Posey, Posie, Poesy, Posy Rings!

However you choose to spell it, its hard not to be charmed by the secret messages hidden inside posy rings. 

 English posy ring c. 1700 in the collections of the British museum. The inscription reads "Love is the bond of peace."

English posy ring c. 1700 in the collections of the British museum. The inscription reads "Love is the bond of peace."

Often exchanged as wedding rings and always as a token of affection, posy rings have been around for a very long time. How long? An ancient Greek ring dating to the 4th century BCE was inscribed "To her who excels not only in virtue and prudence, but also in wisdom." 

By the late Renaissance, publishers were printing books of verses (a "posy" is simply a short poem) to be used as inspiration for lovers who needed a bit of help expressing their feelings inside gold rings. 

Here are a few of our favorite posies from 17th-century England:

 

The sight of this deserves a kiss.

In thee a flame in me the same.

To me till death as dear as breath.

We strangely met, and so do many. Now as true as ever, any.

Love him who gave thee this ring of gold ‘Tis he must kiss thee when thou art old

If I think my wife is fair, what need other people care?

This hath no end, my sweetest friend.

Thou art my star, be not irregular.

In thee I find content of mind

The love is true that I.O.U.

My love is fixed I will not range. I like my choice too much to change.

To love entyre is my desyre.

Silence ends strife with man and wife