Want to write something romantic on that Valentine’s Day card for a change? You can’t go wrong with Shakespeare. The man wrote this stuff four hundred years ago and we’re still repeating it. You’ve probably already forgotten what you wrote on last year’s card.
First let’s have a list of some of his best. We’ll talk in a minute about what to do with them.
To you I give myself, for I am yours.I will swear I love thee infinitely.For where thou art, there is the world itself.I love thee; none but thee; and thou deservest it.O, how I love thee! How I dote on thee!I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried in thy eyes.My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep.
The more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite.I would not wish any companion in the world but you.My heart is ever at your service.Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptized.I do love nothing in the world so well as you. Is not that strange?
See anything you like? Yes, it’s true, centuries ago people said “thee” and “thou” a lot. If that’s not your style, though, you can always improvise it a bit. Shakespeare’s not going to mind. What about “I swear, I love you infinitely,” or “I will live in your heart, die in your lap, and be buried in your eyes.”
Don’t go crazy, though, or you risk losing the whole spirit. “Wherever you are, that’s my world.” Easier to say, maybe…but poetic? Not so much.
Enjoy. What you write and where you write it are up to you. Have it put on the card that comes with the flowers you had delivered. Write it yourself in the card you hand to her, so you can see her expression. Or, knock it out of the park by looking your romantic partner straight in the eye and reciting it out loud. They always say, Shakespeare was meant to be performed. So take a deep breath, keep a straight face, and go for it.
(The above material condensed from Hear My Soul Speak : Wedding Quotations from Shakespeare , by Duane Morin. Available now in digital download format for Kindle, iPad, Nook and all e-book readers.)
BONUS! Often confused with Shakespeare, the following quote actually comes from Bayard Taylor’s Bedouin Song:
I love thee, I love but thee
With a love that shall not die
Till the sun grows cold
And the stars grow old.
One of my personal favorites. Try dropping that bad boy on your significant other out of the clear blue sky the next time she says “What’s new?”