SONG OF THE SOUL AND THE BRIDEGROOM
Where hast Thou hidden Thyself,
And abandoned me in my groaning, O my Beloved?
Thou hast fled like the hart,
Having wounded me.
I ran after Thee, crying; but Thou wert gone.
O shepherds, you who go
Through the sheepcots up the hill,
If you shall see Him
Whom I love the most,
Tell Him I languish, suffer, and die.
In search of my Love
I will go over mountains and strands;
I will gather no flowers,
I will fear no wild beasts;
And pass by the mighty and the frontiers.
O groves and thickets
Planted by the hand of the Beloved;
O verdant meads
Enamelled with flowers,
Tell me, has He passed by you?
ANSWER OF THE CREATURES
A thousand graces diffusing
He passed through the groves in haste,
And merely regarding them
As He passed
Clothed them with His beauty.
Oh! who can heal me?
Give me at once Thyself,
Send me no more
Who cannot tell me what I wish.
All they who serve are telling me
Of Thy unnumbered graces;
And all wound me more and more,
And something leaves me dying,
I know not what, of which they are darkly speaking.
But how thou perseverest, O life,
Not living where thou livest;
The arrows bring death
Which thou receivest
From thy conceptions of the Beloved.
Why, after wounding
This heart, hast Thou not healed it?
And why, after stealing it,
Hast Thou thus abandoned it,
And not carried away the stolen prey?
Quench Thou my troubles,
For no one else can soothe them;
And let mine eyes behold Thee,
For thou art their light,
And I will keep them for Thee alone.
Reveal Thy presence,
And let the vision and Thy beauty kill me,
Behold the malady
Of love is incurable
Except in Thy presence and before Thy face.
O crystal well!
Oh that on Thy silvered surface
Thou wouldest mirror forth at once
Those eyes desired
Which are outlined in my heart!
Turn them away, O my Beloved!
I am on the wing:
Return, My Dove!
The wounded hart
Looms on the hill
In the air of thy flight and is refreshed.
My Beloved is the mountains,
The solitary wooded valleys,
The strange islands,
The roaring torrents,
The whisper of the amorous gales;
The tranquil night
At the approaches of the dawn,
The silent music,
The murmuring solitude,
The supper which revives, and enkindles love.
Catch us the foxes,
For our vineyard hath flourished;
While of roses
We make a nosegay,
And let no one appear on the hill.
O killing north wind, cease!
Come, south wind, that awakenest love!
Blow through my garden,
And let its odours flow,
And the Beloved shall feed among the flowers.
O nymphs of Judea!
While amid the flowers and the rose-trees
The amber sends forth its perfume,
Tarry in the suburbs,
And touch not our thresholds.
Hide thyself, O my Beloved!
Turn Thy face to the mountains,
Do not speak,
But regard the companions
Of her who is travelling amidst strange islands.
Lions, fawns, bounding does,
Mountains, valleys, strands,
Waters, winds, heat,
And the terrors that keep watch by night;
By the soft lyres
And the siren strains, I adjure you,
Let your fury cease,
And touch not the wall,
That the bride may sleep in greater security.
The bride has entered
The pleasant and desirable garden,
And there reposes to her heart’s content;
Her neck reclining
On the sweet arms of the Beloved.
Beneath the apple-tree
There wert thou betrothed;
There I gave thee My hand,
And thou wert redeemed
Where thy mother was corrupted.
Our bed is of flowers
By dens of lions encompassed,
Hung with purple,
Made in peace,
And crowned with a thousand shields of gold.
In Thy footsteps
The young ones run Thy way;
At the touch of the fire
And by the spiced wine,
The divine balsam flows.
In the inner cellar
Of my Beloved have I drunk; and when I went forth
Over all the plain
I knew nothing,
And lost the flock I followed before.
There He gave me His breasts,
There He taught me the science full of sweetness.
And there I gave to Him
Myself without reserve;
There I promised to be His bride.
My soul is occupied,
And all my substance in His service;
Now I guard no flock,
Nor have I any other employment:
My sole occupation is love.
If, then, on the common land
I am no longer seen or found,
You will say that I am lost;
That, being enamoured,
I lost myself; and yet was found.
Of emeralds, and of flowers
In the early morning gathered,
We will make the garlands,
Flowering in Thy love,
And bound together with one hair of my head.
By that one hair
Thou hast observed fluttering on my neck,
And on my neck regarded,
Thou wert captivated;
And wounded by one of my eyes.
When Thou didst regard me,
Thine eyes imprinted in me Thy grace:
For this didst Thou love me again,
And thereby mine eyes did merit
To adore what in Thee they saw
Despise me not,
For if I was swarthy once
Thou canst regard me now;
Since Thou hast regarded me,
Grace and beauty hast Thou given me.
The little white dove
Has returned to the ark with the bough;
And now the turtle-dove
Its desired mate
On the green banks has found.
In solitude she lived,
And in solitude built her nest;
And in solitude, alone
Hath the Beloved guided her,
In solitude also wounded with love.
Let us rejoice, O my Beloved!
Let us go forth to see ourselves in Thy beauty,
To the mountain and the hill,
Where the pure water flows:
Let us enter into the heart of the thicket.
We shall go at once
To the deep caverns of the rock
Which are all secret,
There we shall enter in
And taste of the new wine of the pomegranate.
There thou wilt show me
That which my soul desired;
And there Thou wilt give at once,
O Thou, my life!
That which Thou gavest me the other day.
The breathing of the air,
The song of the sweet nightingale,
The grove and its beauty
In the serene night,
With the flame that consumes, and gives no pains.
None saw it;
Neither did Aminadab appear
The siege was intermitted,
And the cavalry dismounted
At the sight of the waters.