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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.[a]
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.[b]

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[c] as enduring as the grave.[d]
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.

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  1. 8:2 Or there she will teach me.
  2. 8:4 Or not to awaken love until it is ready.
  3. 8:6a Or its passion.
  4. 8:6b Hebrew as Sheol.

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