History of Literature









King Solomon




Piero della Francesca
The Queen of Sheba Meeting with Solomon
(detail)

 



King Solomon




 


Solomon

By Shira Schoenberg

 

The biblical King Solomon was known for his wisdom, his wealth and his writings. He became ruler in approximately 967 B.C.E. and his kingdom extended from the Euphrates River in the north to Egypt in the south. His crowning achievement was the building of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Almost all knowledge of him is derived from the biblical books of Kings I and Chronicles II.

Solomon was the son of King David and Bathsheba. Solomon was not the oldest son of David, but David promised Bathsheba that Solomon would be the next king. When David’s elder son Adonijah declared himself king, David ordered his servants to bring Solomon to the Gihon spring where the priest anointed him while David was still alive. Solomon inherited a considerable empire from his father.

At first Solomon was faced with opposition. Two of David’s closest advisors, Joab son of Zeruiah and the priest Abiathar, sided with Adonijah. When Adonijah came to Solomon and requested the king’s servant as a wife, Solomon saw that this was a veiled threat to take over his kingdom and sent a messenger to kill Adonijah. He banished Abiathar to the city of Anathoth. Solomon then followed his father’s last instructions in which David had ordered him to kill both Joab and one of his father’s enemies, Shimei son of Gera. Solomon thus overcame the last potential threats to his kingdom. He then appointed his friends to key military, governmental and religious posts.

Solomon accumulated enormous wealth. He controlled the entire region west of the Euphrates and had peace on his borders. Kings I states that he owned 12,000 horses with horsemen and 1,400 chariots. Remains of stalls for 450 horses have in fact been found in Megiddo. Solomon strengthened his kingdom through marital alliances. Kings I records that he had 700 wives and 300 concubines, although some regard this number as an exaggeration.2 He had a large share in the trade between northern and southern countries. He established Israelite colonies around his province to look after military, administrative and commercial matters. The empire was divided into twelve districts, with Judah constituting its own political unit and enjoying certain privileges.

Although Solomon was young, he soon became known for his wisdom. The first and most famous incident of his cleverness as a judge was when two women came to his court with a baby whom both women claimed as their own. Solomon threatened to split the baby in half. One woman was prepared to accept the decision, but the other begged the King to give the live baby to the other woman. Solomen then knew the second woman was the mother.

People from surrounding nations also came to hear Solomon’s wisdom. He composed 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs. He wrote the Song of Songs, the Book of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.

One of the most celebrated visits to Solomon was that of the Queen of Sheba, who came from southern Arabia. Historically, Arabia was a country rich in gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Solomon needed Sheba’s products and trade routes; the queen of Sheba needed Solomon’s cooperation in marketing her country’s goods. The queen came to Solomon with camels carrying spices, gold and precious stones. She asked him questions and riddles and was amazed at his wisdom.

Once Solomon’s empire was tranquil, he began to build the Holy Temple. He received wood from King Hiram of Tyre and imposed a compulsory labor service on both the Israelites and the foreign nations that were under his control. His workers built the structure of the Temple, its decorations and its vessels. The Temple took seven years to complete. It was built of stone and cedar, carved within and overlaid with pure gold. When it was done, Solomon dedicated the Temple in a public ceremony of prayers and sacrifices.

Solomon was also renowned for his other building projects in which he used slave labor from the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. He spent 13 years building his own palace, and also built a city wall, a citadel called the Millo, a palace for the daughter of Pharaoh (who was one of his wives) and facilities for foreign traders. He erected cities for chariots and horsemen and created storage cities. He extended Jerusalem to the north and fortified cities near the mountains of Judah and Jerusalem.

Solomon’s downfall came in his old age. He had taken many foreign wives, whom he allowed to worship other gods. He even built shrines for the sacrifices of his foreign wives. Within Solomon’s kingdom, he placed heavy taxation on the people, who became bitter. He also had the people work as soldiers, chief officers and commanders of his chariots and cavalry. He granted special privileges to the tribes of Judah and this alienated the northern tribes. The prophet Ahijah of Shiloh prophesied that Jeroboam son of Nebat would become king over ten of the 12 tribes, instead of one of Solomon’s sons.

