Solomon’s Praise of His Dancing Maiden
1How beautiful are your feet in sandals,
O royal princess!#Or “O daughter of leader”
The curves of your thighs#Literally “thigh” are like jewels,#Literally “ornaments”
the work of the hands of a craftsman.
2Your navel is a round wine-mixing bowl#Literally “a bowl of the roundness”
that does not lack mixed#Or “blended” wine!
Your belly is a heap of wheat
encircled with lilies.
3Your two breasts are like two fawns,
twins of a gazelle.
4Your neck is like a tower of ivory;
your eyes are pools in Heshbon at the gate of Beth Rabbim.
Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon
looking out over Damascus.#Literally “looking out over the face of Damascus”
5Your head crowns you like Carmel;#Literally “Your head is on you like the Carmel”#Because of its height and fertility, Mount Carmel is often associated with royalty
the flowing locks of your head are like purple tapestry;#Literally “the purple”
a king is held captive in the tresses!
6How beautiful you are and how pleasant,
O loved one in the delights!
7Your stature#Literally “this your height” is like the palm tree,
and your breasts are like clusters.
8I say, “I will climb up the palm tree;
I will lay hold of its fruit clusters.”
Let your breasts be pleasing like clusters of the vine
and the scent of your breath like the apples.
9Your palate is like the best wine that goes down for my beloved,
smoothly gliding over my lips and teeth.#Or “over lips of sleepers.” One Hebrew textual tradition preserves the reading “lips of those who sleep” (MT). Another Hebrew tradition reads “my lips and my teeth,” as reflected by the ancient versions (LXX, Latin Vulgate, Aramaic Targum, Syriac Peshitta). The latter is adopted here since it makes the most sense poetically
Mutual Possession Refrain
10I belong to my beloved,#Literally “I am for my beloved”
and he desires me!#Literally “and his desire is for me.” Or “and his desire belongs to me”
Rendezvous in the Countryside
11Come, my beloved, let us go out to the countryside;#Literally “go forth into the field”
let us spend the night#Or “lodge” in the villages.
12Let us rise early to go#Or “let us go” to the vineyards;
let us see whether the vine has budded,#Or “sprouted”
whether the grape blossom has opened,
and whether the pomegranates are in bloom;#Literally “have bloomed”
there I will give my love to you.
13The mandrakes give off their fragrance,
and over our doorway is every kind of delicious fruit;#Or “over our doorways all choice things”
both fresh and dried fruit I have stored up#Literally “new also old I have laid up” for you, O my beloved.
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