Victorian Valentine's Cards

Victorian Valentine's Card

Some truly terrible poetry for your delectation this Valentine's day; on this Victorian Valentine's card, the poet presses their suit by trying to convince their beloved that they are more worthy of love than a nest of birds. Okay. Only really a legitimate comparison if the recipient is an ornithologist, but nonsensical blather seems to be a key component of most Valentine's cards even now. This prime specimen of sentimental verse, however excruciatingly twee by today's standards, is at least saved by the restrained and rather sweet illustration by Kate Greenaway (though the card itself hasn't got away without lacy edging. The Victorians really loved their lacy edging). The card was printed 1876 and can be seen in the Early and Fine Printing Collection at the Library of Birmingham. So, if you are stuck for a Valentine's day verse and happen to be dating a bird lover, try winning them over with this little gem:

Five blue eggs in a nest,
Two brown birds on a tree,
And which do you think is best,
The eggs, or the birds, or me?

The eggs may sing in time,
I sing to you to-day;
The birds are in singing prime,
But who knows what they say?

The eggs may fall and break,
The birds may fly away,
If winds the tree should shake,
But I shall always stay.

Then say you love me dear!
And whatsoever weather
May come, I shall not fear,
We'll brave the worst together!