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The Young Woman’s Beauty Extolled

How beautiful you are, my love,
    how very beautiful!
Your eyes are doves
    behind your veil.
Your hair is like a flock of goats,
    moving down the slopes of Gilead.(A)
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.(B)
Your lips are like a crimson thread,
    and your mouth is lovely.
Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate
    behind your veil.(C)
Your neck is like the tower of David,
    built in courses;
on it hang a thousand bucklers,
    all of them shields of warriors.(D)
Your two breasts are like two fawns,
    twins of a gazelle,
    that feed among the lilies.(E)
Until the day breathes
    and the shadows flee,
I will hasten to the mountain of myrrh
    and the hill of frankincense.(F)
You are altogether beautiful, my love;
    there is no flaw in you.(G)
Come with me from Lebanon, my bride;
    come with me from Lebanon.
Depart[a] from the peak of Amana,
    from the peak of Senir and Hermon,
from the dens of lions,
    from the mountains of leopards.(H)

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.(I)
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!(J)
11 Your lips distill nectar, my bride;
    honey and milk are under your tongue;
    the scent of your garments is like the scent of Lebanon.(K)
12 A garden locked is my sister, my bride,
    a garden[b] locked, a fountain sealed.(L)
13 Your channel[c] is an orchard of pomegranates
    with all choicest fruits,
    henna with nard,(M)
14 nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon,
    with all trees of frankincense,
myrrh and aloes,
    with all chief spices—(N)
15 a garden fountain, a well of living water,
    and flowing streams from Lebanon.(O)

16 Awake, O north wind,
    and come, O south wind!
Blow upon my garden
    that its fragrance may be wafted abroad.
Let my beloved come to his garden
    that he may eat its choicest fruits.(P)

I come to my garden, my sister, my bride;
    I gather my myrrh with my spice;
    I eat my honeycomb with my honey;
    I drink my wine with my milk.

Eat, friends, drink,
    and be drunk with love.(Q)

Another Dream

I was sleeping, but my heart was awake.
The sound of my beloved knocking!
“Open to me, my sister, my love,
    my dove, my perfect one,
for my head is wet with dew,
    my locks with the drops of the night.”(R)
I had put off my garment;
    how could I put it on again?
I had bathed my feet;
    how could I soil them?(S)
My beloved thrust his hand into the opening,
    and my inmost being yearned for him.
I arose to open to my beloved,
    and my hands dripped with myrrh,
my fingers with liquid myrrh,
    upon the handles of the bolt.(T)
I opened to my beloved,
    but my beloved had turned away and was gone.
My soul failed me when he spoke.
I sought him but did not find him;
    I called him, but he gave no answer.(U)
Making their rounds in the city
    the sentinels found me;
they beat me; they wounded me;
    they took away my mantle,
    those sentinels of the walls.(V)
I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
    if you find my beloved,
tell him this:
    I am faint with love.(W)

Colloquy of Friends and the Young Woman

What is your beloved more than another beloved,
    O fairest among women?
What is your beloved more than another beloved,
    that you thus charge us?(X)

10 My beloved is all radiant and ruddy,
    distinguished among ten thousand.
11 His head is the finest gold;
    his locks are wavy,
    black as a raven.
12 His eyes are like doves
    beside springs of water,
bathed in milk,
    fitly set.[d](Y)
13 His cheeks are like beds of spices,
    yielding fragrance.
His lips are lilies,
    dripping liquid myrrh.(Z)
14 His arms are rounded gold,
    set with jewels.
His body is an ivory panel,[e]
    decorated with sapphires.
15 His legs are alabaster columns,
    set upon bases of gold.
His appearance is like Lebanon,
    choice as the cedars.
16 His speech is most sweet,
    and he is altogether desirable.
This is my beloved, and this is my friend,
    O daughters of Jerusalem.(AA)


  1. 4.8 Or Look
  2. 4.12 Heb mss Gk Vg Syr: MT heap of stones
  3. 4.13 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  4. 5.12 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  5. 5.14 Meaning of Heb uncertain