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Song of Songs 1-8

The Hebrew Bible
1The Song of Songs, by Solomon.

2Oh, give me of the kisses of your mouth,

For your love is more delightful than wine.

3Your ointments yield a sweet fragrance,

Your name is like finest oil—

Therefore do maidens love you.

4Draw me after you, let us run!

The king has brought me to his chambers.

Let us delight and rejoice in your love,

Savoring it more than wine—

Like new wine they love you!

5I am dark, but comely,

O daughters of Jerusalem—

Like the tents of Kedar,

Like the pavilions of Solomon.

6Don’t stare at me because I am swarthy,

Because the sun has gazed upon me.

My mother’s sons quarreled with me,

They made me guard the vineyards;

My own vineyard I did not guard.

7Tell me, you whom I love so well;

Where do you pasture your sheep?

Where do you rest them at noon?

Let me not be as one who strays

Beside the flocks of your fellows.

8If you do not know, O fairest of women,

Go follow the tracks of the sheep,

And graze your kids

By the tents of the shepherds.

9I have likened you, my darling,

To a mare in Pharaoh’s chariots-

10Your cheeks are comely with plaited wreaths,

Your neck with strings of jewels.

11We will add wreaths of gold

To your spangles of silver.

12While the king was on his couch,

My nard gave forth its fragrance.

13My beloved to me is a bag of myrrh

Lodged between my breasts.

14My beloved to me is a spray of henna blooms

From the vineyards of En-gedi.

15Ah, you are fair, my darling,

Ah, you are fair,

With your dove-like eyes!

16And you, my beloved, are handsome,

Beautiful indeed!

Our couch is in a bower;

17Cedars are the beams of our house,

Cypresses the rafters.

2 I am a rose of Sharon,

A lily of the valleys.

 

2Like a lily among thorns,

So is my darling among the maidens.

3Like an apple tree among trees of the forest,

So is my beloved among the youths.

I delight to sit in his shade,

And his fruit is sweet to my mouth.

4He brought me to the banquet room

And his banner of love was over me.

5“Sustain me with raisin cakes,

Refresh me with apples,

For I am faint with love.”

6His left hand was under my head,

His right arm embraced me.

7I adjure you, O maidens of Jerusalem,

By gazelles or by hinds of the field-

Do not wake or rouse

Love until it please!

8Hark! My beloved!

There he comes,

Leaping over mountains,

Bounding over hills.

9My beloved is like a gazelle

Or like a young stag.

There he stands behind our wall,

Gazing through the window,

Peering through the lattice.

10My beloved spoke thus to me,

“Arise, my darling;

My fair one, come away!

11For now the winter is past,

The rains are over and gone.

12The blossoms have appeared in the land,

The time of pruning has come;

The song of the turtledove

Is heard in our land.

13The green figs form on the fig tree,

The vines in blossom give off fragrance.

Arise, my darling;

My fair one, come away!

14“O my dove, in the cranny of the rocks,

Hidden by the cliff,

Let me see your face,

Let me hear your voice;

For your voice is sweet

And your face is comely.”

15Catch us the foxes,

The little foxes

That ruin the vineyards—

For our vineyard is in blossom.

16My beloved is mine

And I am his

Who browses among the lilies.

17When the day blows gently

And the shadows flee,

Set out, my beloved,

Swift as a gazelle

Or a young stag,

For the hills of spices!

3 Upon my couch at night

I sought the one I love—

I sought, but found him not.

2“I must rise and roam the town,

Through the streets and through the squares;

I must seek the one I love.”

I sought but found him not.

3I met the watchmen

Who patrol the town.

“Have you seen the one I love?”

4Scarcely had I passed them

When I found the one I love.

I held him fast, I would not let him go

Till I brought him to my mother’s house,

To the chamber of her who conceived me

5I adjure you, O maidens of Jerusalem,

By gazelles or by hinds of the field-

Do not wake or rouse

Love until it please!

6Who is she that comes up from the desert

Like columns of smoke,

In clouds of myrrh and frankincense,

Of all the powders of the merchant?

7There is Solomon’s couch,

Encircled by sixty warriors

Of the warriors of Israel,

8All of them trained in warfare,

Skilled in battle,

Each with sword on thigh

Because of terror by night.

9King Solomon made him a palanquin

Of wood from Lebanon.

10He made its posts of silver,

Its back of gold,

Its seat of purple wool.

