The sayings of King Lemuel--an oracle his mother taught him:
"O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows,
do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings.
"It is not for kings, O Lemuel-- not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer,
lest they drink and forget what the law decrees, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
Give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish;
let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.
She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
"Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth-- for your love is more delightful than wine.
Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the maidens love you!
Take me away with you--let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers. We rejoice and delight in you; we will praise your love more than wine. How right they are to adore you!
Dark am I, yet lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, dark like the tents of Kedar, like the tent curtains of Solomon.
Do not stare at me because I am dark, because I am darkened by the sun. My mother's sons were angry with me and made me take care of the vineyards; my own vineyard I have neglected.
Tell me, you whom I love, where you graze your flock and where you rest your sheep at midday. Why should I be like a veiled woman beside the flocks of your friends?
I liken you, my darling, to a mare harnessed to one of the chariots of Pharaoh.
Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels.
We will make you earrings of gold, studded with silver.
While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance.
My lover is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts.
My lover is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi.
Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my lover among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.
He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love.
Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love.
His left arm is under my head, and his right arm embraces me.
Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.
Listen! My lover! Look! Here he comes, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills.
My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look! There he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice.
My lover spoke and said to me, "Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me.
See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.
The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me."
My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.
Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.