Very short love poems engraved on vintage wedding rings - tokens of devotion and promise

These very short love poems and rhymed inscriptions can be found engraved on antique posy rings (also 'posie' or 'posey rings'). They repesent deep intimate feelings of people who have long since perished. Such rings were given on various occasions, but as one can clearly see, mostly as tokens of engagement or as wedding rings. Not many of them can be considered true gems of English literature, but he power of these short love poems (if any) is in their romantic sincerity and old time charm. Their brevity is naturally dictated by the limitations of space - only one or two phrases used to fit on a ring (today's engraving machines can do much better than that!). Modern day Valentines are obviously influenced by this genre, but some of these rhymed lines have apparently gone unnoticed for centuries.

This collection originates from Arthur L. Humphreys' "A garland of love" (1902). I have modified in the spelling just slightly, changing LOUE to LOVE etc., as this particularity of typographic conventions has nothing to do with actual pronounciation. Some formatting changes were applied to conserve space. The shortest of the poems were kept to one line, but the rhymes should indicated where these lines can be broken up, if need be. Obviously, these sweet little poems are free for anyone to use, especially if you are looking for inspiration while designing your own personalized wedding rings!





A - FG - L  | M - S | T - Y


T - Y

TELL MY MISTRESSE
THAT A LOVER
TRUE AS LOVE ITSELFE
DOTH LOVE HER  

THAT FRIEND IS TRUE WHO TREASURES YOU  

THE EYE DID FIND YE
HEART DID CHUSE
THE HAND DOTH BIND
TILL DEATH DOTH LOOSE


THE EYE FINDETH
THE HEART CHOOSETH
THE HAND BINDETH
AND DEATH LOOSETH  

THE GIFT IS SMALL BUT LOVE IS ALL  

THE RING SHALL TELL I LOVE THEE WELL

THE SIGHT OF THEE IS IOY TO ME  

THERE IS NO JEWEL I CAN SEE
LIKE LOVE THAT'S SENT IN CONSTANCY  

THERE IS NO OTHER
AND I AM HE
THAT LOVES NO OTHER
AND THOU ART SHE  

THIS AND I UNTILL I DIE

THIS FOR A CERTAIN TRUTH
TRUE LOVE APPROVES
THE HEART'S NOT WHERE IT
LIVES BUT WHERE IT LOVES

THIS GIRDLE HAPLY
SHALL BE PLAC'D
TO COMPASS ROUND
YOUR NEAT SMALL WAIST
I WERE HAPPY IF IN THIS PLACE
I MIGHT THY SLENDER WAIST IMBRACE  

THIS HATH NO END MY SWEETEST FRIEND  

THIS HATH NO END
MY SWEETEST FRIEND
OUR LOVES BE SO
NO ENDING KNOW

THIS RING DOTH BINDE BODY AND MINDE  

THIS TAKE FOR MY SAKE  

THE WORLD HATH
STRIVED TO PART
YET GOD HATH JOYNED US
HAND AND HEART  

THOE MANY THOUGHT
US TWO TO SEVER
YET GOD HATH JOYNED
US TWO TOGETHER


THOU WERT NOT HANDSOM WISE BUT RICH
TWAS THAT WHICH DID MY EYES BEWITCH  

THOUGH THESE GLOVES
BE WHITE AND FAIR
YET THY HANDS
MORE WHITER ARE  

THY CONSENT IS MY CONTENT  

THY FRIEND AM I AND SO WILL DYE  

THY HAPPY CHOYCE MAKES ME REJOYCE

TILL DEATH DEPART YOU HAVE MY HEART  

TILL DEATH DEVIDE WHAT ERE BETIDE  

TILL THAT FROM THEE
I HOPE TO GAIN
ALL SWEET IS SOWRE
ALL PLEASURE PAIN  

TIS IN YOUR WILL TO SAVE OR KILL  

TIS THY DESERT HATH WOONE MY HEART


TIS TRUE AS OLD HOT LOVE SOON COLD

TIS VAIN FOR TO RESIST
WOMEN DO WHAT THEY LIST  

TO BODYES AND ONE HARTE  

To GOD'S DECREE WEE BOTH AGREE  

TO LIVE IN LOVE I LOVE TO LIVE

TO LOVE AND PEACE GOD GIVES INCREASE  

To LOVE AS I DO THEE
IS TO LOVE NONE BUT ME  

TO ME BY FAR MORE FAIR
IS MY FAIR ANNE
THEN SWEET CHEEKT LEDA
WITH HER SILVER SWAN

THAT I NERE SAW
BUT HAVE THE PICTURE SEEN
AND WISHT MY SELF BETWEEN
THINE ARMS SWEET NAN  

TO ME TILL DEATH AS DEAR AS BREATH

TO THEE I WISH ETERNALL BLISS  

TO THEE MY HEART I GIVE
WHILEST I HERE DO LIVE  

TO THEE MY LOVE I'LL CONSTANT PROVE  

TRUE LOVERS HARTES DEATH ONLY PARTES  

TWAS GOD TO THEE DIRECTED ME

TWEEN HOPE AND SAD
DESPAIR I SAIL
THY HELP I CRAVE
MY GRIEF THE SEA
THY BREATH THE SAIL
MAY SINK- OR SAVE  

TWO HEARTS ARE KNYTTE AS
HEAVEN THOUGHT FYTTE

UNITED HARTES DEATH ONLY PARTES  

VENUS NAKED IN HER CHAMBER
WOUNDS MORE DEEP THAN MARS IN ARMOUR

VERTUE AND LOVE ARE FROM ABOVE  


WEE JOYNE OUR LOV IN GOD ABOVE  

WE STRANGELY MET AND SO DO MANY
BUT NOW AS TRUE AS EVER ANY  

WHAT POSIES FOR OUR WEDDING RINGS
WHAT GLOVES WE'LL GIVE AND RIBAININGS

WHEN LOVE IS DEAD MY JOYS ARE FLED  
WHEN MONEY'S LOW THIS RING MUST GO  

WHEN ROCKS REMOVE I'LL CEASE TO LOVE  

WHEN THIS ABOUT THINE ARM DOTH REST
REMEMBER HER THAT LOVES THEE BEST

WHEN THIS YOU SEE REMEMBER ME



WHEN YOU SEE THIS GIVE IT A KISS  

WHEARE HEARTES AGREE NO STRIP CAN BE  

WHERE HEARTS ARE TRUE FEW WORDS WILL DO  

WHERE ONCE I CHOOSE I NE'ER REFUSE  

WILST LIFE IS MYN MY HEART IS THYN

WIT WEALTH AND BEAUTY ALL DO WELL
BUT CONSTANT LOVE DOTH FAR EXCELL  

WITH HEART AND HAND AT YOUR COMMAND  
WITHIN THY BREAST MY HARTE DOTH REST  

YOU AND I WILL LOVE AND DIE  

YOU AND I WILL LOVERES DYE


YOU ARE MY FRIEND UNTO THE END  


YOU ARE THAT ONE
FOR WHOM ALONE
MY HEART DOTH ONLY CARE
THEN DO BUT JOYN
YOUR HEART WITH MINE
AND WE WILL MAKE A PAIR  

YOU NEVER KNEU
A HEART MORE TRUE  

YOUR FRIEND AM I ASHUREDLY

YOUR SIGHT IS MY DELIGHT

YOURS LOVING FRIEND TILL DETH US END