My First Whistle” was the favorite work of Samuel Griswold Goodrich, founder of Robert Merry’s Museum—and one of his best-known pieces.
“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.

Copyright 1999-2024, Pat Pflieger
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