As early as the Fourth, B.C.,
Back in the Roman Nation,
A boy was assigned a girl,
For a one year duration.
Eight hundred years, a practice,
Till church fathers sought its end;
They found the answer in Valentine,
Who was martyred at his life’s end.
Some two hundred years before,
An edict by Claudius-II,
Forbade marriage in the Empire,
(Not too smart a thing to do!)
There were forces from within,
And threats from lands all about;
The soldier’s wives and families,
He thought, they could do without.
He wanted all his Armies
To have but one thing on their mind,
Hoped that one love, of country,
Would make them a special kind.
Valentine, a church bishop,
Saw young lovers in their pain;
He met them in a secret place,
Brought matrimony back again.
He joined them in the sacrament,
Helped them make their marriage vow,
Going against the Emperor’s wishes,
More than his laws would allow.
He learned of this “friend of lovers,”
And had him placed under arrest,
Tried to convert him to the Roman gods,
But Valentine withstood that test.
He even tried to turn the tables,
Show Claudius the Christian way,
Knowing he would be executed,
For that was the law of the day.
While Valentine awaited his fate,
He made friends with his jailor,
Who had a daughter who was blind,
Who searched for a miraculous cure.
Well, Valentine restored her sight,
Through his faith he claimed, divine,
Wrote a last farewell note to her,
And signed it, “From Your Valentine.”
February twenty-four, Two Seventy,
He was executed for his “crime,”
And thus became a Patron Saint,
To be remembered for all time.
There was an annual festival,
Young Romans wrote greetings of love,
To young ladies they longed to court,
Which Valentine oversaw from above.
The cards were named after him
The Fourteenth chosen as the date,
When those messages were passed around,
To try to change the Lover’s fate.
One of the earliest cards known sent
Was by a Duke in Fourteen-Fifteen,
Preserved in the British Museum,
Where, still today it can be seen.
And to this day, around the World,
We still send those cards to lovers,
Asking, “Valentine, will you be mine?”
And sometimes, we even ask some others.