If you were a baby, like my little brother nursing at his mother’s breasts,
and if I found you outside,
I could kiss you,
and no one would say it was wrong.
I would lead you into my mother’s house,
to the room of she who taught me.
I would give you spiced wine
squeezed from my pomegranate.
She Speaks to the Women
His left arm is under my head,
and his right hand holds me.
Women of Jerusalem, promise me,
don’t awaken love,
don’t arouse love, until I am ready.*
The Women of Jerusalem Speak
Who is this woman
coming from the desert, leaning on her lover?
She Speaks to Him
I woke you under the apple tree,
where your mother gave birth to you,
where you were born.
Keep me near you like a seal you wear over your heart,
like a signet ring you wear on your hand.
Love is as strong as death.
Passion is as strong as the grave.
Its sparks become a flame,
and it grows to become a great fire!
A flood cannot put out love.
Rivers cannot drown love.
Would people despise a man for giving
everything he owns for love?
Her Brothers Speak
We have a little sister,
and her breasts are not yet grown.
What should we do for our sister
when a man comes asking to marry her?
If she were a wall,
we would put silver trim§ around her.
If she were a door,
we would put a cedar board around her.
She Answers Her Brothers
10 I am a wall,
and my breasts are my towers.
And he is satisfied with me!*
He Speaks
11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal Hamon.
He put men in charge of the vineyard.
Each man brought in grapes
worth 1000 shekels of silver.
12 Solomon, you can keep your 1000 shekels.
Give 200 shekels to each man for the grapes he brought.
But I will keep my own vineyard.
He Speaks to Her
13 There you are, sitting in the garden.
Friends are listening to your voice.
Let me hear it too!
She Speaks to Him
14 Hurry, my lover!
Be like a gazelle or a young deer on the mountains of spice.
* 8:4 until I am ready Literally, “until it desires.” 8:6 the grave Or “Sheol,” the place where dead people go. 8:6 great fire Or “the flame of the LORD.” § 8:9 trim Or “supports.” Often horizontal beams and towers were built into walls to strengthen and support them. But here, this seems to be a decoration. * 8:10 he is satisfied with me Literally, “in his eyes I find peace.” In Hebrew this is also like the names “Solomon” and “Shulamith.” 8:11 1000 shekels About 25 pounds (11.5 kg). Also in verse 12.