The Bride’s Admiration
1“I am the rose [of the plain] of Sharon,
The lily of the valleys [that grows in deep places].”
2“Like the lily among the thorns,
So are you, my darling, among the maidens.”
3“Like an apple tree [rare and welcome] among the trees of the forest,
So is my beloved among the young men!
In his shade I took great delight and sat down,
And his fruit was sweet and delicious to my palate.
4He has brought me to his banqueting place,
And his banner over me is love [waving overhead to protect and comfort me].
5Sustain me with raisin cakes,
Refresh me with apples,
Because I am sick with love.
6Let his left hand be under my head
And his right hand embrace me.”
7“I command that you take an oath, O daughters of Jerusalem,
By the gazelles or by the does of the field [which run free],
That you do not rouse nor awaken my love
Until she pleases.”
8“Listen! My beloved!
Behold, he comes,
Climbing on the mountains,
Leaping and running on the hills!
9My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.
Behold, he is standing behind our wall,
He is looking through the windows,
He is gazing through the lattice.
10“My beloved speaks and says to me,
‘Arise, my love, my fair one,
And come away.
11For behold, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
12The flowers appear on the earth once again;
The time for singing has come,
And the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
13The fig tree has budded and ripens her figs,
And the vines are in blossom and give forth their fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one,
And come away [to climb the rocky steps of the hillside].’ ”
14“O my dove, [here] in the clefts in the rock,
In the sheltered and secret place of the steep pathway,
Let me see your face,
Let me hear your voice;
For your voice is sweet,
And your face is lovely.”
15“Catch the foxes for us,
The little foxes that spoil and ruin the vineyards [of love],
While our vineyards are in blossom.”
16“My beloved is mine and I am his;
He pastures his flock among the lilies.
17Until the cool of the day when the shadows flee away,
Return quickly, my beloved, and be like a gazelle
Or a young stag on the mountains of Bether [which separate us].”