"My First Whistle" was the favorite work of Samuel 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 1999-2006, Pat Pflieger
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