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[a]How beautiful are your sandaled feet,
    O queenly maiden.
Your rounded thighs are like jewels,
    the work of a skilled craftsman.
Your navel is perfectly formed
    like a goblet filled with mixed wine.
Between your thighs lies a mound of wheat
    bordered with lilies.
Your breasts are like two fawns,
    twin fawns of a gazelle.
Your neck is as beautiful as an ivory tower.
Your eyes are like the sparkling pools in Heshbon
    by the gate of Bath-rabbim.
Your nose is as fine as the tower of Lebanon
    overlooking Damascus.
Your head is as majestic as Mount Carmel,
    and the sheen of your hair radiates royalty.
    The king is held captive by its tresses.
Oh, how beautiful you are!
    How pleasing, my love, how full of delights!
You are slender like a palm tree,
    and your breasts are like its clusters of fruit.
I said, “I will climb the palm tree
    and take hold of its fruit.”
May your breasts be like grape clusters,
    and the fragrance of your breath like apples.
May your kisses be as exciting as the best wine—

Young Woman

Yes, wine that goes down smoothly for my lover,
    flowing gently over lips and teeth.[b]
10 I am my lover’s,
    and he claims me as his own.
11 Come, my love, let us go out to the fields
    and spend the night among the wildflowers.[c]
12 Let us get up early and go to the vineyards
    to see if the grapevines have budded,
if the blossoms have opened,
    and if the pomegranates have bloomed.
    There I will give you my love.
13 There the mandrakes give off their fragrance,
    and the finest fruits are at our door,
new delights as well as old,
    which I have saved for you, my lover.

Young Woman

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.
I would bring you to my childhood home,
    and there you would teach me.[d]
I would give you spiced wine to drink,
    my sweet pomegranate wine.
Your left arm would be under my head,
    and your right arm would embrace me.

Promise me, O women of Jerusalem,
    not to awaken love until the time is right.[e]

Young Women of Jerusalem

Who is this sweeping in from the desert,
    leaning on her lover?

Young Woman

I aroused you under the apple tree,
    where your mother gave you birth,
    where in great pain she delivered you.
Place me like a seal over your heart,
    like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
    its jealousy[f] as enduring as the grave.[g]
Love flashes like fire,
    the brightest kind of flame.
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

We have a little sister
    too young to have breasts.
What will we do for our sister
    if someone asks to marry her?
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.

Young Woman

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.

Young Man

13 O my darling, lingering in the gardens,
    your companions are fortunate to hear your voice.
    Let me hear it, too!

Young Woman

14 Come away, my love! Be like a gazelle
    or a young stag on the mountains of spices.

Footnotes

  1. 7:1 Verses 7:1-13 are numbered 7:2-14 in Hebrew text.
  2. 7:9 As in Greek and Syriac versions and Latin Vulgate; Hebrew reads over lips of sleepers.
  3. 7:11 Or in the villages.
  4. 8:2 Or there she will teach me.
  5. 8:4 Or not to awaken love until it is ready.
  6. 8:6a Or its passion.
  7. 8:6b Hebrew as Sheol.

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