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A Child's Garden of Verses: Selected Poems

by Robert Louis Stevenson

My Shadow

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1913
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: England
  • Source: Stevenson, R.L. (1913). A Child’s Garden of Verses. Simon & Schuster Children’s.
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 3.2
  • Word Count: 196

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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.