1-4 Restless in bed and sleepless through the night,
    I longed for my lover.
    I wanted him desperately. His absence was painful.
So I got up, went out and roved the city,
    hunting through streets and down alleys.
I wanted my lover in the worst way!
    I looked high and low, and didn’t find him.
And then the night watchmen found me
    as they patrolled the darkened city.
    “Have you seen my dear lost love?” I asked.
No sooner had I left them than I found him,
    found my dear lost love.
I threw my arms around him and held him tight,
    wouldn’t let him go until I had him home again,
    safe at home beside the fire.

Oh, let me warn you, sisters in Jerusalem,
    by the gazelles, yes, by all the wild deer:
Don’t excite love, don’t stir it up,
    until the time is ripe—and you’re ready.

6-10 What’s this I see, approaching from the desert,
    raising clouds of dust,
Filling the air with sweet smells
    and pungent aromatics?
Look! It’s Solomon’s carriage,
    carried and guarded by sixty soldiers,
    sixty of Israel’s finest,
All of them armed to the teeth,
    trained for battle,
    ready for anything, anytime.
King Solomon once had a carriage built
    from fine-grained Lebanon cedar.
He had it framed with silver and roofed with gold.
    The cushions were covered with a purple fabric,
    the interior lined with tooled leather.

11 Come and look, sisters in Jerusalem.
    Oh, sisters of Zion, don’t miss this!
My King-Lover,
    dressed and garlanded for his wedding,
    his heart full, bursting with joy!

All night long on my bed
    I looked(A) for the one my heart loves;
    I looked for him but did not find him.
I will get up now and go about the city,
    through its streets and squares;
I will search for the one my heart loves.
    So I looked for him but did not find him.
The watchmen found me
    as they made their rounds in the city.(B)
    “Have you seen the one my heart loves?”
Scarcely had I passed them
    when I found the one my heart loves.
I held him and would not let him go
    till I had brought him to my mother’s house,(C)
    to the room of the one who conceived me.(D)
Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you(E)
    by the gazelles and by the does of the field:
Do not arouse or awaken love
    until it so desires.(F)

Who is this coming up from the wilderness(G)
    like a column of smoke,
perfumed with myrrh(H) and incense
    made from all the spices(I) of the merchant?
Look! It is Solomon’s carriage,
    escorted by sixty warriors,(J)
    the noblest of Israel,
all of them wearing the sword,
    all experienced in battle,
each with his sword at his side,
    prepared for the terrors of the night.(K)
King Solomon made for himself the carriage;
    he made it of wood from Lebanon.
10 Its posts he made of silver,
    its base of gold.
Its seat was upholstered with purple,
    its interior inlaid with love.
Daughters of Jerusalem, 11 come out,
    and look, you daughters of Zion.(L)
Look[a] on King Solomon wearing a crown,
    the crown with which his mother crowned him
on the day of his wedding,
    the day his heart rejoiced.(M)

Footnotes

  1. Song of Songs 3:11 Or interior lovingly inlaid / by the daughters of Jerusalem. / 11 Come out, you daughters of Zion, / and look

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