A kiss from those lips!✻ Wine cannot ravish the senses like that embrace,
nor the fragrance of rare perfumes match it for delight. Thy very name spoken soothes the heart like flow of oil; what wonder the maids should love thee?
Draw me after thee where thou wilt; see, we hasten after thee, by the very fragrance of those perfumes allured! To his own bower the king has brought me; he is our pride and boast, on his embrace, more ravishing than wine, our thoughts shall linger. They love truly that know thy love.
Dark of skin, and yet I have beauty, daughters of Jerusalem.✻ Black are the tents they have in Cedar; black are Solomon’s own curtains; then why not I?
Take no note of this Ethiop colour; it was the sun tanned me, when my own brothers, that had a grudge against me, set me a-watching in the vineyards. I have a vineyard of my own that I have watched but ill.
Tell me, my true love, where is now thy pasture-ground, where now is thy resting-place under the noon’s heat? Thou wouldst not have me wander to and fro where the flocks graze that are none of thine?
Still bewildered, fairest of womankind?✻ Nay, if thou wilt, wander abroad, and follow with the shepherds’ flocks; feed, if thou wilt, those goats of thine beside the shepherds’ encampment.
My heart’s love, prized above all my horsemen, with Pharao’s wealth of chariots behind them!
Soft as doves are thy cheeks, thy neck smooth as coral.
Chains of gold that neck must have, inlaid with silver.
Now, while the king sits at his wine, breathes out the spikenard of my thoughts!✻
Close my love is to my heart as the cluster of myrrh that lodges in my bosom all the night through.
Close he clings as a tuft of cypress in the vine-clad rocks of Engedi.
See how fair is the maid I love! Soft eyes thou hast, like a dove’s eyes.
And see how fair is the man I love, how stately! Green grows that bower, thine and mine,
with its roof of cedars, with a covert of cypress for its walls.
The Holy Bible