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1O that you were like a brother to me,

who nursed at my mother’s breast!

If I met you outside, I would kiss you,

and no one would despise me.

2I would lead you and bring you

into the house of my mother,

and into the chamber of the one who bore me.

I would give you spiced wine to drink,

the juice of my pomegranates.

3O that his left hand were under my head,

and that his right hand embraced me!

4I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,

do not stir up or awaken love

until it is ready!

Homecoming

5Who is that coming up from the wilderness,

leaning upon her beloved?

Under the apple tree I awakened you.

There your mother was in labor with you;

there she who bore you was in labor.

6Set me as a seal upon your heart,

as a seal upon your arm;

for love is strong as death,

passion fierce as the grave.

Its flashes are flashes of fire,

a raging flame.

7Many waters cannot quench love,

neither can floods drown it.

If one offered for love

all the wealth of one’s house,

it would be utterly scorned.

8We have a little sister,

and she has no breasts.

What shall we do for our sister,

on the day when she is spoken for?

9If she is a wall,

we will build upon her a battlement of silver;

but if she is a door,

we will enclose her with boards of cedar.

10I was a wall,

and my breasts were like towers;

then I was in his eyes

as one who brings peace.

11Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon;

he entrusted the vineyard to keepers;

each one was to bring for its fruit a thousand pieces of silver.

12My vineyard, my very own, is for myself;

you, O Solomon, may have the thousand,

and the keepers of the fruit two hundred!

13O you who dwell in the gardens,

my companions are listening for your voice;

let me hear it.

14Make haste, my beloved,

and be like a gazelle

or a young stag

upon the mountains of spices!

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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