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The Song of Songs


Kiss me with your mouth's sweet kisses,
kiss me with your lips of honey;
kiss my soul out of my body,
kiss my mind out of my head!
The world is drowned by each of your sweet kisses,
and from their flood I never shall ascend.

Your consuming love is better
than your wine and even stronger,
your anointing oils are fragrant,
and your name is oil poured out:
therefore the maidens love you, and their bodies
must yearn for yours as mine is yearning now.

Draw me after you, and hurry!
Now the King has led me to the
secret chambers of his palace;
there we will rejoice in you.
We will extol your love with words unspoken;
the maidens love you, and the maids are right!

I am dark, but I am comely,
daughters of Jerusalem; I'm
like the lofty tents of Kedar,
like the cloaks of Solomon.
Don't gaze at me because I am so swarthy;
the sun has scorched me with his burning rays.

In their jealousy my sisters
made me keeper of their vineyards;
so I kept my sisters' vineyards,
and I couldn't keep my own!
Oh tell me, lover, where your flocks will pasture;
I shall not go with any other flock.

You don't know it, fairest woman?
Only follow in the sheep tracks,
and your kids shall gaily pasture
at the peaceful shepherds' tents;
and I will lead you to the bed of roses
and cover you with petals of their flow'rs.

You are like the mare of Pharao,
and your cheeks are ornamented
and your neck with strings of jewels,
and your hands with precious rings;
we'll make you ornaments of gold, my lover,
and stud them with the silver of my shield.

While the King was on his couch, my
nard gave forth its heavy fragrance.
My beloved, my sweet lover
is to me a bag of myrrh
that lies between my breasts; he is a cluster
of henna blossoms on the vineyards' hills.

You are beautiful, my lover,
and like doves your eyes are shining,
you are beautiful, my lover,
you are beautiful, my love.
Our couch is green, our beams are made of cedar,
the rafters of our house are made of pine.

I'm a rose, a rose of Sharon,
I'm a lily of the valleys!
As a lily twixt the brambles
is my love amongst the maids.
And as an apple tree amongst the bushes
is my beloved one amongst the men.

I was sitting in his shadow,
and his fruit was sweet and juicy;
then he brought me to the banquet,
and his banner was his love.
Sustain me with your raisins, with your apples
refresh my lips, for I am sick with love!

Let his left hand hold my head, and
let his right hand feel my heartbeat!
I adjure you, all you lovely
daughters of Jerusalem,
by all gazelles and hinds upon the mountains:
don't wake her up until my love will rise!

'tis the voice of my beloved:
lo, behold! He comes; he's leaping
like gazelles upon the mountains -
a gazelle is he, a stag!
Behold, he's standing there behind the windows,
he's looking through the lattice of his vines!

My beloved speaks and calls me,
'Rise, my love, and come away now;
winter's past, the rain is over,
and the flowers grow again.
The time has come of singing and rejoicing,
the turtledove is heard throughout the land.

'Figs are growing on the fig tree,
and the vines are now in blossom
and give forth their lovely fragrance;
rise, my love, and come away!
Let's go away to see the pinkish lotus,
the egrets and the swans upon my lake.

'On the rocks and in the covert
let me see your face and hear your
voice, because your face is comely,
and your voice is sweet to me.
Let's catch the foxes lest they spoil the vineyards,
because the vineyards blossomed on the hills!' -

Mine, all mine is my beloved,
and I'm his: I graze in lilies.
Wait until the day is breathing,
wait until the shadows flee
and turn, my love: a stag on rugged mountains,
or a gazelle that runs across the field. -

On my bed by night I sought him
whom my soul is dearly loving,
but I found him not; no answer
gave my lover when I called.
I'll rise now, and I'll go about the city
to seek him whom my soul so dearly loves.

Finally the watchmen found me
as they went about the city.
Have you seen him, have you seen him,
whom my soul so dearly loves?
And I had scarcely passed them when I found him:
I found the one my soul so dearly loves.

And I held him - I will never
let him leave my side again now!
I adjure you, all you lovely
daughters of Jerusalem,
by all gazelles and hinds upon the mountains:
don't wake her up until my love will rise!

Like a willow is your body,
your two shoulders are like bucklers,
and your back is like a lofty
sheaf upon a golden field
with apples of my orchard at its bottom,
your legs are palms the western wind has shaped.

Yet the beauty of your eyes must
match the beauty of my body.
Beauty is a thing created
by the sight and by the eyes:
without the eyes and mind to worship Beauty,
a beauty can't be seen as beautiful.

In his fields the sun was rising,
beautifying every body,
and he held me, and he dropped his
mantle in the flower bed:
his purple sank between the opened lilies,
and wet with dewdrops comes King Solomon.

What is that? What is that coming,
from the wilderness ascending
like a cloud of smoke that's perfumed
with sweet myrrh and frankincense,
with all the fragrant powders of the merchant?
It is the litter of King Solomon!

