Prisoner's Valentine


Charles, Duke of Orleans, who was taken prisoner at the battle of

Agincourt in 1415, and detained in England twenty-five years, was the

author of the earliest known written valentines. He left about sixty of

them. They were written during his confinement in the Tower of London,

and are still to be seen among the royal papers in the British Museum.

One of his valentines reads as follows:--

"Wilt thou be mine? dear Love, reply--

Sweetly consent or else deny.

Whisper softly, none shall know,

Wilt thou be mine, Love?--aye or no?

"Spite of Fortune, we may be

Happy by one word from thee.

Life flies swiftly--ere it go

Wilt thou be mine, Love?--aye or no?"

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