4 The Lover to His Beloved:
Oh, 1 you are beautiful, my darling! 2
Oh, you are beautiful!
Your eyes behind your veil are like doves. 3
Your hair is like a flock of female goats
descending 4 from Mount Gilead.
2 Your teeth are like a flock of newly-shorn sheep
coming up from the washing place; 5
each of them has a twin,
and not one of them is missing.
3 Your lips are like a scarlet thread; 6
your mouth is lovely.
Your forehead 7 behind your veil
is like a slice of pomegranate.
4 Your neck is like the tower 8 of David
built with courses of stones; 9
one thousand shields are hung on it –
all shields of valiant warriors. 10
5 Your two breasts are like two fawns,
twins of the gazelle
grazing among the lilies.
6 Until the dawn arrives 11
and the shadows flee,
I will go up to the mountain of myrrh,
and to the hill of frankincense.
7 You are altogether beautiful, my darling!
There is no blemish in you!
8 Come with me from Lebanon, my bride,
come with me from Lebanon.
Descend from the crest of Amana,
from the top of Senir, the summit of Hermon,
from the lions’ dens
and the mountain haunts of the leopards.
9 You have stolen my heart, 12 my sister, 13 my bride!
You have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, 14
with one jewel of your necklace.
10 How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride!
How much better is your love than wine;
the fragrance of your perfume is better than any spice!
11 Your lips drip sweetness like the honeycomb, my bride,
honey and milk are under your tongue.
The fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
12 The Lover to His Beloved:
You are a locked garden, 15 my sister, my bride;
you are an enclosed spring, a sealed-up fountain.
13 Your shoots are a royal garden 16 full of pomegranates
with choice fruits:
henna with nard,
14 nard and saffron;
calamus and cinnamon with every kind of spice,
myrrh and aloes with all the finest spices. 17
15 You are a garden spring, 18
a well 19 of fresh water 20 flowing down from Lebanon.
16 The Beloved to Her Lover:
Awake, O north wind; come, O south wind!
Blow on my garden so that its fragrant spices may send out their sweet smell. 21
May my beloved come into his garden
and eat its delightful fruit!
5 The Lover to His Beloved:
I have entered my garden, O my sister, my bride;
I have gathered my myrrh with my balsam spice.
I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey;
I have drunk my wine and my milk!
The Poet to the Couple: 1
Eat, friends, and drink! 2
Drink freely, O lovers!
2 The Beloved about Her Lover:
I was asleep, but my mind 3 was dreaming. 4
Listen! 5 My lover 6 is knocking 7 at the door! 8
The Lover to His Beloved:
“Open 9 for me, my sister, my darling,
my dove, my flawless one!
My head is drenched with dew,
my hair with the dampness of the night.”
3 The Beloved to Her Lover:
“I have already taken off my robe – must I put it on again?
I have already washed my feet – must I soil them again?”
4 My lover thrust his hand 10 through 11 the hole, 12
and my feelings 13 were stirred 14 for him.
5 I arose to open for my beloved;
my hands dripped with myrrh –
my fingers flowed with myrrh
on the handles of the lock.
6 I opened for my beloved,
but my lover had already turned 15 and gone away. 16
I fell into despair 17 when he departed. 18
I looked for him but did not find him;
I called him but he did not answer me.
7 The watchmen found me as they made their rounds in the city.
They beat me, they bruised me;
they took away my cloak, those watchmen on the walls!
8 The Beloved to the Maidens:
O maidens of Jerusalem, I command you –
If you find my beloved, what will you tell him?
Tell him that I am lovesick! 19
9 The Maidens to The Beloved:
Why is your beloved better than others, 20
O most beautiful of women?
Why is your beloved better than others,
that you would command us in this manner?
10 The Beloved to the Maidens:
My beloved 21 is dazzling 22 and ruddy; 23
he stands out 24 in comparison to 25 all other men. 26
11 His head is like the most pure gold. 27
His hair is curly 28 – black like a raven.
12 His eyes are like doves by streams of water,
washed in milk, mounted like jewels.
13 His cheeks are like garden beds full of balsam trees 29 yielding 30 perfume.
His lips are like lilies dripping with drops of myrrh.
14 His arms are like rods of gold set with chrysolite.
His abdomen 31 is like polished ivory inlaid with sapphires.
15 His legs are like pillars of marble set on bases of pure gold.
His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as its cedars.
16 His mouth is very sweet; 32
he is totally desirable. 33
This is my beloved!
This is my companion, O maidens of Jerusalem!
6 The Maidens to the Beloved:
Where has your beloved gone,
O most beautiful among women?
Where has your beloved turned?
Tell us, 1 that we may seek him with you. 2
2 The Beloved to the Maidens:
My beloved has gone down to his garden, 3
to the flowerbeds of balsam spices, 4
to graze 5 in the gardens,
and to gather lilies. 6
3 The Beloved about Her Lover:
I am my lover’s 7 and my lover is mine; 8
he grazes among the lilies.
4 The Lover to His Beloved:
My darling, you are as beautiful as Tirzah, 9
as lovely as Jerusalem, 10
as awe-inspiring 11 as bannered armies!
5 Turn your eyes away from me –
they overwhelm 12 me!
Your hair is like a flock of goats
descending from Mount Gilead.
6 Your teeth are like a flock of sheep
coming up from the washing;
each has its twin;
not one of them is missing.
7 Like a slice of pomegranate
is your forehead 13 behind your veil.
8 There may be sixty 14 queens,
and eighty concubines,
and young women 15 without number.
9 But she is unique! 16
My dove, my perfect one!
She is the special daughter 17 of her mother,
she is the favorite 18 of the one who bore her.
The maidens 19 saw her and complimented her; 20
the queens and concubines praised her:
10 “Who 21 is this who appears 22 like the dawn? 23
Beautiful as the moon, 24 bright 25 as the sun,
awe-inspiring 26 as the stars in procession?” 27
11 The Lover to His Beloved: 28
I went down to the orchard of walnut trees, 29
to look for the blossoms of the valley, 30
to see if the vines had budded
or if the pomegranates were in bloom. 12 31
I was beside myself with joy! 32
There please give me your myrrh, 33
O daughter of my princely people. 34
13 The Lover to His Beloved:
35 Turn 36 , turn, O 37 Perfect One! 38
Turn, turn, that I 39 may stare at you!
The Beloved to Her Lover:
Why 40 do you gaze upon the Perfect One
like the dance of the Mahanaim? 41