He Speaks
My darling my bride, I have entered my garden.
I have gathered my myrrh and spice.
I have eaten my honey and honeycomb.
I have drunk my wine and milk.
The Women Speak to the Lovers
Dearest friends, eat, drink!
Be drunk with love!
She Speaks
I am asleep,
but my heart is awake.
I hear my lover knocking, saying,
Open to me, my darling, my love,
my dove, my perfect one!
My head is soaked with dew.
My hair is wet with the mist of the night.”
“I have taken off my robe.*
I don’t want to put it on again.
I have washed my feet.
I don’t want to get them dirty again.”
But my lover put his hand through the opening,
and I felt sorry for him.
I got up to open for my lover,
myrrh dripping from my hands,
myrrh scented lotion dripped from my fingers
onto the handles of the lock.
I opened for my lover,
but my lover had turned away and was gone!
I nearly died
when he came and went.§
I looked for him,
but I couldn’t find him.
I called for him,
but he didn’t answer me.
The guards patrolling the city found me.
They hit me.
They hurt me.
The guards on the wall
took my robe from me.
I tell you, women of Jerusalem,
if you find my lover, tell him I am weak with love.*
The Women of Jerusalem Answer Her
Beautiful woman,
how is your lover different from other lovers?
Is your lover better than other lovers?
Is that why you ask us to make this promise?
She Answers the Women of Jerusalem
10 My lover is tanned and radiant.
He would stand out among 10,000 men.
11 His head is like the purest gold.
His hair is curly and as black as a raven.
12 His eyes are like doves by a stream,
like doves in a pool of milk,
like a jewel in its setting.
13 His cheeks are like a garden of spices,
like flowers used for perfume.
His lips are like lilies,
dripping with liquid myrrh.
14 His arms are like gold rods,
filled with jewels.
His body is like smooth ivory
with sapphires set in it.
15 His legs are like marble pillars
on bases of fine gold.
He stands tall
like the finest cedar tree in Lebanon!
16 Yes, women of Jerusalem, my lover is everything I desire.
His mouth is the sweetest of all.
This is my lover;
this is my darling.
* 5:3 robe Or “veil,” a piece of cloth used to cover a person’s face. Also in verse 7. 5:4 put … opening Or “pulled his hand from the opening.” In one sense, this might refer to a lock and key. Some ancient keys were shaped like a hand. The key was inserted through a hole in the door, and the “fingers” fit into special holes that allowed the bolt to slide, locking and unlocking the door. 5:4 I felt sorry for him Literally, “My insides stirred for him.” § 5:6 I nearly died … went Or “My soul left when he spoke.” * 5:8 I am weak with love Or “I am lovesick.” 5:13 lily A kind of flower. Here, it is probably a red flower.