Outside Solomon’s kingdom, Hadad, of the royal family of Edom, rose up as an adversary of Israel. Rezon son of Eliada, ruler of Aram also fought Solomon, and created tension between the two kingdoms that was to last even after Solomon’s reign ended.

Solomon died in Jerusalem after 40 years as ruler of Israel. He was buried in the City of David. His son, Rehoboam succeeded him as king. Under Rehobaum’s rule, Solomon’s empire was lost and his kingdom was divided into two parts.


 


Gustave Doré
Solomon

 


Gustave Doré
The Judgment of Solomon

 


Nicolas Poussin.
The Judgment of Solomon

 


Henri-Frederic Schopin

The Judgement of Solomon

 



Song of Songs of Solomon
 

 


The Song of Songs (Hebrew title שיר השירים, Shir ha-Shirim), is a book of the Hebrew Bible—Tanakh or Old Testament—one of the five megillot (scrolls). It can also be known as the Song of Solomon, Solomon's Song of Songs, or as Canticles, the latter from the shortened and anglicized Vulgate title Canticum Canticorum, "Song of Songs" in Latin. It is known as Aisma in the Septuagint, which is short for ῏Αισμα ᾀσμάτων, Aisma aismatôn, "Song of Songs" in Greek.

The Song of Songs is interpreted in some traditions as an allegorical representation of the relationship of God and Israel as husband and wife. Literally, however, the main characters of the Song are simply a woman and a man, and the poem suggests movement from courtship to consummation. It is one of the shortest books in the Bible, consisting of only 117 verses. According to Ashkenazi tradition, it is read on the Sabbath that falls during the intermediate days of Passover. In the Sephardi Jewish community it is recited every Friday night.

 

Song of Solomon

biblical canticle
also called Canticle of Canticles, or Song of Songs

Main
an Old Testament book that belongs to the third section of the biblical canon, known as the Ketuvim, or “Writings.” In the Hebrew Bible the Song of Solomon stands with Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther and with them makes up the Megillot, five scrolls that are read on various religious festivals of the Jewish year. This book is the festal scroll for Pesaḥ (Passover), which celebrates the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. The book in its present form postdates the Babylonian Exile (5th century bc onward), but the poems that it preserves date from about the 10th century bc, the period of the Davidic monarchy.

The book, whose author is unknown (Solomon’s name is a later addition), is a collection of love poems spoken alternately by a man and a woman. There is no coherent story in the book. A number of the poems systematically describe the beauty and excellence of the beloved. The Song of Solomon has received various interpretations, the most common being allegorical, dramatic, cultic, and literal. Among Jews, the allegorical interpretation regards the book as an allegory of God’s love for the Israelites, with whom he has made a sacred covenant. Among Christians, the book is interpreted as describing the covenantal love of Christ for his church. In medieval mysticism, the Song of Solomon was construed to apply to the love between Christ and the human soul.

Dramatic interpretations of the Song of Solomon are based on much of the book’s being in dialogue form. According to this view, the speakers in it are enacting roles in a dramatic love story that varies in outline according to the particular interpretation. In view of the absence of drama in ancient Semitic literatures, however, such interpretations are not very probable. The cultic interpretation views the book as a collection of songs associated with the practice of sacred marriage as observed by the Sumerians and other ancient Mesopotamian peoples.

The fourth interpretation, and the one that has perhaps gained the most credence among modern scholars, is simply that the Song of Solomon is a collection of secular love poems without any religious implications. According to this interpretation, the songs celebrate the joy and goodness of human love between the sexes and the sense of inner fulfillment and harmony with God’s creation that arise from such love.

 



Song of Songs


Translated from the French by James W. Metcalf, M.D.

