Happy Valentine’s Day to all!
Hail Bishop Valentine, whose day this is,
All the air is thy Diocese,
And all the chirping choristers
And other birds are thy parishioners,
Thou marryest ever year
The lyric Lark, and the grave whispering Dove,
The Sparrow that neglects his life for love,
The household bird, with the red stomacher;
Thou maks’t the black bird speed as soon,
As doth the Goldfinch, or the Halycon;
The husband cock looks out, and straight is sped,
And meets his wife, which brings her feather-bed.
This day more cheerfully than ever shine,
This day, which might enflame thy self, old Valentine.
Till now, thou warmd'st with mutiplying loves
Two larks, two sparrows, or two doves,
All that is nothing unto this,
For thou this day couplest two Phoenixes;
Thou mak'st a Taper see
What the sun never saw, and what the Ark
(Which was of fowls, and beasts, the cage and park,)
Did not contain, one bed contains, through thee,
Two Phoenixes, whose joined breasts
Are unto one another mutual nests,
Where motion kindles such fires, as shall give
Young Phoenixes, and yet the old shall love.
Whose love and courage never shall decline,
But make the whole year through, thy day, O Valentine….
- from John Donne, “An Epithalamion, Or Marriage Song, On the Lady Elizabeth and Count Palatine Being Married on St. Valentine’s Day”