Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Heart's Dark Balm?

My beautiful Patrick, dead for love. God has damned lothario to the everlasting agony of the fires...
What price vengeance now?

   The Flower Of My Eye
Be Mine

Geoffrey Chaucer
[...] t
Publish Posther sat a quene
That, as of light the somer-sonne shene
Passeth the sterre, right so over mesure
She fairer was than any creature.
And in a launde, upon an hille of floures,
Was set this noble goddesse Nature;
Of braunches were hir halles and hir boures,
Y-wrought after hir craft and hir mesure;
Ne ther nas foul that cometh of engendrure,
That they ne were prest in hir presence,
To take hir doom and yeve hir audience.
For this was on seynt Valentynes day,
Whan every foul cometh ther to chese his make, (ll. 298-310)

Trns.: (There sat a queen who was more lovely by far than any other creature, just as the summer sun outshines the stars. This noble goddess Nature sat enthroned in a pavilion she had wrought of branches upon a flowered hill atop a meadow. And there was not any bird born of love that was not ready in her presence to hear her and receive her judgment. For this was Saint Valentine’s Day, when all the birds of every kind that men can imagine come to choose their mates.)

Lupercalia was a very ancient, possibly pre-Roman pastoral festival, observed on February 13 through 15 to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility. William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar begins during the Lupercalia. Mark Antony is instructed by Caesar to strike his wife Calpurnia, in the hope that she will be able to conceive:
CAESAR (to Calpurnia)
Stand you directly in Antonius' way,
When he doth run his course. Antonius!
Caesar, my lord?
Forget not, in your speed, Antonius,
To touch Calpurnia; for our elders say,
The barren touched in this holy chase,
Shake off their sterile curse

Robert Burns. 1759–1796

Red Red Rose - Robert Burns
O MY Luve 's like a red, red rose
  That 's newly sprung in June:
O my Luve 's like the melodie
  That's sweetly play'd in tune!
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,         5
  So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
  Till a' the seas gang dry:
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
  And the rocks melt wi' the sun;  10
I will luve thee still, my dear,
  While the sands o' life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only Luve,
  And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,  15
  Tho' it were ten thousand mile.

 The Beloved Tin Man (axe in hand) and His Heart

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