1 Solomon’s 1 Most Excellent 2 Love Song. 3
2 The Beloved to Her Lover: 4
Oh, how I wish you 5 would kiss me passionately! 6
For your lovemaking 7 is more delightful 8 than wine. 9
3 The fragrance 10 of your colognes 11 is delightful; 12
your name 13 is like the finest 14 perfume. 15
No wonder the young women 16 adore 17 you!
4 Draw me 18 after you; let us hurry! 19
May the king 20 bring 21 me into his 22 bedroom chambers! 23
The Maidens 24 to the Lover:
We will 25 rejoice and delight in you; 26
we will praise 27 your love more than wine.
The Beloved to Her Lover:
How rightly 28 the young women 29 adore you!
5 The Beloved to the Maidens:
I am dark but lovely, O maidens 30 of Jerusalem,
dark 31 like the tents of Qedar, 32
lovely 33 like the tent curtains 34 of Salmah. 35
6 Do not stare at me because 36 I am dark,
for 37 the sun has burned my skin. 38
My brothers 39 were angry 40 with me;
they made me the keeper of the vineyards.
Alas, my own vineyard 41 I could not keep! 42
7 The Beloved to Her Lover:
Tell me, O you whom my heart 43 loves,
where do you pasture your sheep?
Where do you rest your sheep during the midday heat?
Tell me lest 44 I wander around 45
beside the flocks of your companions!
8 The Lover to His Beloved:
If you do not know, O most beautiful of women,
simply follow the tracks of my flock,
and pasture your little lambs
beside the tents of the shepherds.
9 The Lover to His Beloved:
O my beloved, you are like 46 a 47 mare 48
among Pharaoh’s stallions. 49
10 Your cheeks are beautiful with ornaments;
your neck is lovely 50 with strings of jewels.
11 We 51 will make for you gold ornaments
studded with silver. 52
12 The Beloved about Her Lover:
While the king was at his banqueting table, 53
my nard 54 gave forth its fragrance. 55
13 My beloved is like a fragrant pouch of myrrh 56
spending the night 57 between my breasts.
14 My beloved is like a cluster of henna blossoms 58
in the vineyards of En-Gedi. 59
15 The Lover to His Beloved:
Oh, 60 how beautiful you are, my beloved! 61
Oh, how beautiful you are!
Your eyes 62 are like doves! 63
16 The Beloved to Her Lover:
Oh, how handsome you are, my lover! 64
Oh, 65 how delightful 66 you are!
The lush foliage 67 is our canopied bed; 68
17 the cedars are the beams of our bedroom chamber;
the pines are the rafters of our bedroom.
2 The Beloved to Her Lover:
I am a 1 meadow flower 2 from Sharon, 3
a lily 4 from the valleys.
2 The Lover to His Beloved:
Like 5 a lily among the thorns, 6
so is my darling among the maidens.
3 The Beloved about Her Lover:
Like 7 an apple tree 8 among the trees of the forest,
so is my beloved among the young men.
I delight 9 to sit 10 in his shade, 11
and his fruit 12 is sweet 13 to my taste. 14
4 The Beloved about Her Lover:
He brought me 15 into the banquet hall, 16
and he looked 17 at me lovingly. 18
5 Sustain 19 me with raisin cakes, 20
refresh me with apples, 21
for I am faint with love. 22
The Double Refrain: Embracing and Adjuration
6 His left hand caresses my head, 23
and his right hand stimulates me. 24
7 The Beloved to the Maidens:
I adjure you, 25 O maidens of Jerusalem,
by the gazelles and by the young does 26 of the open fields: 27
Do not awaken or arouse 28 love 29 until it pleases! 30
8 The Beloved about Her Lover:
Listen! 31 My lover is approaching! 32
Look! 33 Here he comes,
leaping over the mountains,
bounding over the hills!
9 My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag. 34
Look! There he stands behind our wall,
gazing through the window,
peering through the lattice.
10 The Lover to His Beloved:
My lover spoke to me, saying:
“Arise, my darling;
My beautiful one, come away with me!
11 Look! The winter has passed,
the winter rains are over and gone.
12 The pomegranates have appeared 35 in the land,
the time for pruning and singing 36 has come;
the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree has budded,
the vines have blossomed and give off their fragrance.
Arise, come away my darling;
my beautiful one, come away with me!”
14 The Lover to His Beloved:
O my dove, 37 in the clefts of the rock,
in the hiding places of the mountain crags,
let me see your face,
let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is lovely.
15 The Beloved to Her Lover:
Catch 38 the foxes 39 for us,
the little foxes, 40
that ruin the vineyards 41 –
for our vineyard is in bloom.
16 The Beloved about Her Lover:
My lover is mine and I am his;
he grazes among the lilies. 42
17 The Beloved to Her Lover:
Until the dawn arrives 43 and the shadows flee,
turn, 44 my beloved –
be like a gazelle or a young stag
on the mountain gorges. 45
3 The Beloved about Her Lover:
All night long 1 on my bed 2
I longed for 3 my lover. 4
I longed for 5 him but he never appeared. 6
2 “I will arise 7 and look all around 8 throughout the town,
and throughout the streets 9 and squares;
I will search for my beloved.”
I searched for him but I did not find him. 10
3 The night watchmen found me – the ones who guard the city walls. 11
“Have you seen my beloved?” 12
4 Scarcely 13 had I passed them by
when I found my beloved!
I held onto him 14 tightly and would not let him go 15
until I brought him to my mother’s house, 16
to the bedroom chamber 17 of the one who conceived me.
5 The Adjuration Refrain
The Beloved to the Maidens: 18
I admonish you, O maidens of Jerusalem,
by the gazelles and by the young does of the open fields:
“Do not awake or arouse love until it pleases!”
6 The Speaker: 19
Who is this coming up from the desert
like a column of smoke,
like 20 a fragrant billow 21 of myrrh and frankincense, 22
every kind of fragrant powder 23 of the traveling merchants? 24
7 Look! It is Solomon’s portable couch! 25
It is surrounded by sixty warriors,
some of Israel’s mightiest warriors.
8 All of them are skilled with a sword, 26
well-trained in the art of warfare. 27
Each has his sword at his side,
to guard against the terrors of the night.
9 King Solomon made a sedan chair 28 for himself
of wood imported from Lebanon. 29
10 Its posts were made 30 of silver; 31
its back 32 was made of gold.
Its seat was upholstered with purple wool; 33
its interior was inlaid 34 with leather 35 by the maidens 36 of Jerusalem.
11 Come out, O maidens of Zion,
and gaze upon King Solomon!
He is wearing the crown with which his mother crowned him
on his wedding day,
on the most joyous day of his life! 37