Within, it was decked with love

By the maidens of Jerusalem.

11O maidens of Zion, go forth

And gaze upon King Solomon

Wearing the crown that his mother

Gave him on his wedding day,

On his day of bliss.

4 Ah, you are fair, my darling,

Ah, you are fair.

Your eyes are like doves

Behind your veil.

Your hair is like a flock of goats

Streaming down Mount Gilead.

2Your teeth are like a flock of ewes

Climbing up from the washing pool;

All of them bear twins,

And not one loses her young.

3Your lips are like a crimson thread,

Your mouth is lovely.

Your brow behind your veil

[Gleams] like a pomegranate split open.

4Your neck is like the Tower of David,

Built to hold weapons,

Hung with a thousand shields—

All the quivers of warriors.

5Your breasts are like two fawns,

Twins of a gazelle,

Browsing among the lilies.

6When the day blows gently

And the shadows flee,

I will betake me to the mount of myrrh,

To the hill of frankincense.

7Every part of you is fair, my darling,

There is no blemish in you

8From Lebanon come with me;

From Lebanon, my bride, with me!

Trip down from Amana’s peak,

From the peak of Senir and Hermon,

From the dens of lions,

From the hills of leopards.

9You have captured my heart,

My own, my bride,

You have captured my heart

With one [glance] of your eyes,

With one coil of your necklace.

10How sweet is your love,

My own, my bride!

How much more delightful your love than wine,

Your ointments more fragrant

Than any spice!

11Sweetness drops

From your lips, O bride;

Honey and milk

Are under your tongue;

And the scent of your robes

Is like the scent of Lebanon.

12A garden locked

Is my own, my bride,

A fountain locked,

A sealed-up spring.

13Your limbs are an orchard of pomegranates

And of all luscious fruits,

Of henna and of nard—

14Nard and saffron,

Fragrant reed and cinnamon,

With all aromatic woods,

Myrrh and aloes—

All the choice perfumes.

15[You are] a garden spring,

A well of fresh water,

A rill of Lebanon.

16Awake, O north wind,

Come, O south wind!

Blow upon my garden,

That its perfume may spread.

Let my beloved come to his garden

And enjoy its luscious fruits!

5 I have come to my garden,

My own, my bride;

I have plucked my myrrh and spice,

Eaten my honey and honeycomb,

Drunk my wine and my milk.

Eat, lovers, and drink-

Drink deep of love!

2I was asleep,

But my heart was wakeful.

Hark, my beloved knocks!

“Let me in, my own,

My darling, my faultless dove!

For my head is drenched with dew,

My locks with the damp of night.”

3I had taken off my robe—

Was I to don it again?

I had bathed my feet—

Was I to soil them again?

4My beloved took his hand off the latch,

And my heart was stirred for him.

5I rose to let in my beloved;

My hands dripped myrrh—

My fingers, flowing myrrh—

Upon the handles of the bolt.

6I opened the door for my beloved,

But my beloved had turned and gone.

I was faint because of what he said.

I sought, but found him not;

I called, but he did not answer.

7I met the watchmen

Who patrol the town;

They struck me, they bruised me.

The guards of the walls

Stripped me of my mantle.

8I adjure you, O maidens of Jerusalem!

If you meet my beloved, tell him this-

That I am faint with love.

9How is your beloved better than another,

O fairest of women?

How is your beloved better than another

That you adjure us so?

10My beloved is clear-skinned and ruddy,

Preeminent among ten thousand.

11His head is finest gold,

His locks are curled

And black as a raven.

12His eyes are like doves

By watercourses,

Bathed in milk,

Set by a brimming pool.

13His cheeks are like beds of spices,

Banks of perfume

His lips are like lilies;

They drip flowing myrrh.

14His hands are rods of gold,

Studded with beryl;

His belly a tablet of ivory,

Adorned with sapphires.

15His legs are like marble pillars

Set in sockets of fine gold.

He is majestic as Lebanon,

Stately as the cedars.

16His mouth is delicious

And all of him is delightful.

Such is my beloved,

Such is my darling,

O maidens of Jerusalem!

6 “Whither has your beloved gone,

O fairest of women?

Whither has your beloved turned?

Let us seek him with you.”

2My beloved has gone down to his garden,

To the beds of spices,

To browse in the gardens

And to pick lilies.

3I am my beloved’s

And my beloved is mine;

He browses among the lilies.

