My Shadow

From Child's Garden of Verses

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

Comments (18)

is it old or modern poem
I recited this poem during a parent’s day presentation in kindergarten.
''...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. '' Very nice poem.
This poem was written for children, but an old man like me can still enjoy it. This has long been one of my favorite poems. Some people try to read too much into it. One person below said 'The final end is sorrow' and another said it had a sad ending 'where the poet hints for his death'. NO SUCH THING! The end of the poem is Stevenson's attempt at humor, and he succeeds wonderfully. In fact, the entire poem is humorous. Read it again and see for yourself.
I had a beautiful copy of the book this poem was published in as a child. I read it over and over and over again. Love this poem.
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