forgotten english friday. valentine Shakespearian-style.


If your procrastination has left you standing in front of the emaciated, long-picked over card rack at your local convenience store, redeem your-unromantic-self by instead penning your valentine a verse of Shakespearian proportions.  Here are some helpful hints.  Though, you may want to accompany your attempt at iambic pentameter with definitions.  Otherwise, you could end up worse off had you not given anything to begin with.

bite thee by the ear: a term of endearment.  Romeo and Juliet

leman: sweetheart. Twelfth Night

cantons: love songs. Twelfth Night

changed eyes: fallen in love; the phrase, arising from the exchange of amorous glances, was a common Elizabethan one. The Tempest

alike bewitched: each of them equally enchanted. Romeo and Juliet

as thou list: any way you like. The Tempest

dallying: fondling one another. Hamlet

knotted and combined locks: lying together in a mass. Hamlet

ladybird: a term of endearment. Romeo and Juliet

motion of the liver: the liver was regarded as the seat of the passions. Twelfth Night

remembrances: love-tokens. Hamlet

suit: wooing. Twelfth Night

For those lacking imagination, coupled with your foolishness at having no plans for Valentine’s Day, here is an example:

Leman, as thou list, allow me to bite thee by the ear,

With changed eyes, you set in me a motion in my liver,

My heart sings cantons for you of remembrances, dear,

Dreams of knotted and combined locks, dallying I thee quiver.

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