a lotus blossom from the valley pools.
2 A lotus blossoming in a swamp of weeds—
that’s my dear friend among the girls in the village.
3-4 As an apricot tree stands out in the forest,
my lover stands above the young men in town.
All I want is to sit in his shade,
to taste and savor his delicious love.
He took me home with him for a festive meal,
but his eyes feasted on me!
5-6 Oh! Give me something refreshing to eat—and quickly!
Apricots, raisins—anything. I’m about to faint with love!
His left hand cradles my head,
and his right arm encircles my waist!
7 Oh, let me warn you, sisters in Jerusalem,
by the gazelles, yes, by all the wild deer:
Don’t excite love, don’t stir it up,
until the time is ripe—and you’re ready.
8-10 Look! Listen! There’s my lover!
Do you see him coming?
Vaulting the mountains,
leaping the hills.
My lover is like a gazelle, graceful;
like a young stag, virile.
Look at him there, on tiptoe at the gate,
all ears, all eyes—ready!
My lover has arrived
and he’s speaking to me!
10-14 Get up, my dear friend,
fair and beautiful lover—come to me!
Look around you: Winter is over;
the winter rains are over, gone!
Spring flowers are in blossom all over.
The whole world’s a choir—and singing!
Spring warblers are filling the forest
with sweet arpeggios.
Lilacs are exuberantly purple and perfumed,
and cherry trees fragrant with blossoms.
Oh, get up, dear friend,
my fair and beautiful lover—come to me!
Come, my shy and modest dove—
leave your seclusion, come out in the open.
Let me see your face,
let me hear your voice.
For your voice is soothing
and your face is ravishing.
15 Then you must protect me from the foxes,
foxes on the prowl,
Foxes who would like nothing better
than to get into our flowering garden.
16-17 My lover is mine, and I am his.
Nightly he strolls in our garden,
Delighting in the flowers
until dawn breathes its light and night slips away.
Turn to me, dear lover.
Come like a gazelle.
Leap like a wild stag
on delectable mountains!