There are sixty men about it,
sixty mighty sons of Israel,
girt with swords and brave in battle
with the sword beside their thigh
against alarms by night in case a subject
might be opposed to his self-righteous reign!

See his palanquin that's made from
wood of Lebanon, its curtains,
see its posts of shiny silver
and its back of purest gold,
its purple seat Jerusalem's best daughters
have wrought within for their beloved King!

Forth, oh Zion's lovely daughters,
for the King, the King is coming!
Forth, oh Zion's lovely daughters,
and behold King Solomon!
He wears the crown with which his mother crowned him
upon the happy day that he was wed!

You are beautiful, my lover!
Like the doves your eyes are looking
through your veil, your smile is Heaven
and your hair a flock of goats
that's moving down the steepest slopes of Gilead,
your teeth are white and shiny like shorn ewes.

Like the finest threads of scarlet
are your lips, your mouth is lovely,
and your cheeks look like the halves of
pomegranates through your veil,
your neck is like the tower of King David,
and thousand bucklers hang upon its walls.

Your two breasts are like two sparrows
or gazelles between the lilies,
and until the day is breathing,
and until the shadows flee
I'll hie me to the vineyards on the mountain
of myrrh and to the hill of frankincense.

You are fair, my love; come with me
from the dreadful dens of lions,
from the mountains of the leopards,
come with me from Lebanon!
I'll love you in the shadow of my vineyards;
come with me, love, away from Lebanon!

Sister, Love, my heart is ravished
by my bride; my heart is ravished
by a jewel of your necklace,
by a glance of your bright eyes!
Your love is sweet, my sister, and much better
than wine or fragrance of a spice or oil!

And your lips distil rich nectar,
from your tongue wells milk and honey,
and the fragrance of your garments
is the scent of Lebanon;
my sister is a garden locked forever,
my bride, my lover is a fountain sealed.

Love, your shoots are like an orchard
full of pomegranates, henna,
myrrh and aloes, nard and saffron,
cinnamon and calamus:
a garden fountain and a well of water,
a flowing stream that comes from Lebanon!

Wake, awake, ye gentle north winds!
Come, oh come, ye tender south winds!
Blow upon my blooming garden,
waft its fragrances abroad!
Let my beloved come to see my garden,
and let her eat its best and choicest fruits.

Here I come to see my garden,
bride, beloved sister, and I
eat my honeycomb with honey,
and I gather myrrh with spice.
I drink my wine with milk; drink deeply, lovers,
and eat, my friends, until the sun goes down!

While I slept my heart was waking.
Hark! My love is gently knocking:
Open up, my love, my sister,
open up, my perfect one!
My head and locks are wet with nightly dewdrops,
so open up, my dove, and let me in!

I had long put off my garment -
should I put it on again now?
I had bathed my feet in perfume -
should I soil them on the floor?
My lover reached the latch, he reached the handle,
and thrilled within my body was my heart.

So I rose, I rose to open
to my lover, and my fingers
dripped with myrrh upon the handles,
dripped with myrrh upon the bolt.
I opened, but I found that my beloved
had turned and gone and left me on my own.

As I spoke, my soul was failing,
as I sought, I couldn't find him,
as I called, he gave no answer,
but the watchmen found me soon:
they beat and wounded me outside the temple
and took my veil, those watchmen on the walls.

Let me see your face, beloved!
Let me hear your voice, my lover!
I adjure you, all you lovely
daughters of Jerusalem,
if you should find my fairest, my beloved,
to tell my lover I am sick with love!

What has he that other lovers
haven't got, you fairest woman?
What has he that other lovers
haven't got, you lovely maid?
What is your lover more than other lovers
that you adjure us at this time of night?

He is radiant and ruddy
and distinguished amongst thousands.
Wavy are his locks, as ravens
black, his eyes are like the doves
beside the springs of everflowing waters;
they're bright and bathed in milk and fitly set.

His two cheeks are beds of spices
which give forth their yielding fragrance,
and his lips are blooming lilies
which distil the liquid myrrh,
his arms are rounded gold and set with jewels,
his body is a precious iv'ry work.

Columns made of alabaster
are his legs, and his appearance
is like Lebanon's high cedars,
sweet as honey is his speech,
his body wakes desire: this is my lover,
my friend, oh daughters of Jerusalem!

Whither has he gone, oh noblest,
oh you fairest of all woman?
Whither has your sweet beloved
turned, princess of all the maids?
We will spread out and seek your lost beloved,
we will spread out and seek the man of men.

He went down to see his garden
and to see the beds of spices
and to gather blooming lilies
and to graze his merry flock.
I'm my beloved's, mine is my beloved;
his flock shall graze in lilies every day!

You're as beautiful as Tirzah,
oh my love, and you're as comely
as Jerusalem and dreadful
as an army of the foe!
But turn your eyes away from me, beloved,
for they disturb me, they confuse my mind.

