8 1I wish you’d been my twin brother, sharing with me the breasts of my mother, Playing outside in the street, kissing in plain view of everyone, and no one thinking anything of it. 2I’d take you by the hand and bring you home where I was raised by my mother. You’d drink my wine and kiss my cheeks. 3Imagine! His left hand cradling my head, his right arm around my waist! 4Oh, let me warn you, sisters in Jerusalem: Don’t excite love, don’t stir it up, until the time is ripe—and you’re ready. The Chorus 5Who is this I see coming up from the country, arm in arm with her lover? The Man I found you under the apricot tree, and woke you up to love. Your mother went into labor under that tree, and under that very tree she bore you. The Woman 6Hang my locket around your neck, wear my ring on your finger. Love is invincible facing danger and death. Passion laughs at the terrors of hell. The fire of love stops at nothing— it sweeps everything before it. 7Flood waters can’t drown love, torrents of rain can’t put it out. Love can’t be bought, love can’t be sold— it’s not to be found in the marketplace. 8My brothers used to worry about me: “Our little sister has no breasts. What shall we do with our little sister when men come asking for her? 9She’s a virgin and vulnerable, and we’ll protect her. If they think she’s a wall, we’ll top it with barbed wire. If they think she’s a door, we’ll barricade it.” 10Dear brothers, I’m a walled–in virgin still, but my breasts are full— And when my lover sees me, he knows he’ll soon be satisfied. The Man 11King Solomon may have vast vineyards in lush, fertile country, Where he hires others to work the ground. People pay anything to get in on that bounty. 12But my vineyard is all mine, and I’m keeping it to myself. You can have your vast vineyards, Solomon, you and your greedy guests! 13Oh, lady of the gardens, my friends are with me listening. Let me hear your voice! The Woman 14Run to me, dear lover. Come like a gazelle. Leap like a wild stag on the spice mountains.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About