The Word Made Fresh
1Your feet are so graceful in their sandals, queen maiden!
Your thighs are rounded like jewels
shaped by the hands of a master jeweler.
2Your navel is a bowl, rounded and never lacking wine.
Your waist is like a sheath of wheat enwrapped with lilies.
3Your breasts are like two deer, twin offspring of a gazelle.
4Your neck is an ivory tower;
your eyes like pools in Heshbon beside the gate of Bath-Rabbim.
Your nose is a tower of Lebanon over Damascus.
5Your head is your crown, like Carmel flowing with hair,
a royal tiara holding a king in its tresses.
6How beautiful you are, my love –
fair and pleasant and delectable;
7you stand as stately as a palm
with your breasts as its clusters.
8I long to climb the tree and take hold of its branches;
Your breasts are a like the clusters of the vine,
and your breath carries the scent of apples,
9and your kisses are the best wine,
flowing smoothly over the sleeper’s lips.
10I belong to my beloved, and his desire is for me.
11Come, my love, let us go out to the fields;
let’s take lodging in the villages.
12We can go out to the vineyards in the early morning
and see if the vines have budded.
We’ll see if the grape blossoms are open
and the pomegranates are blooming.
That is where I will give my love to you.
13The mandrakes will share their fragrance
while choice fruits, new and old, hang over our doors,
for I have arranged them for you, my love.
1-5: The suitor gives yet another description of her, from the tips of her toes to the top of her head. She’s really something, isn’t she?
6-9: He makes a rather forward overture, making no bones about his intentions; they are embarrassingly dishonorable and refreshingly honest.
10-13: She gives an encouraging response, promising a night of lovemaking in a village apparently known to them both. Mandrakes are mentioned twice in the Bible: here and at Genesis 30:14-16. A variety of nightshade, mandrakes have some hallucinogenic qualities. The roots were (and still are among some cultures) thought to enhance sexual desire. The Hebrew word is “dudaim,” which literally means “love plant.”
Of course, we have all had the experience of meeting for the first time the girl (or boy) that one of our friends has been fawning over for the last six weeks and finding ourselves wondering what is so special about them.