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If only you were my brother,
    one who nursed at my mother’s breasts.
    If I saw you on the street,
    I would kiss you, and no one would look down on me.
I would lead you.
    I would bring you into my mother’s house.
        (She is the one who was my teacher.)
    I would give you some spiced wine to drink,
        some juice squeezed from my pomegranates.
His left hand is under my head.
    His right hand caresses me.

Young women of Jerusalem, swear to me
    that you will not awaken love
        or arouse love before its proper time!

The Young Woman’s Love for Her Beloved

[The chorus of young women]

Who is this young woman coming from the wilderness
    with her arm around her beloved?


    Under the apple tree I woke you up.
    There your mother went into labor with you.
        There she went into labor
            and gave birth to you!
Wear me as a signet ring on your heart,
    as a ring on your hand.
    Love is as overpowering as death.
    Devotion is as unyielding as the grave.
    Love’s flames are flames of fire,
        flames that come from Yah.
            Raging water cannot extinguish love,
                and rivers will never wash it away.
    If a man exchanged all his family’s wealth for love,
    people would utterly despise him.

The Young Woman with Her Family and Her Beloved

[The brothers]

We have a little sister, and she has no breasts.
    What will we do for our sister on the day she becomes engaged?
If she is a wall, we will build a silver barrier around her.
    If she is a door, we will barricade her with cedar boards.


10 I am a wall, and my breasts are like towers.
    So he considers me to be one who has found peace.[a]
11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal Hamon.
    He entrusted that vineyard to caretakers.
    Each one was to bring 25 pounds of silver
        in exchange for its fruit.
12 My own vineyard is in front of me.
    That 25 pounds is yours, Solomon,
        and 5 pounds go to those who take care of its fruit.


13 Young woman living in the gardens,
    while your friends are listening to your voice,
        let me hear. . .


14 Come away quickly, my beloved.
    Run like a gazelle or a young stag
        on the mountains of spices.


  1. Song of Solomon 8:10 In Hebrew there is a play on the words “peace” (shalom), “Solomon” (Shlomo), and “the young woman from Shulam” (Shulamith).