A satire on smoking is a curiosity today. Smoking is far less glorified now, and it is difficult to understand how a person would voluntarily learn to smoke….especially a cigar. Those of us who have done so recognize this as an accurate description.

My First Cigar
by Robert J. Burdette

Robert J Burdette

Now available: Listen to a sample of My First Cigar on the new Audio Recordings page!

‘Twas just behind the woodshed,
  One glorious summer day,
Far o’er the hills the sinking sun
  Pursued his westward way;
And in my safe seclusion
  Removed from all the jar
And din of earth’s confusion
  I smoked my first cigar.

It was my first cigar!
  It was the worst cigar!
Raw, green and dank, hide-bound and rank
  It was my first cigar!

Ah, bright the boyish fancies
  Wrapped in the smoke-wreaths blue;
My eyes grew dim, my head was light,
  The woodshed round me flew!
Dark night closed in around me---
  Black night, without a star---
Grim death methought had found me
  And spoiled my first cigar.

It was my first cigar!
  A six-for-five cigar!
No viler torch the air could scorch---
  It was my first cigar!

All pallid was my beaded brow,
  The reeling night was late,
My startled mother cried in fear,
  “My child what have you ate?”
I heard my father’s smothered laugh,
  It seemed so strange and far,
I knew he knew I knew he knew
  I’d smoked my first cigar!

It was my first cigar!
  A give-away cigar!
I could not die—I knew not why---
  It was my first cigar!

Since then I’ve stood in reckless ways,
  I’ve dared what men can dare,
I’ve mocked at danger, walked with death,
  I’ve laughed at pain and care.
I do not dread what may befall
  ‘Neath my malignant star,
No frowning fate again can make
  Me smoke that first cigar.

I’ve smoked my first cigar!
  My first and worst cigar!
Fate has no terrors for the man
  Who’s smoked his first cigar!

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