8 Oh, I wish you were my brother, who nursed at my mother’s breasts. Then I could kiss you no matter who was watching, and no one would criticize me. 2 I would bring you to my childhood home, and there you would teach me.[a] I would give you spiced wine to drink, my sweet pomegranate wine. 3 Your left arm would be under my head, and your right arm would embrace me.
4 Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right.[b]
Young Women of Jerusalem
5 Who is this sweeping in from the desert, leaning on her lover?
I aroused you under the apple tree, where your mother gave you birth, where in great pain she delivered you. 6 Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy[c] as enduring as the grave.[d] Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame. 7 Many waters cannot quench love, nor can rivers drown it. If a man tried to buy love with all his wealth, his offer would be utterly scorned.
The Young Woman’s Brothers
8 We have a little sister too young to have breasts. What will we do for our sister if someone asks to marry her? 9 If she is a virgin, like a wall, we will protect her with a silver tower. But if she is promiscuous, like a swinging door, we will block her door with a cedar bar.
10 I was a virgin, like a wall; now my breasts are like towers. When my lover looks at me, he is delighted with what he sees.
11 Solomon has a vineyard at Baal-hamon, which he leases out to tenant farmers. Each of them pays a thousand pieces of silver for harvesting its fruit. 12 But my vineyard is mine to give, and Solomon need not pay a thousand pieces of silver. But I will give two hundred pieces to those who care for its vines.
13 O my darling, lingering in the gardens, your companions are fortunate to hear your voice. Let me hear it, too!
14 Come away, my love! Be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices.
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