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Poems About Secrets

Table of Contents

  1. The Secret by Anonymous
  2. Secrets by Emily Dickinson
  3. A murmur in the trees to note by Emily Dickinson
  4. I have not told my garden yet by Emily Dickinson
  5. Gossip by Emily Dickinson
  6. Reticence by Emily Dickinson
  7. The Secret of It by Amos Russel Wells
  8. The Secret by Christopher Morley
  9. Don't You Tell by Ellen P. Allerton
  10. Hidden Thoughts by Ruby Archer


Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.

– Ben Franklin
Poor Richard's Almanack
  1. The Secret

    by Anonymous

    We have a secret, just we three,
    The robin, and I, and the sweet cherry-tree;
    The bird told the tree, and the tree told me,
    And nobody knows it but just us three.

    But of course the robin knows it best,
    Because she built the—I shan't tell the rest;
    And laid the four little—something in it—
    I'm afraid I shall tell it every minute.

    But if the tree and the robin don't peep,
    I'll try my best the secret to keep;
    Though I know when the little birds fly about
    Then the whole secret will be out.

  2. Secrets

    The skies can't keep their secret!
    They tell it to the hills —
    The hills just tell the orchards —
    And they the daffodils!

    – Emily Dickinson
    Secrets
    by Emily Dickinson

    The skies can't keep their secret!
    They tell it to the hills —
    The hills just tell the orchards —
    And they the daffodils!

    A bird, by chance, that goes that way
    Soft overheard the whole.
    If I should bribe the little bird,
    Who knows but she would tell?

    I think I won't, however,
    It's finer not to know;
    If summer were an axiom,
    What sorcery had snow?

    So keep your secret, Father!
    I would not, if I could,
    Know what the sapphire fellows do,
    In your new-fashioned world!

  3. A murmur in the trees to note

    But then I promised ne'er to tell;
    How could I break my word?
    So go your way and I'll go mine, —
    No fear you'll miss the road.

    – Emily Dickinson
    A murmur in the trees to note
    by Emily Dickinson

    A murmur in the trees to note,
    Not loud enough for wind;
    A star not far enough to seek,
    Nor near enough to find;

    A long, long yellow on the lawn,
    A hubbub as of feet;
    Not audible, as ours to us,
    But dapperer, more sweet;

    A hurrying home of little men
    To houses unperceived, —
    All this, and more, if I should tell,
    Would never be believed.

    Of robins in the trundle bed
    How many I espy

    Whose nightgowns could not hide the wings,
    Although I heard them try!

    But then I promised ne'er to tell;
    How could I break my word?
    So go your way and I'll go mine, —
    No fear you'll miss the road.

  4. I have not told my garden yet

    by Emily Dickinson

    I have not told my garden yet,
    Lest that should conquer me;
    I have not quite the strength now
    To break it to the bee.

    I will not name it in the street,
    For shops would stare, that I,
    So shy, so very ignorant,
    Should have the face to die.

    The hillsides must not know it,
    Where I have rambled so,
    Nor tell the loving forests
    The day that I shall go,

    Nor lisp it at the table,
    Nor heedless by the way
    Hint that within the riddle
    One will walk to-day!

  5. Gossip

    The leaves, like women, interchange
    Sagacious confidence;

    – Emily Dickinson
    Gossip
    by Emily Dickinson

    The leaves, like women, interchange
    Sagacious confidence;
    Somewhat of nods, and somewhat of
    Portentous inference,

    The parties in both cases
    Enjoining secrecy, —
    Inviolable compact
    To notoriety.

  6. Reticence

    If nature will not tell the tale
    Jehovah told to her,
    Can human nature not survive
    Without a listener?

    – Emily Dickinson
    Reticence
    by Emily Dickinson

    The reticent volcano keeps
    His never slumbering plan;
    Confided are his projects pink
    To no precarious man.

    If nature will not tell the tale
    Jehovah told to her,
    Can human nature not survive
    Without a listener?

    Admonished by her buckled lips
    Let every babbler be.
    The only secret people keep
    Is Immortality.

  7. The Secret of It

    by Amos Russel Wells

    "Where does the clerk of the weather store
    The days that are sunny and fair?"
    "In your heart is a room with a close shut door
    And all of those days are there."

    "Where does the clerk of the weather keep
    The days that are dreary and blue?"
    "In a second room in your heart they sleep,
    And you have the keys of the two."

    "And why are my days so often, I pray,
    Filled full of clouds and of gloom?"
    "Because you go at the break of day
    And open the wrong heart-room."

  8. The Secret

    by Christopher Morley

    It was the House of Quietness
    To which I came at dusk;
    The garth was lit with roses
    And heavy with their musk.

    The tremulous tall poplar trees
    Stood whispering around,
    The gentle flicker of their plumes
    More quiet than no sound.

    And as I wondered at the door
    What magic might be there,
    The Lady of Sweet Silences
    Came softly down the stair.

  9. Don't You Tell

    by Ellen P. Allerton

    If you have a cherished secret,
    Don't you tell:—
    Not your friend—for his tympanum
    Is a bell,
    With its echoes, wide rebounding,
    Multiplied and far resounding,—
    Don't you tell.

    If, yourself, you cannot keep it,
    Then, who can?
    Could you more expect of any other man?
    Yet you put him, if he tells it,
    If he gives away or sells it, under ban.

    Sell your gems to any buyer
    In the mart:
    Of your wealth, to feed the hungry,
    Spare a part.
    Blessings on the open pocket!
    But your secret—keep it, lock it
    In your heart.

  10. Hidden Thoughts

    by Ruby Archer

    Some thoughts there are that grow like ocean flowers,
    Without the sun,
    Deep down in sweetly dark and silent bowers,
    Betrayed to none
    Seek not to draw them forth to sympathy,
    O kindly friend.
    If once those petals were the light to see,
    Their bloom would end.

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