π(1)r

A
Poetical Translation
of the
Song of Solomon,


From the Original Hebrew;


With a
Preliminary Discourse,
and
Notes,


Historical, Critical, and Explanatory.


By Anne Francis.


“ΦΩΝΑΝΤΑ ΣΥΝΕΤΟΙΣΙΝ—”

Pindar, Ol. II.

London:
Printed For J. Dodsley, in Pall-Mall. 1781M,DCC,LXXXI.

π(1)v π(2)r

To the Reverend and Learned
John Parkhurst, M. A.
of Epsom, Surrey,

The following translation
is most respectfully
inscribed,
as a small testimony to his merit,
and a monument of his friendship
for the author;
who, actuated by the principles
of esteem and gratitude,
takes this public opportunity
of acknowledging
her great and repeated obligations
to him:
and wishes to present
the following sheets to the public
under his patronage.

π(2)v π(3)r

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2 A Pre- a(1)r

A
Preliminary Discourse.

The following Paraphrase of the Song of Solomon,
which I now offer to the public, may perhaps be thought
an improper undertaking for a woman: The learned may imagine
it a subject above the reach of my abilities; while the
unlearned may incline to deem it a theme unfit for the exercise
of a female pen.


If the former, after having read and maturely considered the
performance, should then accuse me of ignorance, or temerity,
I hope they will be pleased to do me justice in one particular,
at least, by admitting that I have taken some pains to elucidate my
subject, and to place in one clear point of view a poem ancient
and intricate:
a poem relished by few, understood by
very few; but which, with concern I say it, has been ridiculed
by many
. How oft has the cheek of ignorance flushed with a fancied a(1)v ii
fancied importance, when the sacred pages have met the illjudging
eye? How oft the tongue of half-bred wit grown voluble,
when the loves of Solomon and his fair Egyptian spouse
have occasionally been the subject?

To my less learned objectors I shall beg leave to say, that if
they imagine they discover any thing impure, or indelicate, in
the following pages, they must force on the divine performance
a meaning foreign from the sacred author’s intention, and
distant—very distant from his translator’s heart ——

Who’d feed no vice, no luscious tale unfold,

In polish’d metre elegantly told;

Who yet essays, with daring genius fir’d,

To chant those strains that Judah’s God inspir’d,

To sing that holy flame, that raptur’d love,

Which mortals fancy, but which angels prove.

How beams instruction from each hallow’d line!

How soars the thought from sensual to divine!

Still as we read, the heav’n-taught muse inspires,

And all the kindling soul with sacred transport fires.

To those who would be eloquent on a subject they little
comprehend
, I take leave to address a few lines more; I would,
if possible, check their half-formed sneer, and stop them from
offending. Let them consider, that the Song of Songs
is no human compostition, but the work of an inspired penman;
and that the same God who turned to melody the tongue of the
Jewish bard, would likewise charm to reverence the Christian
reader’s heart, would he but yield up that heart to him, attend
the strain, and mark the sacred import. Why not attempttempt a(2)r iii
to draw aside the mystic veil, and in the earthly view the
heavenly Solomon? Be it likewise remembered, Introduction to A New Translation of the Song of Solomon. “that this
poem celebrates no loose amours, but that holy wedded love, which
allowably glows in the chastest bosoms.”
Reflect we also, that
“the whole has a higher and more noble application; and that
this elegant description of conjugal love, is only a veil to shadow
that divine and tender regard, which subsists between the
Redeemer and the souls of men.”

Although, in the following Paraphrase, I have confined myself
to the literal sense of this ancient Song, “the giving of
which,”
says a learned author , Author of the New Translation “is the first duty of an expositor;”
yet am I very far from agreeing with the learned Michaelis
(a Professor in his Majesty’s University of Gottingen)
who seems to controvert the received opinion of this poem’s being
a sacred allegory, and is inclined to look no farther than
the literal meaning. No; I would have my readers still keep
in mind it’s divine import: Let them cherish the idea, it will
enhance their pleasure, and insure their profit.

