“Do not gaze at me because I am deeply tanned, [I have worked in] the sun; it has left its mark on me. My mother’s sons were angry with me; They made me keeper of the vineyards, But my own vineyard (my complexion) I have not kept.”
[Please] do not look at me, [she said, for] I am swarthy. [I have worked out] in the sun and it has left its mark upon me. My stepbrothers were angry with me, and they made me keeper of the vineyards; but my own vineyard [my complexion] I have not kept.
Don’t stare at me just because the sun has darkened my skin. My brothers were angry with me; they made me work in the vineyard, and so I neglected my complexion. Don’t let the other shepherds think badly of me.
Don’t look at how ·dark [swarthy] I am, ·at how dark the sun has made me [L because the sun scorched me]. My ·brothers [L mother’s sons] were angry with me and made me ·tend [or guard] the vineyards, so I haven’t ·tended [or guarded] my own ·vineyard [C referring to her body]!
“Don’t look down on me, you city girls, just because my complexion is so dark—the sun has tanned me. My brothers were angry with me and sent me out into the sun* to tend the vineyards, but see what it has done to me!”* The Girl:
I am weathered but still elegant, oh, dear sisters in Jerusalem, Weather-darkened like Kedar desert tents, time-softened like Solomon’s Temple hangings. Don’t look down on me because I’m dark, darkened by the sun’s harsh rays. My brothers ridiculed me and sent me to work in the fields. They made me care for the face of the earth, but I had no time to care for my own face.
Do not stare at me because I am so black, because the sun has burned me. The sons of my mother were angry with me; they charged me with the care of the vineyards: my own vineyard I did not take care of.
Let your eyes burn not into me because I am black, because the shemesh hath burned its eyes into me; bnei immi (my step-brothers) were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the kramim (vineyards); but mine own kerem (vineyard) have I not kept.
Don’t stare at my dark skin, for the sun looked down on me. My brothers’ anger scorched me; they made me work all day long in the vineyards, So I did not have time to care for my own vineyard, to cultivate my own body.
Do not ye behold me, that I am black, for the sun hath discoloured me; the sons of my mother fought against me, they set me a keeper in vineries; I kept not my vinery. (Do not ye look down upon me, because I am black, for the sun hath colouredme, that is, it hath tanned me; the sons of my mother fought against me, and they made me the guardian of the vineyards; and so I could not look after my own vineyard.)
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