Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Valentine's poem

Is this some other odd mating ritual?

Below we have dreadful poetry, even dreadful doggerel, but it shows the traditions of the past. The one referred to is when the names of unmarried men were put in one bowl and of unmarried women in another. Then each picked a name from the opposite bowl.

Verses to a young Lady in Hull, presented on
Valentine-Day. (1755)

Since Valentine, that Saint benign,
To all the Sons of Adam,
Did leave this Day, as who should lay,
Let each Man chuse his Madam.

Then blame who can, since I'm the man.
As much as is my daddy ;
If I persue, and wish for you,
More than sot other lady.

You are my right, for yesternight,
With scrips of paper rolled
I drew your name, which made my flame,
Too high to be controlled.

Now every night, your image bright,
A moment leaves me never ;
O that it wou'd, be still so good,
With joy I'd sleep for ever.

Grant then, dear miss, some hopes of bliss.
If I deserve your notice ;
If not be free, and let me see,
My chance, not worth a groat is.

But if you frown, or tell the town,
My passion then is over;
For if you be, not kind to me,
At once you lose a lover.

But should you fear, my plaint to hear,
Nor e'er intend to do it,
There's, no such man, prove it who can,
As Valentine or poet.

May you enjoy St. Valentine's Day, however you mark it.


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