My present purpose, however, is to place it’s literal sense in a
clear and perspicuous point of view; to distinguish, with all
possible accuracy, the Dramatis Personae of this sacred poem; to
make proper divisions; and to transfuse some of the spirit and
energy of Oriental poetry into English metre.

Perhaps it may be said, that after two learned and ingenious
men, namely, the anonymous writer of The New Translationa2 lation a(2)v iv
of the Song of Solomon
, and Mr. Harmer, author of the
Outlines of a new Commentary on this Divine Poem, have undertaken,
the one to translate, and the other explain it, it is needless
for a woman to step forth, and expatiate on a subject, which
has already been so satisfactorily treated by them; since no new
lights can be expected, or hoped for, from the feeble efforts of a
female muse. To the works of the able writers just mentioned,
I own myself much indebted; from them I have received many
striking lights, which have helped to guide me through the intricate
labyrinth, enabling me to pursue, methodically, I trust,
the various changes of this ancient Hebrew Song.

The plan of my Paraphrase is chiefly founded on what Mr.
Harmer
has advanced; his Commentary may be called the
basis of it. In some few points, I take leave to dissent from his
opinion; but, when he perceives the motive, and hearkens to
the reasons I produce, if he then incline not to my hypothesis,
he will at least pardon, and not accuse me of singularity for
the sake of being singular
.

In regard to the speakers in this Song, the author of the
New Translation agrees with Origen, that they are, 1. Solomon;
2. his Spouse; 3. the Virgins her Companions; and
(he thinks) 4. the Friends of the Bridegroom. Mr. Harmer
acquiesces in the above, but delievers it as his opinion, that a
fifth speaker should be added, namely, the Jewish Queen, a former,
and (before this marriage) the principal wife of Solomon.
To these I have ventured to add, the Virgins of Egypt, and
those of Zion, agreeably to a hint thrown out by Mr. Harmer,
and in conformity with my own judgement. The Virgins of
Zion are mentioned, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. iii. II, as distinct from those of Jerusalem,rusalem a(3)r v
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch i. 2, 5. There appear also to be two bands, or companies,
of the Daughters of Jerusalem; for those who go forth,
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. i. to meet the bride and bridegroom, cannot be the same that
appear, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. ii. as attendants on the Jewish Queen, and which
are to be considered as her maids of honour.

“It is surprizing,” says Mr. Harmer (in a letter to me) “that
preceding writers should not have remarked, that the sacred poem of
Solomon introduces two different ladies, as the principal personages
to whom it refers, along with the royal bridegroom. I doubt not”

(continues he) “but that you have given this observation it’s due
energy. It is of the greatest consequence, if we would give a just
view of this venerable song.”
—Certainly it is. And is it not
astonishing, that a circumstance of such consequence should have
escaped all former expositors? By this important discovery (the
honour of which rests solely with Mr. Harmer) the literal sense of
the poem becomes clear and striking, is laid open to every eye,
and directed to every unprejudiced heart. That being ascertained,
the allegorical sense succeeds of course: Solomon takes a
Gentile spouse, his former Jewish wife flies off in displeasure:
Christ calls in the Gentile world, the Jews in consequence
thereof fly from the Messiah, and still remain distinct, distant,
irreconcileable.


