The Lovers Speak
1 “Oh that you were like a brother to me
Who nursed at my mother’s breasts.
If I found you outdoors, I would kiss you;
No one would despise me, either.
2 “I would lead you and bring you
Into the house of my mother, who used to instruct me;
I would give you spiced wine to drink from the juice of my pomegranates.
3 “Let his left hand be under my head
And his right hand embrace me.”
4 “I want you to swear, O daughters of Jerusalem,
Do not arouse or awaken my love
Until she pleases.”
5 “Who is this coming up from the wilderness
Leaning on her beloved?”
“Beneath the apple tree I awakened you;
There your mother was in labor with you,
There she was in labor and gave you birth.
6 “Put me like a seal over your heart,
Like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy is as severe as Sheol;
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
The very flame of the Lord.
7 “Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor will rivers overflow it;
If a man were to give all the riches of his house for love,
It would be utterly despised.”
8 “We have a little sister,
And she has no breasts;
What shall we do for our sister
On the day when she is spoken for?
9 “If she is a wall,
We will build on her a battlement of silver;
But if she is a door,
We will barricade her with planks of cedar.”
10 “I was a wall, and my breasts were like towers;
Then I became in his eyes as one who finds peace.
11 “Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon;
He entrusted the vineyard to caretakers.
Each one was to bring a thousand shekels of silver for its fruit.
12 “My very own vineyard is at my disposal;
The thousand shekels are for you, Solomon,
And two hundred are for those who take care of its fruit.”
13 “O you who sit in the gardens,
My companions are listening for your voice—
Let me hear it!”
14 “Hurry, my beloved,
And be like a gazelle or a young stag
On the mountains of spices.”