1 THE SONG of songs [the most excellent of them all] which is Solomon's. [I Kings 4:32.]
2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! [she cries. Then, realizing that Solomon has arrived and has heard her speech, she turns to him and adds] For your love is better than wine!
3 [And she continues] The odor of your ointments is fragrant; your name is like perfume poured out. Therefore do the maidens love you.
4 Draw me! We will run after you! The king brings me into his apartments! We will be glad and rejoice in you! We will recall [when we were favored with] your love, more fragrant than wine. The upright [are not offended at your choice, but sincerely] love you.
5 I am so black; but [you are] lovely and pleasant [the ladies assured her]. O you daughters of Jerusalem, [I am as dark] as the tents of [the Bedouin tribe] Kedar, like the [beautiful] curtains of Solomon!
6 [Please] do not look at me, [she said, for] I am swarthy. [I have worked out] in the sun and it has left its mark upon me. My stepbrothers were angry with me, and they made me keeper of the vineyards; but my own vineyard [my complexion] I have not kept.
7 [Addressing her shepherd, she said] Tell me, O you whom my soul loves, where you pasture your flock, where you make it lie down at noon. For why should I [as I think of you] be as a veiled one straying beside the flocks of your companions? [Ps. 23:1, 2.]
8 If you do not know [where your lover is], O you fairest among women, run along, follow the tracks of the flock, and [amuse yourself by] pasturing your kids beside the shepherds' tents.
9 O my love [he said as he saw her], you remind me of my [favorite] mare in the chariot spans of Pharaoh.
10 Your cheeks are comely with ornaments, your neck with strings of jewels.
11 We will make for you chains and ornaments of gold, studded with silver.
12 While the king sits at his table [she said], my spikenard [my absent lover] sends forth [his] fragrance [over me].
13 My beloved [shepherd] is to me like a [scent] bag of myrrh that lies in my bosom.
14 My beloved [shepherd] is to me a cluster of henna flowers in the vineyards of En-gedi [famed for its fragrant shrubs].
15 Behold, you are beautiful, my love! Behold, you are beautiful! You have doves' eyes.
16 [She cried] Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved [shepherd], yes, delightful! Our arbor and couch are green and leafy.
17 The beams of our house are cedars, and our rafters and panels are cypresses or pines.