So where has this love of yours gone, fair one? Where on earth can he be? Can we help you look for him?
Never mind. My lover is already on his way to his garden, to browse among the flowers, touching the colors and forms.
I am my lover's and my lover is mine. He caresses the sweet-smelling flowers.
Dear, dear friend and lover, you're as beautiful as Tirzah, city of delights, Lovely as Jerusalem, city of dreams, the ravishing visions of my ecstasy.
Your beauty is too much for me - I'm in over my head. I'm not used to this! I can't take it in. Your hair flows and shimmers like a flock of goats in the distance streaming down a hillside in the sunshine.
Your smile is generous and full - expressive and strong and clean.
Your veiled cheeks are soft and radiant.
There's no one like her on earth, never has been, never will be.
She's a woman beyond compare. My dove is perfection, Pure and innocent as the day she was born, and cradled in joy by her mother. Everyone who came by to see her exclaimed and admired her - All the fathers and mothers, the neighbors and friends, blessed and praised her:
"Has anyone ever seen anything like this - dawn-fresh, moon-lovely, sun-radiant, ravishing as the night sky with its galaxies of stars?"
One day I went strolling through the orchard, looking for signs of spring, Looking for buds about to burst into flower, anticipating readiness, ripeness.
Before I knew it my heart was raptured, carried away by lofty thoughts!
Dance, dance, dear Shulammite, Angel-Princess! Dance, and we'll feast our eyes on your grace! Everyone wants to see the Shulammite dance her victory dances of love and peace.
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)