“My First Whistle,” by Samuel Goodrich (from Robert Merry’s Museum, January 1841; p. 4)
Of all the toys I e’er have known,
I loved that whistle best;
It was my first, it was my own,
And I was doubly blest.
’T was Saturday, and after noon,
That school-boys’ jubilee,
When the young heart is all in tune,
From book and ferule free.
I then was in my seventh year;
The birds were all a singing;
Above a brook, that rippled clear,
A willow tree was swinging.
My brother Ben was very ’cute,
He climbed that willow tree,
He cut a branch, and I was mute,
The while, with ecstasy.
With penknife he did cut it round,
And gave the bark a wring;
He shaped the mouth and tried the sound,—
It was a glorious thing!
I blew that whistle, full of joy—
It echoed o’er the ground;
And never, since that simple toy,
Such music have I found.
I’ve seen blue eyes and tasted wines—
with manly toys been blest,
But backward memory still inclines
To love that whistle best.