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
7 The Lover to His Beloved:
How beautiful are your sandaled 1 feet,
O nobleman’s daughter! 2
The curves 3 of your thighs 4 are like jewels,
the work of the hands of a master craftsman.
2 Your navel 5 is a round mixing bowl 6 –
may it never lack 7 mixed wine! 8
Your belly 9 is a mound of wheat,
encircled 10 by lilies.
3 Your two breasts are like two fawns,
twins of a gazelle.
4 Your neck is like a tower made of ivory. 11
Your eyes are the pools in Heshbon
by the gate of Bath-Rabbim. 12
Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon
5 Your head crowns 13 you like Mount Carmel. 14
The locks of your hair 15 are like royal tapestries 16 –
the king is held captive 17 in its tresses!
6 How beautiful you are! How lovely,
O love, 18 with your delights! 19
7 The Lover to His Beloved:
Your stature 20 is like a palm tree, 21
and your breasts are like clusters of grapes. 22
8 I want 23 to climb the palm tree, 24
and take hold of its fruit stalks.
May your breasts be like the clusters of grapes, 25
and may the fragrance of your breath be like apricots! 26
9 May your mouth 27 be like the best wine,
flowing smoothly for my beloved,
gliding gently over our lips as we sleep together. 28
10 The Beloved about Her Lover:
I am my beloved’s,
and he desires me! 29
11 The Beloved to Her Lover:
Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside;
let us spend the night in the villages.
12 Let us rise early to go to the vineyards,
to see if the vines have budded,
to see if their blossoms have opened,
if the pomegranates are in bloom –
there I will give you my love.
13 The mandrakes 30 send out their fragrance;
over our door is every delicacy, 31
both new and old, which I have stored up for you, my lover.