You are beautiful, my lover!
Like the doves your eyes are looking
through your veil, your smile is heaven
and your hair a flock of goats
that's moving down the steepest slopes of Gilead,
your teeth are white and shiny like shorn ewes.

Like the finest threads of scarlet
are your lips, your mouth is lovely,
and your cheeks look like the halves of
pomegranates through your veil.
Your neck is like the tower of King David,
and thousand bucklers hang upon its walls.

Sixty queens I have and eighty
concubines and lovely maidens
without number, but the perfect
one, my dove, is only one:
the maidens saw her, and they called her happy,
the queens and concubines are praising her.

Who is that? Who is that looking
forth like dawn on summer mornings,
from the distant hills ascending
like an island from the sea,
fair as the moon and bright as beaming sunlight
and dreadful as the banner of a host?

Through the orchard of my nuts I
went to see the valley's blossoms,
whether my sweet vines had budded,
saw the pomegranates' bloom;
my fancy's chariot took me to Egypt,
to my beloved prince before his time.

Come and join me, come and join me,
come and join me, Queen of Darkness,
Come and join me, come and join me,
come and join me, Shulamite!
My house is busy, yet my bed is empty,
so come and join me with your tender love!

If I join you, if I join you,
if I join you, King of Pleasures,
if I join you, if I join you,
if I join you, Solomon:
if I should join you in your blooming gardens,
my King, what do you want your Queen to do?

If you join me, if you join me,
if you join me, Queen of Darkness,
if you join me, if you join me,
if you join me, Shulamite,
if you should join me in my house, I want you
to dance the Seven Veils before my slaves! -

Graceful are your feet in sandals,
queenly maiden, when you're walking,
and your rounded thighs are jewels,
cut by some great master's hand;
your lap is like a bowl that's never lacking
sweet wine, your thighs are smooth and dark as palms.

Like a heap of wheat, encircled
with white lilies is your belly,
your two breasts like fawns are playing,
like the twins of young gazelles;
your slender neck is like an iv'ry tower,
and like the pools of Heshbon are your eyes.

And your nose is like the lofty
tow'r of Lebanon that proudly
crowns and overlooks Damascus,
like Mount Carmel is your head,
your flowing locks are like the royal purple:
held captive in their tresses is a king!

Fair and pleasant is your body:
you're as stately as a palm tree,
and your breasts are like its clusters,
like its leaves your slender arms,
and I shall climb the palm tree in the morning
and there take hold of every single branch.

May your breasts be like the clusters
of the vines that I am growing,
may the scent of spicy apples
be the sister of your breath,
and may like golden wine your gentle kisses
go down the palate, pleasing lips and teeth.

I'm the love of my beloved,
I'm his longing and desire;
let us go and see the village
and the flower-covered fields,
the sunrise on your dew-enveloped meadows,
and in your golden vineyards let us see

Whether your sweet vines have budded,
whether your grape blossoms opened
and your pomegranates burgeon:
there I'll give my love to you.
The mandrakes spread their fragrance, and all over
our doors I hung the choicest fruits for you. -

Lover, if you were my brother,
we'd have shared the breasts and kisses;
if I'd meet you, I would kiss you,
and I would not be despised!
I'd give you wine to drink and fragrant spices,
I'd give my sweetest pomegranates' juice.

Let his left hand hold my head, and
let his right hand feel my heartbeat!
I adjure you, all you lovely
daughters of Jerusalem,
by all gazelles and hinds upon the mountains:
don t wake her up until my love will rise!

Who is that? Who is that coming
from the wilderness, who's leaning
there upon her own beloved?
By the apple tree you woke;
oh, set me as a seal upon your heart now,
and set me as a seal upon your arm!

Love is strong as death, but lasting,
jealousy as cruel as barrows,
like a fiery flame its flashes,
like a dried-up well its trace.
A man who wins the world with all its pleasures
gains nothing, nothing if he has no love!

Love and death can't be resisted:
they might come on time and softly
touch you like a falling feather -
very often, they do not!
No floods can ever drown the love, no waters
can ever quench the love a lover has.

Brothers, look: our little sister
is a willow at the river
and a lily in the blooming
garden, and she has no breasts.
What shall we do for our beloved sister
upon the day that she'll be spoken for?

If she is a wall, we'll crown her
with a battlement of silver,
if she is a door, with cedar
we'll enclose her shiny wood.
I am a wall, my breasts are like its towers,
and so I please my gentle lover's eyes.

Solomon once had a vineyard,
and he let it to his keepers:
for its fruit a thousand silver
pieces each one had to bring -
but from my own, my King may have the thousand,
two hundred each the keepers of its fruits.

You who dwells in fruitful gardens,
my companions are around me,
and they listen for your tender
voice; oh let me hear it now!
Make haste, beloved, on the mount of spices,
and run like a gazelle, a fleeing stag!


6238 RT (1997 CE) by Frank L. Ludwig