Archive for November, 2010

I am sure many of you are familiar with these verses

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Honey is sweet,
But not as sweet as you,

You might have heard Aqua or seen it or Archies cards.

I was pleasantly surprised when I found something similar in Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd

“The rose is red,
The violet blue,
Carnation’s sweet,
And so are you.”

I have read the book many times before – and love level-headed Gabriel Oak and his capricious sweetheart Bathsheba Everdene. But only during this reading did this particular doggerel strike my fancy.  And as a clarification, this valentine is  the one which caused so much trouble between Mr Boldwood and his pretty neighbour…This thoughtless  missive, originally addressed to little Teddy Coggan,  was then sent off to the grave, dignified farmer with “Marry Me”  stamped right across it. Another interesting thing I noted was rubber-stamping – a much beloved-art of the 21st century scrapbook lover –  was something our 18th century heroine was quite familiar with.

A little more research or wiki-search and I realised that I had glossed-over similar lines while reading Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. Something like the Nan Tucker poems – there are many many variations of these lines…a few more that I came across

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I have five fingers,
The middle ones are for you

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
This is to say,

That I do love you

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