To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we bring you a smattering of poetry, puzzles, and song for sweethearts!
One of my favorites is a poem printed on a wreath of heart-shaped knots, from Recreation for ingenious head-peeces, or, A pleasant grove for their wits to walk in of epigrams 700, epitaphs 200, fancies a number, fantasticks abundance : with their addition, multiplication, and division:
The poem reads:
TRUE love is a pretious pleasure,
Rich delight unvalu’d treasure,
Two firme Heartes in one ♡ meeting,
Grasping hand in hand ne’r fleeting,
Wreathlike like a maze entwineing
Two faire mindes in one combineing;
Foe to faithless vowes perfidious
True love is a knott religious,
Dead to the sinnes yt flameing rise
Through beauties soule seduceing eyes,
Deafe to gold enchaunting witches,
Love for vertue not for riches;
Such is true loves boundles measure.
True love is a pretious pleasure.
From the same book, a selection of “Posies for Rings,” or short epigrams that might be engraved inside a ring given as a token of love:
This ballad illustrates the custom that the first person you see on February 14 is your Valentine:
In the month of February,the green leaves begin to spring;Pretty Lambs trip like a Fairy,Birds do couple, bill, and sing;All things on earth,That draweth breath,In love together then do joyn,Why should not I.My fortune try,And seek me out a Valentine.Thanks kind fate I have my wishes,for I have now met my dear,Whom I greet with honey kisses,her sweet sight my heart doth chear,My dearest love,And Turtle-Dove,O let my arms about thee twine,For thou art she,I first did see,
Good morrow my fair Valentine.
In this case, the coy maid resists his advances,
Surely Sir you are mistaken,for you met some other Maid,Young-men they are given to scoffing,and as much to her you said;Then do not stayMe on the way,with your swéet words that you do coynLet me alone,I must be gone,
Nevertheless, he persists, and the song ends with a wedding:
Seeing you are so kind hearted,I have freely given consent,And my love to thee imparted,hoping never to repent:i’le constant prove,to thee my Love,For I am thine, and thou art mine,i’le saving be,as thou shalt see,
Sweet Husband, friend and Valentine.