Valentine’s Day Poem
Custom decrees that on February 14th folks of all ages shall exchange missives in which the love of the sender is told in verses, pictures, and sentiments. No reason beyond a guess can be given to connect St. Valentine with these customs. He was a Christian martyr, about 270 A.D., while the practice of sending valentines had its origin in the heathen worship of Juno. It is Cupid’s day, and no boy or girl (or man or woman) needs any encouragement to make the most of it.
Herewith, some vintage (and not politically correct or entirely appropriate) sentiment for the romantically inclined, for whom every day is Valentine’s Day:
by Daniel O’Connell
If sweethearts were sweethearts always,
Whether as maid or wife,
Not a drop would be half as pleasant
In the mingle of draught of life.
But the sweetheart has smiles and blushes
When the wife has frowns and sighs,
And the wife’s have a wrathful glitter
For the glow of the sweetheart’s eyes.
If lovers were lovers always,
The same to sweetheart and wife,
Who would change for a future of Eden
The joys of this checkered life?
But husbands grow grave and silent,
And care on the anxious brow
Oft replaces the sunshine that perished
With the words of the marriage vow.
Happy is he whose sweetheart
Is wife and sweetheart still:
Whose voice, as of old, can charm him;
Whose kiss, as of old, can thrill;
Who has plucked the rose to find ever
Its beauty and fragrance increase,
As the flush of passion is mellowed
In love’s unmeasured peace;
Who sees in the step a lightness;
Who finds in the form a grace;
Who reads an unaltered brightness
In the witchery of the face,
Undimmed and unchanged. Ah, happy
Is he crowned with such a life!
Who drinks the wife pledging the sweetheart,
And toasts in the sweetheart the wife!
(Originally published in Domestic Monthly.)
“Love that does not reveal itself is as bitter as the flower that grows among the thickets on the moors in the summer.”
— Manyö Shü
“Quanto minu’ spei’st tanto magis amo.”
(“The less my hope, the greater my love”)
“Both to be wise and to love is scarcely granted to the gods themselves.”
— Publilius Syrius
“Love is a furnace, but it will not cook the stew.”
— Spanish Proverb
“Love’s like the measles, all the worse when it comes late in life.”