Don't You Tell  

If you have a cherished secret,
   Don't you tell:–
Not your friend, for his tympanum
   Is a bell,
With its echoes wide-resounding,
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.

Ellen P. Allerton


Barrington, F. H.
Kansas Day
(Topeka: Geo. W. Crane & Company. 1892)

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February 26, 1999 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas /

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