The Man

I went to my garden, dear friend, best lover!
    breathed the sweet fragrance.
I ate the fruit and honey,
    I drank the nectar and wine.

Celebrate with me, friends!
    Raise your glasses—“To life! To love!”

The Woman

I was sound asleep, but in my dreams I was wide awake.
    Oh, listen! It’s the sound of my lover knocking, calling!

The Man

“Let me in, dear companion, dearest friend,
    my dove, consummate lover!
I’m soaked with the dampness of the night,
    drenched with dew, shivering and cold.”

The Woman

“But I’m in my nightgown—do you expect me to get dressed?
    I’m bathed and in bed—do you want me to get dirty?”

4-7 But my lover wouldn’t take no for an answer,
    and the longer he knocked, the more excited I became.
I got up to open the door to my lover,
    sweetly ready to receive him,
Desiring and expectant
    as I turned the door handle.
But when I opened the door he was gone.
    My loved one had tired of waiting and left.
And I died inside—oh, I felt so bad!
    I ran out looking for him
But he was nowhere to be found.
    I called into the darkness—but no answer.
The night watchmen found me
    as they patrolled the streets of the city.
They slapped and beat and bruised me,
    ripping off my clothes,
These watchmen,
    who were supposed to be guarding the city.

I beg you, sisters in Jerusalem—
    if you find my lover,
Please tell him I want him,
    that I’m heartsick with love for him.

The Chorus

What’s so great about your lover, fair lady?
What’s so special about him that you beg for our help?

The Woman

10-16 My dear lover glows with health—
    red-blooded, radiant!
He’s one in a million.
    There’s no one quite like him!
My golden one, pure and untarnished,
    with raven black curls tumbling across his shoulders.
His eyes are like doves, soft and bright,
    but deep-set, brimming with meaning, like wells of water.
His face is rugged, his beard smells like sage,
    His voice, his words, warm and reassuring.
Fine muscles ripple beneath his skin,
    quiet and beautiful.
His torso is the work of a sculptor,
    hard and smooth as ivory.
He stands tall, like a cedar,
    strong and deep-rooted,
A rugged mountain of a man,
    aromatic with wood and stone.
His words are kisses, his kisses words.
    Everything about him delights me, thrills me
        through and through!

That’s my lover, that’s my man,
    dear Jerusalem sisters.

The Chorus

So where has this love of yours gone,
    fair one?
Where on earth can he be?
    Can we help you look for him?

The Woman

2-3 Never mind. My lover is already on his way to his garden,
    to browse among the flowers, touching the colors and forms.
I am my lover’s and my lover is mine.
    He caresses the sweet-smelling flowers.

The Man

4-7 Dear, dear friend and lover,
    you’re as beautiful as Tirzah, city of delights,
Lovely as Jerusalem, city of dreams,
    the ravishing visions of my ecstasy.
Your beauty is too much for me—I’m in over my head.
    I’m not used to this! I can’t take it in.
Your hair flows and shimmers
    like a flock of goats in the distance
    streaming down a hillside in the sunshine.
Your smile is generous and full—
    expressive and strong and clean.
Your veiled cheeks
    are soft and radiant.

8-9 There’s no one like her on earth,
    never has been, never will be.
She’s a woman beyond compare.
    My dove is perfection,
Pure and innocent as the day she was born,
    and cradled in joy by her mother.
Everyone who came by to see her
    exclaimed and admired her—
All the fathers and mothers, the neighbors and friends,
    blessed and praised her:

10 “Has anyone ever seen anything like this—
    dawn-fresh, moon-lovely, sun-radiant,
    ravishing as the night sky with its galaxies of stars?”

11-12 One day I went strolling through the orchard,
    looking for signs of spring,
Looking for buds about to burst into flower,
    anticipating readiness, ripeness.
Before I knew it my heart was raptured,
    carried away by lofty thoughts!

13 Dance, dance, dear Shulammite, Angel-Princess!
    Dance, and we’ll feast our eyes on your grace!
Everyone wants to see the Shulammite dance
    her victory dances of love and peace.

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