Oh, 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.
2 I would bring you to my childhood home,
and there you would teach me. 1
I would give you spiced wine to drink,
my sweet pomegranate wine.
3 Your left arm would be under my head,
and your right arm would embrace me.
4 Promise me, O women of Jerusalem,
not to awaken love until the time is right. 2
Who 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.
Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
its jealousy 3 as enduring as the grave. 4
Love flashes like fire,
the brightest kind of flame.
7 Many 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.
We have a little sister
too young to have breasts.
What will we do for our sister
if someone asks to marry her?
9 If 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.
I 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.
Solomon has a vineyard at Baal-hamon,
which he leases out to tenant farmers.
Each of them pays a thousand pieces of silver 5
for harvesting its fruit.
12 But 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.
O my darling, lingering in the gardens,
your companions are fortunate to hear your voice.
Let me hear it, too!
Come away, my love! Be like a gazelle
or a young stag on the mountains of spices.