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.