The Torment of Separation
1“I have come into my garden, my sister, my [promised] bride;
I have gathered my myrrh along with my balsam and spice [from your sweet words].
I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey;
I have drunk my wine with my milk.
Drink and drink deeply, O lovers.”
(The Shulammite Bride)
“I was asleep, but my heart was awake.
A voice [in my dream]! My beloved was knocking:
‘Open to me, my sister, my darling,
My dove, my perfect one!
For my head is drenched with the [heavy night] dew;
My hair [is covered] with the dampness of the night.’
“I had taken off my dress,
How can I put it on again?
I had washed my feet,
How could I get them dirty again?
“My beloved extended his hand through the opening [of the door],
And my feelings were aroused for him.
“I arose to open for my beloved;
And my hands dripped with myrrh,
And my fingers with liquid [sweet-scented] myrrh,
On the handles of the bolt.
“I opened for my beloved,
But my beloved had turned away and was gone.
My heart went out to him when he spoke.
I searched for him, but I could not find him;
I called him, but he did not answer me.
“The watchmen who make the rounds in the city found me.
They struck me, they wounded me;
The guardsmen of the walls took my shawl from me.
“I command that you take an oath, O daughters of Jerusalem,
If you find my beloved,
As to what you tell him—
[Say that] I am sick from love [sick from being without him].”
“What is your beloved more than another beloved,
O most beautiful among women?
What is your beloved more than another beloved,
That you should so command us to take an oath?”
Admiration by the Bride
(The Shulammite Bride)
“My beloved is exquisitely handsome and ruddy,
Outstanding among ten thousand.
“His head is like [precious] gold, pure gold;
His hair is [curly] like clusters of dates
And black as a raven.
“His eyes are like doves
Beside streams of water,
Bathed in milk
And reposed in their setting.
“His cheeks are like a bed of balsam,
Banks of sweet, fragrant herbs.
His lips are lilies
Dripping sweet-scented myrrh.
“His hands are rods of gold
Set with beryl;
His abdomen is a figure of carved ivory
Inlaid with sapphires.
“His legs are [strong and steady] pillars of alabaster
Set upon pedestals of fine gold.
His appearance is like Lebanon,
Stately and choice as the cedars.
“His mouth is full of sweetness;
Yes, he is altogether lovely and desirable.
This is my beloved and this is my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem.”