I went to my garden, dear friend, best lover! breathed the sweet fragrance. I ate the fruit and honey, I drank the nectar and wine. Celebrate with me, friends! Raise your glasses - "To life! To love!"
I was sound asleep, but in my dreams I was wide awake. Oh, listen! It's the sound of my lover knocking, calling! "Let me in, dear companion, dearest friend, my dove, consummate lover! I'm soaked with the dampness of the night, drenched with dew, shivering and cold."
"But I'm in my nightgown - do you expect me to get dressed? I'm bathed and in bed - do you want me to get dirty?"
But my lover wouldn't take no for an answer, and the longer he knocked, the more excited I became.
I got up to open the door to my lover, sweetly ready to receive him, Desiring and expectant as I turned the door handle.
But when I opened the door he was gone. My loved one had tired of waiting and left. And I died inside - oh, I felt so bad! I ran out looking for him But he was nowhere to be found. I called into the darkness - but no answer.
The night watchmen found me as they patrolled the streets of the city. They slapped and beat and bruised me, ripping off my clothes, These watchmen, who were supposed to be guarding the city.
I beg you, sisters in Jerusalem - if you find my lover, Please tell him I want him, that I'm heartsick with love for him.
What's so great about your lover, fair lady? What's so special about him that you beg for our help?
My dear lover glows with health - red-blooded, radiant! He's one in a million. There's no one quite like him!
My golden one, pure and untarnished, with raven black curls tumbling across his shoulders.
His eyes are like doves, soft and bright, but deep-set, brimming with meaning, like wells of water.
His face is rugged, his beard smells like sage, His voice, his words, warm and reassuring.
Fine muscles ripple beneath his skin, quiet and beautiful. His torso is the work of a sculptor, hard and smooth as ivory.
He stands tall, like a cedar, strong and deep-rooted, A rugged mountain of a man, aromatic with wood and stone.
His words are kisses, his kisses words. Everything about him delights me, thrills me through and through! That's my lover, that's my man, dear Jerusalem sisters.
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)