After having perused with attention Mr. Harmer’s excellent
work, I read, with the assistance of a learned friend, the book of
Canticles in the original language, deliberately and critically;
comparing, as I proceeded, Mr. Harmer’s commentary with the
Hebrew text: and by these means I was enabled, with tolerable
precision, to ascertain who were the speakers, and which of the two ladies a(3)v vi
ladies, introduced in the drama, was the speaker at such or such
a time. “For though” (as Mr. Harmer observes) “there are
here no separate names, or the initial letters of the names,
by which the speakers may be known, yet we may generally
collect the knowledge we want to obtain on this point, from
other considerations. This, in some cases, is not difficult. A
king is spoken of in this piece of poetry; where a verb then is
in the singular number, and masculine in it’s termination (for
the Hebrew verbs are known, by all acquainted with that
language, to have terminations, in most cases, that distinguish
a male from a female) we readily suppose that king is the
speaker: where they are plural, and of a feminine termination,
we suppose the words belong to a company of virgins: when
feminine, but singular, we suppose it is the Spouse that speaks:
but if there be two different ladies that speak singly, at different
times, the termination of the Hebrew verb, &c. cannot determine
whether it be the Spouse, or a former wife of Solomon,
that speaks; it may as well be the last as the first; and it is the
sense alone of what is then spoken
, that can enable us to affix
those parts of the Song to the right person; and as these parts
may be sometimes obscure, and at others too short to be very
determinate, the settling of all the parts of this poem with exactness,
must be extremely difficult.” See Outlines, p. 25 and 26.
Difficult Mr. Harmer
asserts it to be, but he does not say it is impossible. Led on by
a gleam of hope, animated and encouraged by the wishes and aiding a(4)r vii
aiding hand of my judicious friend, I proceeded to examine,
with the strictest scrutiny, this Song of Songs. I mused upon
the whole—brought all it’s parts before me—marked down
each speaker—reflected on the matter spoken—observed the rising
passions—and traced the cadence of desponding love. The
result was—All is consistent, beautifully descriptive, movingly
pathetic, or simply and necessarily narrative. There are certain
passages so exceedingly poetical, that they must strike every reader
of tolerable taste; and others unembellished with the graces of
diction: this latter circumstance I look on as an excellence in
the poem—rather than as a defect (humanly speaking) in the
author. A writer of taste and judgement knows where to give
a loose to the exuberance of fancy, and where to curb the vivacity
of imagination. Little, it may be said, was here left to
fancy—little to the fallies of human imagination. How much,
or how little, I pretend not to determine; thus far I grant,
the matter was from God, in this, as in the other sacred books;
but how far the manner of delivering it was dependant on the
ability of the person commanded to promulge the holy precepts,
I think the manifest and striking difference which appears, particularly
in the poetical parts of the Old Testament, amply
evinces.

But to return—When the royal poet treats of love, can any
thing be more full, more soft, more exquisitely expressive?
When he draws a comparison, how just, how strong, how
bold! too bold, it may be, for the refined ear of some gentle
European
; but not too bold for the glowing pen of an Asiatic
bard. Solomon is not singular in this; the prophets of the 9 Old a(4)v viii
Old Testament delight in, and abound with, similies as bold,
metaphors as strong, and allusions as sensual. It is a just observation
of Monsieur Boileau, “that we are never to judge
of the elevation of an expression in an ancient author, by the
sound it carries with us; since it might be extremely fine with
them, though rough, low, and uncouth to us.”

In ch. ii. of this Song, the sacred penman gives such proofs
of his poetic powers, as must always be admired, but never can
be equalled: there the pathetic, the descriptive, unites with
the ardent pleadings of impassioned love. All of beauty—all
of harmony is there! Would we complain—Solomon, in
ver. I, instructs us how to pour forth the dubious feelings of an
anxious heart; would we paint nature clad in the young graces
of laughing spring—turn we to INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ver. 11, 12, 13; and would we
sue with all the complicated eloquence of love—learn we, from
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ver. 14, how to express ourselves. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Ch. iii. to the end of
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ver. 4, I term narrative; at INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ver. 6, the poet rises, assumes a
loftier strain—then glows his imagination, and on the numbers
flow, with grace, with energy, with harmony divine!

The language of the royal bridegroom is ardent—eloquent:
that of the Jewish Queen, plaintive—inquisitive—arguing
distrust—now expressive of resentment—then relenting, and
melting into love—then again declarative of violent anger and
chagrin: while that of the Spouse is tender; but it is a tenderness
mixed with delicacy, and some reserve. Influenced by
that modesty and diffidence becoming her new station, and almost
inseparable from it, she speaks but little; just enough to convince
her royal partner of the preference her heart gives him; 3 excepting b(1)r ix
excepting once, towards the conclusion of ch. viii. when, irritated,
it should seem, by a keen reproach from the mouth of
her envious rival, the woman is awakened, and the reserve of the
bride, for a short period, forgotten.