 

 


Piero della Francesca
The Queen of Sheba Meeting with Solomon

 

Chapter 1
 

The song of songs, which is Solomon's.
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.
Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee.
Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.
I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.
Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother's children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.
Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?
If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds' tents.
I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots.
Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold.
We will make thee borders of gold with studs of silver.
While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.
A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.
My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi.
Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes.
Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant: also our bed is green.
The beams of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir.

 



 

 


Piero della Francesca
The Queen of Sheba Meeting with Solomon
(detail)

 


Chapter 2



I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.
As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.
As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.
Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love.
His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.
I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.
The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.
My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice.
My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;
The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.
Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.
My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.
Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.


 


Konrad Witz
King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba

 


Chapter 3


By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not.
I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not.
The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth?
It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me.
I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.
Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?
Behold his bed, which is Solomon's; threescore valiant men are about it, of the valiant of Israel.
They all hold swords, being expert in war: every man hath his sword upon his thigh because of fear in the night.
King Solomon made himself a chariot of the wood of Lebanon.
He made the pillars thereof of silver, the bottom thereof of gold, the covering of it of purple, the midst thereof being paved with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem.
Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart.


 


Francesco del Cossa
The Meeting of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba

 


Chapter 4


Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead.
Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them.
Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely: thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks.
Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men.
Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.
Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.
Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.
Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards.
Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.
How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!
Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.

A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.
Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard,
Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices:
A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.
Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.


 


Tintoretto
The Queen of Sheba and Solomon

 

Chapter 5
 

I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.
I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.
I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?
My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.
I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.
I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.
The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.
I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love.
What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?
My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.
His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven.
His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.
His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.
His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.
His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.
His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

 

 


Nicolaus Knupfer
Queen of Sheba before Solomon

 


Chapter 6


Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee.
My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.
I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.
Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners.
Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me: thy hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead.
Thy teeth are as a flock of sheep which go up from the washing, whereof every one beareth twins, and there is not one barren among them.
As a piece of a pomegranate are thy temples within thy locks.
There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number.
My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.
Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?
I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished and the pomegranates budded.
Or ever I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib.
Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.


 


Giovanni Demin
Solomon and the Queen of Sheba

 


Chapter 7



How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince's daughter! the joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman.
Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies.
Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.
Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim: thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.
Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries.
How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!
This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.
I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples;
And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.
I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me.
Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages.
Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves.
The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.

 


Loggia di Raffaello
The Queen of Sheba


Chapter 8


O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised.
I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother's house, who would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.
His left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me.
I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until he please.
Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee.
Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.
We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?
If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar.
I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour.
Solomon had a vineyard at Baalhamon; he let out the vineyard unto keepers; every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand pieces of silver.
My vineyard, which is mine, is before me: thou, O Solomon, must have a thousand, and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred.
Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice: cause me to hear it.
Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices.
 

 


Mark Gertler
The Queen of Sheba

 



The Song of Songs

 

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth : for thy love is better than wine.
Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth,
therefore do the virgins love thee.
Draw me, we will run after thee : The king hath brought me to his chambers:
we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine:
the upright love thee.

 
I am black but comely O ye daughters of Jerusalem,
as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.
Look not upon me because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me:
my mother's children were angry with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards;
but my own vineyard I have not kept.
Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth where thou feedest
where thy makest thy flock to rest at noon:
for why should I be one that turnest aside by the flocks of your companions?

 
If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock,
and feed thy kids beside the shepherds tents.
I have compared thee, O my love to a company of horses in Pharoh's chariots.
Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold.

 
While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sent forth the smell thereof.
A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.
My beloved is to me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of En-gedi.
Behold thou art fair my love; behold thou art fair; thou hast dove's eyes.
Behold thou art fair my beloved, yea pleasant: also our bed is green.
The beams of our houses are cedar, and our rafters of fir.

 
I am the rose of Sharon, and the lilly of the valleys.
As a lilly among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.
As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons.
I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
He brought me to his banqueting house and his banner over me was love.
Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples; for I am sick of love.

