Sheila Pell 11 a.m., Oct. 22
Valentine’s Day with Richard “Loveless” Lovelace
One of the most prominent “Cavalier Poets” of the 17th century
To His Fairest Valentine, Mrs. A.L.
- “Come, pretty birds, present your lays,
- And learn to chaunt a goddess praise;
- Ye wood-nymphs, let your voices be
- Employ’d to serve her deity:
- And warble forth, ye virgins nine,
- Some music to my Valentine.
- “Her bosom is love’s paradise,
- There is no heav’n but in her eyes;
- She’s chaster than the turtle-dove,
- And fairer than the queen of love:
- Yet all perfections do combine
- To beautifie my Valentine.
- “She’s Nature’s choicest cabinet,
- Where honour, beauty, worth and wit
- Are all united in her breast.
- The graces claim an interest:
- All virtues that are most divine
- Shine clearest in my Valentine.”
- Strive not, vain lover, to be fine;
- Thy silk’s the silk-worm’s, and not thine:
- You lessen to a fly your mistriss’ thought,
- To think it may be in a cobweb caught.
- What, though her thin transparent lawn
- Thy heart in a strong net hath drawn:
- Not all the arms the god of fire ere made
- Can the soft bulwarks of nak’d love invade.
- Be truly fine, then, and yourself dress
- In her fair soul’s immac’late glass.
- Then by reflection you may have the bliss
- Perhaps to see what a true fineness is;
- When all your gawderies will fit
- Those only that are poor in wit.
- She that a clinquant outside doth adore,
- Dotes on a gilded statue and no more.