Into his garden, then, let my true love come, and taste his fruit.✻ The garden gained, my bride, my heart’s love; myrrh and spices of mine all reaped; the honey eaten in its comb, the wine drunk and the milk, that were kept for me! Eat your fill, lovers; drink, sweethearts, and drink deep!
I lie asleep; but oh, my heart is wakeful! A knock on the door, and then my true love’s voice: Let me in, my true love, so gentle, my bride, so pure! See, how bedewed is this head of mine, how the night rains have drenched my hair!
Ah, but my shift, I have laid it by: how can I put it on again? My feet I washed but now; shall I soil them with the dust?
Then my true love thrust his hand through the lattice, and I trembled inwardly at his touch.
I rose up to let him in; but my hands dripped ever with myrrh; still with the choicest myrrh my fingers were slippery,
as I caught the latch. When I opened, my true love was gone; he had passed me by. How my heart had melted at the sound of his voice! And now I searched for him in vain; there was no answer when I called out to him.
As they went the city rounds, the watchmen fell in with me, that guard the walls; beat me, and left me wounded, and took away my cloak.
I charge you, maidens of Jerusalem, fall you in with the man I long for, give him this news of me, that I pine away with love.✻
Nay, but tell us, fairest of women, how shall we know this sweetheart of thine from another’s? Why is he loved beyond all else, that thou art so urgent with us?
My sweetheart? Among ten thousand you shall know him; so white is the colour of his fashioning, and so red.
His head dazzles like the purest gold; the hair on it lies close as the high palm-branches, raven hair.
His eyes are gentle as doves by the brook-side, only these are bathed in milk, eyes full of repose.✻
Cheeks trim as a spice-bed of the perfumer’s own tending; drench lilies in the finest myrrh, and you shall know the fragrance of his lips.
Hands well rounded; gold set with jacynth is not workmanship so delicate; body of ivory, and veins of sapphire blue;
legs straight as marble columns, that stand in sockets of gold. Erect his stature as Lebanon itself, noble as Lebanon cedar.
Oh, that sweet utterance! Nothing of him but awakes desire. Such is my true love, maidens of Jerusalem; such is the companion I have lost.
But where went he, fairest of women, this true love of thine? Tell us what haunts he loves, and we will come with thee to search for him.
The Holy Bible