Valentine’s Day on Primrose Hill

Valentine’s Day on Primrose Hill – A Poem

In medieval times Valentine’s Day was thought of as the first glimmer of spring and the day birds start mating.
Chaucer’s poem ‘Parliament of Fowls’ contains the first reference to Valentine’s Day as being a romantic occasion:
And in a launde, upon a hille of floures,
Was set this noble goddesse Nature;
Of braunches were hir halles and hir bourse,
Y-wrought after hir craft and hir mesure;
Ne ther nas foul that cometh of engendrure,
That they ne were prest in hir presence,
To take hir doom and yeve hir audience.

For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan every bryd comyth there to chese his make

Traditional Valentine Saying

If you happen to be out on the hill trying to spot mating birds, spare a thought for another
medieval Valentine saying, and do be careful what you find:

  • If you see a bluebird you will marry a happy person
  • If you see a goldfinch you will marry a rich person
  • If you see a sparrow you will marry a poor person
  • If you find a glove your future beloved will have the other one

Have a very happy bluebird-filled Valentine’s Day.

Photography by Sarah Louise Ramsay
NB: Spellings entirely the responsibility of Geoffrey Chaucer and not On The Hill – Ed.

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