Monday, February 14, 2005

Feast of St. Valentine

Gentle visitors, it would appear that your humble Contributor has been bitten by some love bug, such that he is now posting from his sick bed, pining and wasting as the fabled lovers of old, and also sneezing, coughing, etc.

Nonetheless, ever mindful of the mournful undernourishment of the poetical glands in the general public, your humble Contributor offers, hereunder, suitable nutrition (even in the time of fasting) on the topic of St. Valentine, of whom there are different stories -- though, all certanly true. The first item is of the great, early English bard (in rough translation), and the second, somewhat after his fashion.

Amorous Complaint at Windsor (Geoffrey Chaucer: excerpt)

I, who am the sorrowfullest man
That in this world was ever yet living,
Who least recover himself can,
Thus begin my mortal complaining
Against her who to life or death me bring,
Who has on me no mercy and no pity
Who loves her best, and slays me for my fidelity.

Can I do or say naught that you may like?
No, surely, now, alas and alack, the while.
Your pleasure is to laugh when I sigh,
And thus you from all my bliss exile.
You have cast me on that pitiless isle
There never a man alive might depart.
This I have for loving you, sweet heart.

. . .

Ever have I been, and shall however I trend,
Either to live or to die, your's humble and true:
You've been my beginning and my end,
Most shining of stars, bright and clear of hue,
Always the same, to love you freshly new,
By God and my truth, is my intent
To live or die, I would it never repent.

This complaint on Saint Valentine's day,
When every fowl choosing shall his make,
To her whose I am wholly and shall always
This woeful song and this complaint make,
And yet would I evermore her serve,
And love her best, though she do me starve.

Ouch! Pour Geoff was truly smitten -- perhaps this might serve as a partial remedy. ***

The Doctor of Hearts

Saint Valentine, a doctor he,
Was said to have the perfect art
To diagnose the love-lorn soul
And mend the aching, breaking heart.

And Valentine, a Latin man,
He knew that only love is real,
And only love, that blessed salve,
Could bring the open wound to heal.

But Valentine, a Christian man,
He drew the wrath of Ancient Rome,
Which seized and took him by the arm
So far from health and hearth and home.

Yet from this lowly place on earth,
His damp and lonely prison cell,
He touched the hearts of stricken souls
And touching these he made them well.

Then Valentine, a martyr he,
Was killed in 2 and 67,
And, by the grace of God, was said
To make his way direct to heaven.

And still, from high above this earth,
He practices his healing arts,
By balming hurts and patching harms,
And mending aching, breaking hearts.



Blogger Harry said...

It sounds to me as if Jeff has a darn cat.

And to Valentine, I say, "G'donya!"

And to Hereunder, get well fast, lest you Gounder, which would leave us assunder. I'm done now. :D

2/14/2005 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger Gone Away said...

Yes, best wishes for a speedy recovery, Remainderman. And, once again, an instructive and entertaining article. Thank you.

2/14/2005 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger Ned said...

It saddens me to hear he has run afoul
Of a virulent strain on a day so fair
E'en whilst disease thro' his body doth prowl
From his sick bed he offers us poetry rare

A repository of knowledge his once clear mind
Filed and cross-referenced from A to Zed
Has succumbed to delirium I think you'll find
As evidenced by the link to Bloggin Ned

2/14/2005 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger Remainderman said...

Ned --

The 'g' seemed to me to be superfluous -- though, an extended apostrophe would be appropriate.

2/15/2005 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger Ned said...

Speaking rhetorically?

2/15/2005 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Remainderman said...

I take that to be a rhetorical question.

2/15/2005 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger Hannah said...

I definitely admire (or at least fear) that which forces you to write even when ill.

2/15/2005 11:31:00 PM  

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