 
His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.
I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field,
that ye stir not up, nor awake my love till he please.
The voice of my beloved!
behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills
My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold he standeth behind our wall,
he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself forth through the lattice.

 
My beloved spake and said to me, Rise up my fair one, and come away.
For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing of birds is come
and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.
The fig tree putteth forth her green figs,
and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell,
arise my love, my fair one and come away.

 
O my dove that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs,
let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice;
for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.

 
Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.
My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.

 
By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him but I found him not.
I will rise now and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways
I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him but I found him not.
The watchmen that go about the city found me : to whom I said, Saw ye whom my soul loveth?
It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth:
I held him, and I would not let him go until I had brought him to my mother's house
and into the chamber of her that conceived me.

 
Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke...
King Solomon made himself a chariort of the wood of Lebanon.
He made the pillars thereof of silver and the bottom thereof of gold the covering of it of purple,
the midst thereof being paved with love for the daughters of Jerusalem.
Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the crown
wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals,
and in the day of the gladness of his heart.

 
Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon:
look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon,
from the lion's dens, from the mountains of the leopards.

 
Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse
thou hast ravished my heart with oneof thine eyes, with the chain of thy neck.
How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine!
and the smell of thine ointments than all the spices!
Thy lips, O my spouse drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue
and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.

 
A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.
Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranites, with pleasant fruits; camphire, spikenard, and saffron;
calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of francinsense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices:
A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.

 
Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden,
that the spices thereof may flow out.
Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.

 
I have come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh and my spice;
I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk:
eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.

 
I sleep but my heart waketh : it is the voice of of my beloved that knocketh,
saying open to me my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled :
for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.
I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?
My beloved put his hand in the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.
I rose up to open to my beloved and my hands dropped with myrrh,
and my fingers with sweet-smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.
I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself and was gone:
my soul failed when he spake : I sought him, but I could not find him;

 
I called him, but he gave me no answer
The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me and they wounded me;
the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.
I charge you , O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love.

 
What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women?
what is thy thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?

 
My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.
His head is as the most fine gold, hislocks are bushy and black as a raven.
His eyes are as the eyes of doves ...
His mouth is most sweet yea he is altogether lovely.
This is my beloved, this is my friend, O ye daughters of Jerusalem.

 
Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women?
whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee.

 
My beloved is gone down to his garden, to the beds of spices,
to feed in the gardens and to gather lillies.
I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lillies.

 
Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners.
Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me:

 
thy hair is a flock of goats that appear from Gilead.
Thy teeth are as a flock of sheep which go up from the washing, whereof every one beareth twins
and there is not one barren one among them.
As a piece of pomegranite are thy temples within thy locks.

 
There are three score queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number.
My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother,
she is the choice one of her that bear her. The daughters saw her and blessed her;
yea the queens and the concubines and they praised her.
Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun,
and terrible as an army with banners?

 
I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley,
and to see whether the vine flourished, and the pomegranites budded...
Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee.
What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies...

 
I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof:
now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples.
And the roof of thy mouth, like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly
causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.
I am my beloved's and his desire is towards me.
Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish,
whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranites bud forth:
there I will give thee my loves.
The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits,
new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.

 
Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?
I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth:
she that brought thee forth that bare thee.

 
Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm:
for love is strong as death; jealously is cruel as the grave:
the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it:
if a man would give all the substance of his house for love,
it would be utterly contemned.

 
We have a little sister and she hath no breasts:
what shall we do for our sister on the day when she shall be spoken for?
If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver:
and if she be a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar.
I am a wall and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one which found favour.

 
Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon; he let out the vineyard to the keepers;
every one of the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand pieces of silver.
My vineyard, which is mine is before me: thou O Solomon must have a thousand
and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred.
Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions harken to my voice: cause me to hear it.
Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like a roe, or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices.

 

 
     
         
 

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