Saint Valentine as The Nightingale

Have you ever heard a Nightingale singing melodiously while walking through creeks and woods? Isn't the song of a bird so pleasing and gratifying that we tend to forget every materialistic thing we craved and start to appreciate the nature and life itself? The story I'm about to tell you is adapted from Oscar Wilde's "The Nightingale and the Rose", emphasizing how 'The Nightingale' personify the life of St. Valentine.

Once upon a time, there was a student who was in love with his professor's daughter. His love for her was as boundless as the sea, immeasurable like the stars in the clear night sky. He would think and dream about her relentlessly.

One day, the student requested her to meet him at the garden and asked her if she would dance with him at the ball the next day. The young girl agreed to dance with him all night, if and only if he could bring her a red rose. She then left without saying another word. Unfortunately, there wasn't any red rose in young man's garden during that time.

While all of these were going on, a Nightingale, sitting in a nearby tree, was listening to them talking. After the girl left, the young man started to contemplate on how to acquire a red rose as there was none in his garden. He was also unsettled by the fact that if he could not find one, he would lose the opportunity to dance with her and that it would leave him shattered. After overhearing the whole conversation and noticing the young man at unease, the Nightingale empathized to the young man and realised that his love for the young girl was pure and true. The 'bird' knows that finding true love is rare. Therefore, the Nightingale decided to help the young man find 'the red rose'.

The Nightingale went in search of a red rose and flew to a nearby rose plant and asked if it would bloom into a red rose for the young man and in exchange the Nightingale would sing a song. The rose plant sigh and said, "I can only blossom into white roses". She then suggested the Nightingale to ask another rose plant living near the sun-dial. The Nightingale went to it and ask if it could give a red rose for the young man. The rose plant uttered in dismal, "Unfortunately, my buds are yellow." It added, "Yet there is another rose plant by the student's window. Maybe he can give you 'the red rose'".

The nightingale went to the rose plant by the student's window and asked for a red rose, and in return it offered to sing a song. The rose plant said, "In fact, I could bloom into a red rose, but since it's winter, my veins have chilled; and frost nib my buds. I won't have any flower this year". However, the Nightingale kept requesting if there was any chance to procure a red rose. The rose plant says that there is a way, but it comes at a great cost. It further explained that the only way to have a red rose is to stain the flower with its blood by piercing its own heart with a thorn of the rose whilst singing the whole night under the moonlight. The nightingale pondered upon it for a while and uttered, "Life is a great price to pay for a rose, but love is better than life. After all, what is the heart of a bird as compared to a human heart"!

The Nightingale paid a final visit to the tree where she built herself a nest to tell her last goodbye. The Nightingale cheerfully sang her sweet song to the tree for one last time and when the evening approaches, it went to the rose plant and pressed its chest against the thorn and began to sing heartily. As it sang, its blood drips on the branches and the plant started to bud and began to bloom. However, the color of the rose was still white because the thorn haven't pierced the heart. The rose plant said, "press your chest a little further because the color of the rose is still white, and the night is going to end soon". Therefore, the bird pressed her chest further and the flower began to turn red. All the while, the moon was listening to the mellifluous voice of the bird and forgot to dawn. As the night goes on, the bird became weaker and her voice softer. The flower began to stain into a brilliant red color with the blood of the Nightingale and before the morning approaches, the petals turned into the brightest redder than the ripped cherry. Unfortunately, the poor bird collapsed and died for the sake of love. In the morning, the student found 'the red rose' in his window to gave it to his love.

Just like the Nightingale, St. Valentine gave his life for the sake of love. Back in the 3rd century, during the reign of Claudius the second, the emperor banned a marriage for a young man because a married man makes a terrible soldier. However, the bishop or a priest named St. Valentine thought it was unjust and wrong to ban marriage, and he secretly marries a young couples. When the emperor Claudius found about it, he was enraged and arrested St. Valentine and have him executed on the 14th of February.

The legend has it that St. Valentine was close with the jailer's blind daughter and healed her by regaining her sight. Prior to his execution, he left a note for her and on the cover he wrote, "from your Valentine". From then on, we celebrate 'Valentine's Day' in honor of the sacrifice made by St. Valentine, and often we write "From your valentine" in gifts and card we give to our loved ones.