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Love’s Dream

Upon my bed by night
I sought him whom my soul loves;
I sought him, but found him not;
    I called him, but he gave no answer.[a]
“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 found him not.
The watchmen found me,
    as they went about in the city.
“Have you seen him whom my soul loves?”
Scarcely had I passed them,
    when 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.
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
    by the gazelles or the hinds of the field,
that you stir not up nor awaken love
    until it please.

The Groom and His Party Approach

What is that coming up from the wilderness,
    like a column of smoke,
perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,
    with all the fragrant powders of the merchant?
Behold, it is the litter of Solomon!
About it are sixty mighty men
    of the mighty men of Israel,
all girt with swords
    and expert in war,
each with his sword at his thigh,
    against alarms by night.
King Solomon made himself a palanquin
    from the wood of Lebanon.
10 He made its posts of silver,
    its back of gold, its seat of purple;
it was lovingly wrought within[b]
    by the daughters of Jerusalem.
11 Go forth, O daughters of Zion,
    and behold King Solomon,
with the crown with which his mother crowned him
    on the day of his wedding,
    on the day of the gladness of his heart.

The Bride’s Beauty Extolled

Behold, you are beautiful, my love,
behold, you are beautiful!
Your eyes are doves
    behind your veil.
Your hair is like a flock of goats,
    moving down the slopes of Gilead.
Your teeth are like a flock of shorn ewes
    that have come up from the washing,
all of which bear twins,
    and not one among them is bereaved.
Your lips are like a scarlet thread,
    and your mouth is lovely.
Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate
    behind your veil.
Your neck is like the tower of David,
    built for an arsenal,[c]
whereon hang a thousand bucklers,
    all of them shields of warriors.
Your two breasts are like two fawns,
    twins of a gazelle,
    that feed among the lilies.
Until the day breathes
    and the shadows flee,
I will hie me to the mountain of myrrh
    and the hill of frankincense.
You are all fair, my love;
    there is no flaw in you.
Come with me from Lebanon, my bride;
    come with me from Lebanon.
Depart[d] from the peak of Ama′na,
    from the peak of Senir and Hermon,
from the dens of lions,
    from the mountains of leopards.

You have ravished my heart, my sister, my bride,
    you have ravished my heart with a glance of your eyes,
    with one jewel of your necklace.
10 How sweet is your love, my sister, my bride!
    how much better is your love than wine,
    and the fragrance of your oils than any spice!
11 Your lips distil nectar, my bride;
    honey and milk are under your tongue;
    the scent of your garments is like the scent of Lebanon.
12 A garden locked is my sister, my bride,
    a garden locked, a fountain sealed.
13 Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates
    with all choicest fruits,
    henna with nard,
14 nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon,
    with all trees of frankincense,
myrrh and aloes,
    with all chief spices—
15 a garden fountain, a well of living water,
    and flowing streams from Lebanon.

16 Awake, O north wind,
    and come, O south wind!
Blow upon my garden,
    let its fragrance be wafted abroad.
Let my beloved come to his garden,
    and eat its choicest fruits.

Footnotes

  1. Song of Solomon 3:1 Gk: Heb lacks this line
  2. Song of Solomon 3:10 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
  3. Song of Solomon 4:4 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
  4. Song of Solomon 4:8 Or Look

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