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The Secret (a treasure hunt) / Verses
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Page history last edited by Oregonian 4 years, 1 month ago

There are 12 verses in The Secret and each one needs to be matched to an illustration in order to solve the puzzle.  Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any definite way to match the two parts together, and different treasure hunters still have different ideas.  This page presents what are currently thought to be the most likely verse / image combinations.  For more details about about each verse, see the appropriate verse interpretation page.


The 12 verses of The Secret:





Verse 1


SEARCHING: Hermann Park, Houston, Texas

For detailed notes on the meaning of this verse, see the Verse 1 Interpretation Page.


Fortress north

Cold as glass

Friendship south

Take your task

To the number

Nine eight two

Through the wood

No lion fears

In the sky the water veers

Small of scale

Step across

Perspective should not be lost

In the center of four alike

Small, split,

Three winged and slight

What we take to be

Our strongest tower of delight

Falls gently

In December night

Looking back from treasure ground

There's the spout!

A whistle sounds.



Verse 2


SEARCHING: New Orleans, Louisiana

For detailed notes on the meaning of this verse, see the Verse 2 Interpretation Page.


At the place where jewels abound

Fifteen rows down to the ground

In the middle of twenty-one

From end to end

Only three stand watch

As the sound of friends

Fills the afternoon hours

Here is a sovereign people

Who build palaces to shelter

Their heads for a night!

Gnomes admire

Fays delight

The namesakes meeting

Near this site.



Verse 3


SEARCHING: Boston, Massachusetts

For detailed notes on the meaning of this verse, see the Verse 3 Interpretation Page.


If Thucydides is

North of Xenophon

Take five steps

In the area of his direction

A green tower of lights

In the middle section

Near those

Who pass the coliseum

With metal walls

Face the water

Your back to the stairs

Feel at home

All the letters

Are here to see

Eighteenth day

Twelfth hour

Lit by lamplight

In truth, be free.



Verse 4


FOUND in 2004: Cleveland Cultural Gardens, Cleveland, Ohio

For detailed notes on the meaning of this verse, see the Verse 4 Interpretation Page.


Beneath two countries

As the road curves

In a rectangular plot

Beneath the tenth stone

From right to left

Beneath the ninth row from the top

Of the wall including small bricks

Seven steps up you can hop

From the bottom level

Socrates, Pindar, Apelles

Free speech, couplet, birch

To find casque's destination

Seek the columns

For the search.



Verse 5


SEARCHING: Montreal, Canada

For detailed notes on the meaning of this verse, see the Verse 5 Interpretation Page.



Two twenty two

You'll see an arc of lights

Weight and roots extended

Together saved the site

Of granite walls

Wind swept halls

Citadel in the night

A wingless bird ascended

Born of ancient dreams of flight

Beneath the only standing member

Of a forest

To the south

White stone closest

At twelve paces

From the west side

Get permission

To dig out.



Verse 6


SEARCHING: Charleston, South Carolina

For detailed notes on the meaning of this verse, see the Verse 6 Interpretation Page.


Of all the romance retold

Men of tales and tunes

Cruel and bold

Seen here

By eyes of old

Stand and listen to the birds

Hear the cool, clear song of water

Harken to the words:

Freedom at the birth of a century

Or May 1913

Edwin and Edwina named after him

Or on the eighth a scene

Where law defended

Between two arms extended

Below the bar that binds

Beside the long palm's shadow

Embedded in the sand

Waits the Fair remuneration

White house close at hand.



Verse 7


SEARCHING: Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

For detailed notes on the meaning of this verse, see the Verse 7 Interpretation Page.


At stone wall's door

The air smells sweet

Not far away

High posts are three

Education and Justice

For all to see

Sounds from the sky

Near ace is high

Running north, but first across

In jewel's direction

Is an object

Of Twain's attention

Giant pole

Giant step

To the place

The casque is kept.



Verse 8


SEARCHING: Lake Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

For detailed notes on the meaning of this verse, see the Verse 8 Interpretation Page.


View the three stories of Mitchell

As you walk the beating of the world

At a distance in time

From three who lived there

At a distance in space

From woman, with harpsichord

Silently playing

Step on nature

Cast in copper

Ascend the 92 steps

After climbing the grand 200

Pass the compass and reach

The foot of the culvert

Below the bridge

Walk 100 paces

Southeast over rock and soil

To the first young birch

Pass three, staying west

You'll see a letter from the country

Of wonderstone's hearth

On a proud, tall fifth

At its southern foot

The treasure waits.



Verse 9


SEARCHING: Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, St. Augustine, Florida

For detailed notes on the meaning of this verse, see the Verse 9 Interpretation Page.


The first chapter

Written in water

Near men

With wind rose

Behind bending branches

And a green picket fence

At the base of a tall tree

You can still hear the honking

Shell, limestone, silver, salt

Stars move by day

Sails pass by night

Even in darkness

Like moonlight in teardrops

Over the tall grass

Years pass, rain falls.



Verse 10


SEARCHING: New York, New York

For detailed notes on the meaning of this verse, see the Verse 10 Interpretation Page.


In the shadow

Of the grey giant

Find the arm that

Extends over the slender path

In summer

You'll often hear a whirring sound

Cars abound

Although the sign


Speaks of Indies native

The natives still speak

Of him of Hard word in 3 Vols.

Take twice as many east steps as the hour

Or more

From the middle of one branch

Of the v

Look down

And see simple roots

In rhapsodic man's soil

Or gaze north

Toward the isle of B.



Verse 11


SEARCHING: Roanoke Island, North Carolina

For detailed notes on the meaning of this verse, see the Verse 11 Interpretation Page.


Pass two friends of octave

In December

Ride the man of oz

To the land near the window

There's a road that leads to

Dark forest

Where white is in color

With two maps

After circle and square

In July and August

A path beckons

To mica and driftwood

Under that

Which may be last touched

Or first seen standing

Look north at the wing

And dig

To achieve

By dauntless and inconquerable


Your goal.



Verse 12


FOUND in 1983: Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois

Discoverers: Eric Gasiorowski, Bob Wrobel, Danny Rosenbach, and David James

For detailed notes on the meaning of this verse, see the Verse 12 Interpretation Page.


Where M and B are set in stone

And to Congress, R is known

L sits and left

Beyond his shoulder

Is the Fair Folks'

Treasure holder

The end of ten by thirteen

Is your clue

Fence and fixture

Central too

For finding jewel casque

Seek the sounds

Of rumble

Brush and music





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Comments (3)

Cat Darensbourg said

at 1:16 am on Sep 23, 2015

I think we are dealing a Caesar-type cipher that links all the verses to their individual pictures. The two Key Words are "The Secret", which reduce into the following shift numbers: 20-8-5-19-5-3-18-5-20, which are used to draw 9 letter anagrams out of each verse, with the count starting at the first letter of each poem. I will post under each verse's section what I have found (I got 4 of the answers that need confirming in under two hours, and would like input.)

ajoselowe said

at 4:05 pm on Sep 23, 2015

doesnt seem to work with verse eight but not sure

Erin (LarkspurRuby7) said

at 5:42 pm on Oct 7, 2015

I doubt Byron would put a cipher on his verses. He explained that the casques should've been found in a month which should rule out any ciphers like this one.

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