Song 3:1 All night long on my bed
I looked for the one my heart loves;
I looked for him but did not find him.
Is this therefore a dream – or rather a nightmare? She cannot bear the thought of him not being present. ’It is difficult for the human soul not to love something; and our affections must go out somewhere. Carnal love is overcome by spiritual love; desire is quenched by desire; and that which is lost on the one hand is gained on the other. Therefore cry out and say upon your couch, In the night I sought him whom my soul loveth. [Song 3:1]’ (Jerome)
I looked for him but did not find him – ‘Some of the saints of past ages have made good use of this passage in describing what has been called ‘the dark night of the soul’, the cry of agony from the heart of one who senses he or she has lost the presence of God and so loses his or her sense of belonging and security (see Ps. 42).’ (NBC)
Song 3:2 I will get up now and go about the city,
through its streets and squares;
I will search for the one my heart loves.
So I looked for him but did not find him.
Song 3:3 The watchmen found me
as they made their rounds in the city.
“Have you seen the one my heart loves?”
Song 3:4 Scarcely had I passed them
when I found the one my heart loves.
I held him and would not let him go
till I had brought him to my mother’s house,
to the room of the one who conceived me.
Song 3:5 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.
Song 3:6 Who is this coming up from the desert
like a column of smoke,
perfumed with myrrh and incense
made from all the spices of the merchant?
Song 3:7 Look! It is Solomon’s carriage,
escorted by sixty warriors,
the noblest of Israel,
Song 3:8 all of them wearing the sword,
all experienced in battle,
each with his sword at his side,
prepared for the terrors of the night.
Song 3:9 King Solomon made for himself the carriage;
he made it of wood from Lebanon.
Song 3:10 Its posts he made of silver,
its base of gold.
Its seat was upholstered with purple,
its interior lovingly inlaid
by the daughters of Jerusalem.
Song 3:11 Come out, you daughters of Zion,
and look at King Solomon wearing the crown,
the crown with which his mother crowned him
on the day of his wedding,
the day his heart rejoiced.