The Lovers Speak
1“Oh that you were like a brother to me
Who nursed at my mother’s breasts.
If I found you outdoors, I would kiss you;
No one would despise me, either.
2 “I would lead you and bring you
Into the house of my mother, who used to instruct me;
I would give you spiced wine to drink from the juice of my pomegranates.
3 “Let his left hand be under my head
And his right hand embrace me.”
5 “[d]Who is this coming up from the wilderness
Leaning on her beloved?”
“[e]Beneath the [f]apple tree I awakened you;
There your mother was in labor with you,
There she was in labor and gave you birth.
6 “Put me like a [g]seal over your heart,
Like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
[h]Jealousy is as severe as Sheol;
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
[i]The very flame of the Lord.
7 “Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor will rivers overflow it;
If a man were to give all the riches of his house for love,
It would be utterly despised.”
8 “[j]We have a little sister,
And she has no breasts;
What shall we do for our sister
On the day when she is spoken for?
9 “If she is a wall,
We will build on her a battlement of silver;
But if she is a door,
We will barricade her with planks of cedar.”
10 “[k]I was a wall, and my breasts were like towers;
Then I became in his eyes as one who finds peace.
11 “Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon;
He entrusted the vineyard to caretakers.
Each one was to bring a thousand shekels of silver for its fruit.
12 “My very own vineyard is [l]at my disposal;
The thousand shekels are for you, Solomon,
And two hundred are for those who take care of its fruit.”
13 “[m]O you who sit in the gardens,
My companions are listening for your voice—
Let me hear it!”