23 July 2006

He Makes Her His Queen

I told him, 'I am only a little rose or autumn crocus of the plain of Sharon, or a humble lily of the valleys that grows in deep and difficult places.'

But he replied, 'Like the lily among thorns, so are you, my love, among the daughters. '

'Like an apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons!' I cried. 'Under his shadow I delight to sit, and his fruit is so sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love, for love waves as a protecting and comforting banner over my head when I am near him. I can feel his left hand under my head and his right hand embraces me!'

He says to all the rest, 'I charge you, by the gazelles or by the hinds of the field which are free to follow their own instincts that you not try to stir up or awaken my love until it pleases. '

Vividly I picture it, the voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes, leaping upon the mountains, bounding over the hills. 'My beloved is like a gazelle. Behold, he stands behind the wall of our house, he looks in through the windows, he glances through the lattice.

My beloved spoke to me saying, 'Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth and ripens her green figs, and the vines are in blossom and give forth their fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.'

So I went with him, and when we were climbing the rocky steps up the hillside, my beloved shepherd said to me, 'O my dove, while you are here in the seclusion of the clefts in the solid rock, in the sheltered and secret place of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.'

My heart was touched and I fervently sang to him my desire and said take for us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards of our love, for our vineyards are in blossom.

My beloved is mine and I am his! Until the day breaks and the shadows flee away, return hastily, O my beloved, and be like a gazelle as you cover the mountains which separate us.


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