In honor of Valentine’s Day next week, what could be more fitting than a collection of love poems? The Quiver of Love: A Collection of Valentines Ancient and Modern was the gift of Dorothy Schmiderer Baker from the library of her great grandfather Charles C. Burlingham. As if the poems themselves were not enough, this volume features colored illustrations from drawings by Walter Crane and Kate Greenaway. The combination of poems and richly colored art creates the perfect atmosphere for contemplating the passions, woes and delights of love. Not sure what to give your valentine? Try one of these poems! It’s no guarantee of returned affections, but it never really hurts to quote a little Shakespeare at your beloved.
As Fair Art Thou
“As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in love am I;
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.
Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt with the sun;
I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.”
I have loved thee long, and I love thee now;
And, though the world should perish,
O’er its dying embers still would glow
The flames of the love I cherish.
And I will love till life be past,
Till death’s dark hour is nearing,
Into the eternal grave at last
My life’s great love-wound bearing.
I stand below in the valley,
You on the height above,
In all the beauty of womanhood,
In the sunshine of youth and love.
And I watch with an eager longing,
As I wait here day by day,
For a look, a word, or a smile
That shall light by desolate way.
All I ask is for one small corner,
Kept safely for me apart,
In the fair and spacious mansion
Of thy tender woman’s heart.
Oh me! What eyes hath love put in my head,
Which have no correspondence with truth sight;
Or if they have, where is my judgment fled,
That censures falsely what they see aright?
If that be fair whereon my false eyes dote,
What means the world to say it is not so?
If it be not, then love doth well denote,
Love’s eye is not so true as all men’s No.
How can it? Oh! How can Love’s eye be true,
That is so vexed with watching and with tears?
No marvel then though I mistake my view:
The sun itself sees not till heaven clears.
Oh, cunning Love! With tears thou keep’st me blind,
Les eyes well-seeing thy foul faults should find!
There’s one both blythe and bonnie,
She’s fair, and frank, and free,
A smile she has for all her friends,
But another smile for me.
Her eyes are bright and sparkling,
They dance with mirth and glee,
Brightly they shine on all she loves,
But brighter far on me.
Her mien is calm and trustful,
Fearless though modest she;
Her hand she gives to high and low,
But with tenderer clasp to me.
Her voice is soft and tuneful,
As the surge of the summer sea,
But the sweetest music of its notes
Is heard by none but me.
Loving she is, no hatred
In her pure soul could be;
But I only can know the full depths of her love,
For her heart belongs to me.
Quiver of Love is available for research with a reference appointment. Make sure you check back next week for another Valentine's Day post!