4 How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, you are beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil [C imparting a sense of mystery] are like doves [1:15]. Your hair is like a flock of goats streaming down Mount Gilead [C a beautiful site in central Transjordan near the Jabbok river; the image indicates lush, flowing hair]. 2 Your teeth are like ·newly [L a flock of] sheared sheep just coming from ·their bath [a washing; C white]. Each one has a twin, and none of them is missing [C a compliment in an age before dentistry]. 3 Your lips are like ·red silk [a scarlet] thread, and your mouth is ·lovely [or desirable]. Your ·cheeks [or temple] behind your veil are like slices of a pomegranate [C reddish orange]. 4 Your neck is like David’s tower [C dignified; strong], built ·with rows of stones [in courses]. A thousand shields hang on its walls [C a necklace that enhances her beauty]; each shield belongs to a ·strong soldier [hero]. 5 Your breasts are like two fawns, like twins of a gazelle, ·feeding [grazing] among the lilies. 6 Until the day dawns and the shadows ·disappear [flee], I will go to that mountain of myrrh and to that hill of ·incense [frankincense; C referring to the woman]. 7 My darling, everything about you is beautiful, and ·there is nothing at all wrong with you [you have no blemish]. 8 Come with me from Lebanon, my bride. Come with me from Lebanon, from the top of Mount Amana, from the tops of Mount Senir and Mount Hermon. Come from the lions’ dens and from the leopards’ hills [C apart from him she is in a dangerous place]. 9 My sister [C an ancient term of endearment], my bride, you ·have thrilled my heart [drive me crazy]; you ·have thrilled my heart [drive me crazy] with ·a [L one] glance of your eyes, with one ·sparkle [L jewel] from your necklace. 10 ·Your love is so sweet [L How beautiful is your love], my sister [4:9], my bride. Your love is better than wine [C makes one lightheaded], and ·your perfume [L the scent of your oils] smells better than any spice. 11 My bride, your lips drip honey; honey and milk are under your tongue [C sensuous liquids that he will explore]. Your clothes smell like the cedars of Lebanon [C the best cedars]. 12 My sister [4:9], my bride, you are like a garden locked up [C she has not been entered by a man], like a ·walled-in [sealed] spring, a ·closed-up [locked] fountain. 13 Your ·limbs [L shoots; C a botanical term either referring to the woman’s legs or her genital organs] are like an orchard of pomegranates with all the best fruit, filled with ·flowers [henna; 1:14] and nard, 14 nard and saffron [C spicy floral scent], calamus [C woody odor], and cinnamon, with trees of incense, myrrh [C aromatic gum from tree bark], and aloes [C a fragrant wood]— all the best spices. 15 You are like a garden fountain— a well of ·fresh [L living] water ·flowing [streaming] down from the mountains of Lebanon.
The Woman Speaks
16 Awake, north wind. Come, south wind. Blow on my garden, and let its ·sweet smells [spices] flow out. Let my lover enter the garden and eat its best fruits [C she desires physical intimacy].
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