Eugene Field

The discreet collector

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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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Eugene Field