1Oh, I wish you were my brother,
who nursed at my mother’s breasts.
Then I could kiss you no matter who was watching,
and no one would criticize me.
2I would bring you to my childhood home,
and there you would teach me.*8:2 Or there she will teach me.
I would give you spiced wine to drink,
my sweet pomegranate wine.
3Your left arm would be under my head,
and your right arm would embrace me.
4Promise me, O women of Jerusalem,
not to awaken love until the time is right.*8:4 Or not to awaken love until it is ready.
Young Women of Jerusalem
5Who is this sweeping in from the desert,
leaning on her lover?
I aroused you under the apple tree,
where your mother gave you birth,
where in great pain she delivered you.
6Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
Love flashes like fire,
the brightest kind of flame.
7Many waters cannot quench love,
nor can rivers drown it.
If a man tried to buy love
with all his wealth,
his offer would be utterly scorned.
The Young Woman’s Brothers
8We have a little sister
too young to have breasts.
What will we do for our sister
if someone asks to marry her?
9If she is a virgin, like a wall,
we will protect her with a silver tower.
But if she is promiscuous, like a swinging door,
we will block her door with a cedar bar.
10I was a virgin, like a wall;
now my breasts are like towers.
When my lover looks at me,
he is delighted with what he sees.
11Solomon has a vineyard at Baal-hamon,
which he leases out to tenant farmers.
Each of them pays a thousand pieces of silver
for harvesting its fruit.
12But my vineyard is mine to give,
and Solomon need not pay a thousand pieces of silver.
But I will give two hundred pieces
to those who care for its vines.
13O my darling, lingering in the gardens,
your companions are fortunate to hear your voice.
Let me hear it, too!
14Come away, my love! Be like a gazelle
or a young stag on the mountains of spices.