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My Shadow


I have a little shadow
that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him
is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me
from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me,
when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him
is the way he likes to grow,
Not at all like proper children,
which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller
like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes goes so little
that there's none of him at all.

He hasn't got a notion of how
children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me
in every sort of way.
He stays so close behind me,
he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie
as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early,
before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew
on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow,
like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me
and was fast asleep in bed.


by Robert Louis Stevenson



 


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