Article Index

Song of Songs: Poems 1- 4

1

The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s.

Beloved

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for his love is better than wine. Because of the savour of your good ointments your name is as ointment poured forth, that is why the virgins love you. 1-3

Draw me in your footsteps while we run after you. We are called in to the king’s chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in him, we will remember his love more than wine: how right it is to love you. 4

Beloved

O I am black but lovely,
like the daughters of Jerusalem,
like the tents of Kedar,
like the curtains of Salmah.1

Regard not my blackness,
because the sun has burned me:
my mother’s children were angry with me;
they made me the keeper of the vineyards;
but I have not kept my own vineyard.2 5-6

Tell me, O you whom my soul loves,
where do you lead your flock to rest at noon:
for why should I be drifting along aside the the flocks of your companions? 7

Lover

If you know not, O you fairest among women, go along and follow the flock, and feed your kids beside the shepherds’ tents.

I have compared you, O my love, to a mare in Pharaoh’s chariots.
Your cheeks are lovely with rows of jewels, your neck with chains of gold.
We shall make you golden earrings and beads of silver.

Beloved

While the king sits at his table, my perfumed lotion sends forth the smell of it. A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night between my breasts.

Lover

My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphor in the vineyards of Engedi.

Behold, you are fair, my love; behold, you are fair; you have doves’ eyes. Behold, you are fair, my beloved, yes, pleasant: also our bed is green. The beams of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir.

Beloved

I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.

Lover

As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.

 

Beloved

As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. 3

He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. 4

Sustain me with wine mugs, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love. 5

His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me. 6

Lover

I charge you, O you daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and by the does of the field, that you stir not up, neither awake my love, till she pleases. 7

 

2

Beloved

The voice of my beloved! behold, he comes leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. 8

My beloved is like a young stag: behold, he stands behind our wall, he looks forth at the windows, showing himself through the lattice. 9

My beloved spoke, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. 10

Come see, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; the fig tree is putting forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. 11-13

O my dove, hiding in the secret caves of the rock, let me see your shining face, let me hear your voice; for sweet is your voice, and your looks are so lovely. 14

Capture the the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes. 15

My beloved is mine, and I am his: he pastures his flock among the lilies. Until the day break, and the darkness flee away, turn, my beloved, and be mine, like a hare upon the mountains of Bether. 16, 17

 

3

Beloved

By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loves: I sought him, but I found him not. I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the squares I will seek him whom my soul loves: I sought him, but I found him not.3 1, 2

The watchmen4 that go about the city found me: to whom I said, ‘Did you see him whom my soul loves?’ 3

It was but a little while that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loves: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me. 4

Lover

I charge you, O you daughters of Jerusalem, by the deer, and by the gazelles of the field, that you neither stir up, nor awake my love, till she pleases. 5

Observer

Who is this that comes out of the wilderness, like pillars of smoke perfumed with myrrh and frankincense? Behold his bed, it looks like Solomon’s; sixty champion warriors stand around it, best of the athletes of Israel. Every one an expert at war, holding a sword upon his thigh, ready for the battle at night. 7, 8

King Solomon made himself a bed of the wood of Lebanon.
He made the pillars of silver, the bottom of gold, the coverings of purple, the middle of it paved with love for the daughters of Jerusalem. 9, 10

 

Go forth, O you daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the crown wherewith his Mother crowned him in the days of his marriages, the days of the gladness of his heart. 11

4

Lover

How beautiful you are my love; behold, you are fair; your eyes are like doves’ behind your veil: your hair is as a flock of goats, that burst forth from mount Gilead. 1

Your teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, after they came up from the washing; each one has its twin, not one is unpaired. 2

Your lips are like a thread of scarlet, and your speech is lovely: your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate, behind your veil. 3

Your neck is like the Tower of David sloping up in layers, upon which there hang a thousand bucklers, each a shield of a hero. 4

Your two breasts are like twin young does that feed among the lilies. 5

Until the day break, and the darkness flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense. 6

You are all beauty my love; there is no blemish in you. 7

Come with me my betrothed, come with me from Lebanon: look from the heights of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards. 8

You have ravished my heart, my sister, my betrothed; you have ravished my heart with a single glance, with a single chain of your necklace. 9

How beautiful is your love, my sister, my betrothed! How superior is your love, better than wine! and the smell of your ointments than all spices! 10

Your lips, O my betrothed, sweet as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under your tongue; and the smell of your garments is like the smell of Lebanon. 11

A garden enclosed is my sister, my betrothed; an enclosed spring shut up, a fountain sealed. 12

Your paradise is an an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphor, with spikenard, saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices: a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon. 13 - 15

Beloved

Awake, O north wind; come, you wind of the south; breathe upon my garden, that the scents thereof may spread about. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits. 16

 

Lover

I am come into my garden, my sister, my betrothed: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk.

Observer

O friends; drink, yes, drink deeply, O beloved.