Eugene Field

The Discreet Collector

Down south there is a curio-shop
  Unknown to many men;
Thereat do I intend to stop
  When I am south again;
The narrow street through which to go—
  Aha! I know it well!
And may be you would like to know—
  But no—I will not tell!

'T is there to find the loveliest plates
  (The bluest of the blue!)
At such surprisingly low rates
  You'd not believe it true!
And there is one Napoleon vase
  Of dainty Sèvres to sell—
I'm sure you'd like to know that place—
  But no—I will not tell!

Then, too, I know another shop
  Has old, old beds for sale,
With lovely testers up on top
  Carved in ornate detail;
And there are sideboards rich and rare,
  With fronts that proudly swell—
Oh, there are bargains waiting there,
  But where I will not tell!

And hark! I know a bottle-man
  Smiling and debonair,
And he has promised me I can
  Choose of his precious ware!
In age and shape and color, too,
  His dainty goods excel—
Aha, my friends, if you but knew—
  But no! I will not tell!

A thousand other shops I know
  Where bargains can be got—
Where other folk would like to go
  Who have what I have not.
I let them hunt; I hold my mouth—
  Yes, though I know full well
Where lie the treasures of the south,
  I'm not a going to tell!

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