“Spring Whistles,” by Lucy Larcom (from Our Young Folks, May 1870; p. 274)
Drawn by Miss M. A. Hallock.] [See the Poem.
[Frontispiece for May 1870 issue]
Down by the gate of the orchard
This Saturday afternoon,
Harry and Arthur and Robin
Are getting their whistles in tune.
Different notes they are playing;
Different echoes they hear;—
Always the best of the music
Is in the musician’s ear.
Harry says, “Hark! when I whistle,
March winds are wind on the hills;
Waterfalls break from the snow-drifts;
Their thunder the forest fills.
Thousands of bluebirds and sparrows,
Sing on the branches bare;
Oceans of musical murmurs
Ripple and stir in the air.”
Arthur is whispering, “Listen!
Dropping of April showers,—
Dripping of rainy rosebuds,—
Flight of the rustling hours;—
And a speckled lark in the meadow,
That utters one long sad note,
As if the sorrow of gladness
Were hid in his little throat.”
“Whistle, O whistle!” cries Robin.
“Never such echoes could be
Coaxed from a twig of the willow
As wait in my whistle for me.
When I shape at last the mouthpiece
And let the rich music out,
You will think that Pan or Apollo
Is wandering hereabout:
“You will dream of orchards in blossom;
Of lambs in the grass at play;
And of birds that warble all summer
The wonderful songs of May.”
No doubt of it, Rob! in the whistle
That nobody yet has played,
Is sleeping a melody sweeter
Than ever on earth was made.