Timon's Soliloquy

MY shadow, wheresoe’er I wend,
Is with me, like a flattering friend.
But chiefly when the sun of June
Is climbing to its highest noon,
My fond attendant closes near,
As I were growing still more dear ;
And then, to show its love complete,
Falls even servile at my feet,
Where, proud of place, it scarcely nods
Before the temple of the Gods.
But when the evening sun descends,
It seems to seek for other friends,
Making a dial of the town,
To tell that Timon’s day goes down ;
And when the stormy night comes on,
I look, and lo ! my shade is gone,—
While Athens, with indignant state,
Swings at my back her scolding gate,
And towering o’er me, black with wrath,
Frowns unrelenting on my path.
But when the sun shall reappear,
My semblance will again be here,
And every move of mine obey,
As if it had not been away.
And when some passer-by relates
How Fortune on my exile waits,
That I have found where fell the shower
Of Mother Earth’s Danaean dower,
Then shall the city’s wanton arms
Invite me with her liberal charms,
And all her crowd obsequious pour,
To bow me to her anxious door,
Where I might rise anew, extolled,
Like Perseus, from a lap of gold !
An ancient tale that never ends, —
Here comes my shadow, — here my friends !