1Night after night on my bed I have sought my true love; I have sought him, but I have not found him. 2I said, ‘I will rise and go the rounds of the city through streets and squares, seeking my true love.’ I sought him, but could not find him. 3The watchmen came upon me, as they made their rounds of the city. ‘Have you seen my true love?’ I asked them. 4Scarcely had I left them behind when I met my true love. I held him and would not let him go till I had brought him to my mother's house, to the room of her who conceived me.
5I charge you, maidens of Jerusalem, by the spirits and the goddesses a 3:5 by … goddesses: or by the gazelles and the hinds. of the field: Do not rouse or awaken love until it is ready.
6Who is this coming up from the wilderness like a column of smoke from the burning of myrrh and frankincense, of all the powdered spices that merchants bring? 7Look! It is Solomon carried in his state litter, escorted by sixty of Israel's picked warriors, 8all of them skilled swordsmen, all expert in handling arms, each with his sword ready at his side against the terrors of the night. 9The palanquin which King Solomon had made for himself was of wood from Lebanon. 10Its uprights were made of silver, its headrest of gold; its seat was of purple stuff, its lining of leather. 11Come out, maidens of Jerusalem; you maidens of Zion, welcome King Solomon, wearing the crown which his mother placed on his head on his wedding day, his day of joy.
a 3:5 by … goddesses: or by the gazelles and the hinds.