitable Moore!

Originally published in The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce Vol. IV: Shapes of Clay (1910).

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