4You are beautiful, my darling, as Tirzah,

Comely as Jerusalem,

Awesome as bannered hosts.

5Turn your eyes away from me,

For they overwhelm me!

Your hair is like a flock of goats

Streaming down from Gilead.

6Your teeth are like a flock of ewes

Climbing up from the washing pool;

All of them bear twins,

And not one loses her young.

7Your brow behind your veil

[Gleams] like a pomegranate split open.

8There are sixty queens,

And eighty concubines,

And damsels without number.

9Only one is my dove,

My perfect one,

The only one of her mother,

The delight of her who bore her.

Maidens see and acclaim her;

Queens and concubines, and praise her.

10Who is she that shines through like the dawn,

Beautiful as the moon,

Radiant as the sun

Awesome as bannered hosts?

11I went down to the nut grove

To see the budding of the vale;

To see if the vines had blossomed,

If the pomegranates were in bloom.

12Before I knew it,

My desire set me

Mid the chariots of Ammi-nadib.

7 Turn back, turn back,

O maid of Shulem!

Turn back, turn back,

That we may gaze upon you.

“Why will you gaze at the Shulammite

In the Mahanaim dance?”

2How lovely are your feet in sandals,

O daughter of nobles!

Your rounded thighs are like jewels,

The work of a master’s hand.

3Your navel is like a round goblet—

Let mixed wine not be lacking!—

Your belly like a heap of wheat

Hedged about with lilies.

4Your breasts are like two fawns,

Twins of a gazelle.

5Your neck is like a tower of ivory,

Your eyes like pools in Heshbon

By the gate of Bath-rabbim,

Your nose like the Lebanon tower

That faces toward Damascus.

6The head upon you is like crimson wool,

The locks of your head are like purple—

A king is held captive in the tresses.

7How fair you are, how beautiful!

O Love, with all its rapture!

8Your stately form is like the palm,

Your breasts are like clusters.

9I say- Let me climb the palm,

Let me take hold of its branches;

Let your breasts be like clusters of grapes,

Your breath like the fragrance of apples,

10And your mouth like choicest wine.

“Let it flow to my beloved as new wine

Gliding over the lips of sleepers.”

11I am my beloved’s,

And his desire is for me.

12Come, my beloved,

Let us go into the open;

Let us lodge among the henna shrubs.

13Let us go early to the vineyards;

Let us see if the vine has flowered,

If its blossoms have opened,

If the pomegranates are in bloom.

There I will give my love to you.

14The mandrakes yield their fragrance,

At our doors are all choice fruits;

Both freshly picked and long-stored

Have I kept, my beloved, for you.

8 If only it could be as with a brother,

As if you had nursed at my mother’s breast-

Then I could kiss you

When I met you in the street,

And no one would despise me.

2I would lead you, I would bring you

To the house of my mother,

Of her who taught me—

I would let you drink of the spiced wine,

Of my pomegranate juice.

3His left hand was under my head,

His right hand caressed me.

4I adjure you, O maidens of Jerusalem-

Do not wake or rouse

Love until it please!

5Who is she that comes up from the desert,

Leaning upon her beloved?

 

Under the apple tree I roused you;

It was there your mother conceived you,

There she who bore you conceived you.

6Let me be a seal upon your heart,

Like the seal upon your hand.

For love is fierce as death,

Passion is mighty as Sheol;

Its darts are darts of fire,

A blazing flame.

7Vast floods cannot quench love,

Nor rivers drown it.

If a man offered all his wealth for love,

He would be laughed to scorn.

8“We have a little sister,

Whose breasts are not yet formed.

What shall we do for our sister

When she is spoken for?

9If she be a wall,

We will build upon it a silver battlement;

If she be a door,

We will panel it in cedar.”

10I am a wall,

My breasts are like towers.

So I became in his eyes

As one who finds favor.

11Solomon had a vineyard

In Baal-hamon.

He had to post guards in the vineyard-

A man would give for its fruit

A thousand pieces of silver.

12I have my very own vineyard-

You may have the thousand, O Solomon,

And the guards of the fruit two hundred!

13O you who linger in the garden,

A lover is listening;

Let me hear your voice.

14“Hurry, my beloved,

Swift as a gazelle or a young stag,

To the hills of spices!”

Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures, (Philadelphia, Jerusalem- Jewish Publication Society) 1985.

Posted in: Biblical Poetry

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