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Will you TCP my Valentine?

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 stay
Me on the way,
with your swéet words that you do coyn
Let 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.
Happy Valentine’s Day from the TCP!

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