D 1 Where has your lover gone,
O most beautiful among women?
Where has your lover gone
that we may seek him with you?
B 2 My lover has come down to his garden,
to the beds of spice,
To browse in the garden
and to gather lilies.
My lover belongs to me and I to him;
he browses among the lilies.
G 3 You are as beautiful as Tirzah, my beloved,
as lovely as Jerusalem,
as awe-inspiring as bannered troops.
Turn your eyes from me,
for they torment me.
Your hair is like a flock of goats
streaming down from Gilead.
Your teeth are like a flock of ewes
which come up from the washing,
All of them big with twins,
none of them thin and barren.
Your cheek is like a half-pomegranate
behind your veil.
There are sixty queens, eighty concubines,
and maidens without number –
One alone is my dove, my perfect one,
her mother’s chosen,
the dear one of her parent.
The daughters saw her and declared her fortunate,
the queens and concubines, and they sang her praises;
D Who is this that comes forth like the dawn,
as beautiful as the moon, as resplendent as the sun,
as awe-inspiring as bannered troops?
B I came down to the nut garden
to look at the fresh growth of the valley,
To see if the vines were in bloom.
if the pomegranates had blossomed.
4 Before I knew it, my heart had made me
the blessed one of my kinswomen.
1  The daughters of Jerusalem are won by this description of the lover and offer their aid in seeking him.
2 [2-3] Determined to share her lover with no one, the girl refuses the aid offered by the daughters in seeking him. She implies that she had never really lost him, for he has come down to his garden.
3 [4-9] The lover again celebrates her beauty. Tirzah: probably meaning “pleasant”; it was the early capital of the northern kingdom of Israel (1 Kings 16).
4  The text is obscure in Hebrew and in the ancient versions. The Vulgate reads: “I did not know; my soul disturbed me because of the chariots of Aminadab.”