Restless in bed and sleepless through the night, I longed for my lover. I wanted him desperately. His absence was painful.
So I got up, went out and roved the city, hunting through streets and down alleys. I wanted my lover in the worst way! I looked high and low, and didn't find him.
And then the night watchmen found me as they patrolled the darkened city. "Have you seen my dear lost love?" I asked.
No sooner had I left them than I found him, found my dear lost love. I threw my arms around him and held him tight, wouldn't let him go until I had him home again, safe at home beside the fire.
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.
What's this I see, approaching from the desert, raising clouds of dust, Filling the air with sweet smells and pungent aromatics?
Look! It's Solomon's carriage, carried and guarded by sixty soldiers, sixty of Israel's finest,
All of them armed to the teeth, trained for battle, ready for anything, anytime.
King Solomon once had a carriage built from fine-grained Lebanon cedar.
He had it framed with silver and roofed with gold. The cushions were covered with a purple fabric, the interior lined with tooled leather.
Come and look, sisters in Jerusalem. Oh, sisters of Zion, don't miss this! My King-Lover, dressed and garlanded for his wedding, his heart full, bursting with joy!
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)