1Where has your beloved gone,
most beautiful of women?
Which way did your beloved turn,
that we may look for him with you?
2My beloved has gone down to his garden,
to the beds of spices,
to browse in the gardens
and to gather lilies.
3I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine;
he browses among the lilies.
4You are as beautiful as Tirzah, my darling,
as lovely as Jerusalem,
as majestic as troops with banners.
5Turn your eyes from me;
they overwhelm me.
Your hair is like a flock of goats
descending from Gilead.
6Your teeth are like a flock of sheep
coming up from the washing.
Each has its twin,
not one of them is missing.
7Your temples behind your veil
are like the halves of a pomegranate.
8Sixty queens there may be,
and eighty concubines,
and virgins beyond number;
9but my dove, my perfect one, is unique,
the only daughter of her mother,
the favourite of the one who bore her.
The young women saw her and called her blessed;
the queens and concubines praised her.
10Who is this that appears like the dawn,
fair as the moon, bright as the sun,
majestic as the stars in procession?
11I went down to the grove of nut trees
to look at the new growth in the valley,
to see if the vines had budded
or the pomegranates were in bloom.
12Before I realised it,
my desire set me among the royal chariots of my people.
13Come back, come back, O Shulammite;
come back, come back, that we may gaze on you!
Why would you gaze on the Shulammite
as on the dance of Mahanaim?