The Secret Combination

A poem by Ellis Parker Butler

Her heart she locked fast in her breast,
Away from molestation;
The lock was warranted the best,
A patent combination.
She knew no simple lock and key
Would serve to keep out Love and me.

But Love a clever cracksman is,
And cannot be resisted;
He likes such stubborn jobs as this,
Complex and hard and twisted,
And though we worked a many day,
At last we bore her heart away.

For Love has learned full many tricks
In his strange avocation;
He knew the figures were but six
In this, her combination;
Nor did we for a minute rest
Until we had unlocked her breast.

First, then, we turned the knob to “Sighs,”
Then back to “Words Sincerest,”
Then “Gazing Fondly in Her Eyes,”
Then “Softly Murmured ‘Dearest;’”
Then, next, “A Warm Embrace” we tried,
And at “A Kiss” the door flew wide.

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