It is evident, that to one female speaker is assigned a large
portion of this divine song. Brides, even in our own country,
are seldom talkative; polite and prudent brides, never so. Those
of the Asiatics are extremely reserved: they are bathed, perfumed,
dressed, celebrated in songs; but history says not, that
they ever join in those songs, or that they even mix in public
conversation, on these solemnities. Modest reserve is the characteristic
of a bride; and our sacred bard, who adheres invariably
to nature, describes persons and things, customs and
manners, such as they were in his time, and such as they,
pretty nearly, appear to be at present among the Orientals;
whose usages vary not, as our’s do; but who, tenacious of
old customs, keep closely to them.

The lady, then, who pathetically complains, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. ii. and who
likewise has so considerable a portion assigned her, through
the course of the drama, cannot, conformably to our plan of
expounding this poem, be the Bride, but must be the Jewish
Queen.
“For” (says Mr. Harmer) “it is plain, that two principal
wives of Solomon
, the one just married, and another, whose jealousy
was greatly awakened by the event, are referred to in this
Song, and introduced as speakers.”
Whatever is spoken INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. ii. is
spoken in the absence of Solomon; to the end of INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ver. 6, the
acute feelings of an afflicted soul are poured forth, not the warm
effusions of a heart dilated with joy, and glowing with the gratefulb ful b(1)v x
sensations of successful love. Mr. Harmer has treated this
point in an able manner, and I think has proved incontrovertibly,
that, as there are two wives of Solomon introduced in
this poem, so—that at the beginning of INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. ii. the Jewish, or
former principal wife, makes her first appearance.

I have minutely examined what Mr. Harmer has advanced
on this subject, and have compared it with the divine original,
appealing, as I proceeded, not only to my understanding, but to
my heart; for while we are human, the passions and affections
will bear some sway; and so long as they are subservient to religion
and reason
, it is not improper that they should. Were they not
implanted in our nature for wise and noble purposes? And since
it has pleased our great Creator to reveal to us spiritual things
by sensible images, either reflected from the world around us, or
derived from the intimate sensations of our own hearts, should we
not, if we would fully comprehend the force and meaning of a
divine composition, appeal to our hearts, and consult their
feelings? They will (prejudice aside) determine pretty justly
in these matters, and inform us whether the subject in question
be the expressions of tender sorrow, or the effusions of successful
love.

My first attempt on this divine composition, was a prose
translation, which I carefully and studiously made from the
Hebrew text, some time before The New Translation of Solomon’s
Song
came to my hand. Then I began my Paraphrase, endeavouring
to soften, with the flow of numbers, the rugged, inharmonious
style of literal translation: adopting Bishop Patrick’s
opinion, that the latter part of INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ver. 14. ch. 5. should be understoodstood b(2)r xi
as descriptive of the bridegroom’s dress: and likewise
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. vii. ver. 2 of some ornaments, and parts of the dress of the
Jewish queen. Saint John in the INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Apocalypse, ch. xix. ver. 16.
represents the Lord Jesus as having on his vesture, and on his
thigh (that part of the vesture that laid over his thigh) a name
written
; which plainly shews that it was not unusual to call
certain parts of the vesture by the names of those parts of the
body which they covered. See Outl. p. 177.

My prose translation was a literal one; but as a poetical paraphrast,
I have allowed myself greater freedom; and though I
have preserved the strict sense of the Hebrew text (as far as my
knowledge of the sacred language extends) yet have I frequently
enlarged thereon, endeavouring to elucidate some parts, and to
make others bend a little to the mind of an European reader:
for, considering the distance of time since this inspired poet
wrote, the difference between the ancient, yea modern, usages
of the east, and those that obtain in our western regions, all possible
light should be thrown on a transaction so remote, on a
subject so obscure.

The method recommended by Mr. Harmer, and pursued by
him in his excellent piece, entitled, Outlines of a New Commentary,
&c. to illustrate this Song, is, the comparing of it with
other oriental compositions, ancient and modern, such as the
Arabian Nights Entertainments; the Song of the Bassa Ibrahim,
which bears a striking resemblance to this divine poem,
in the style, the images, and the peculiar turn of thought; b2 a trans- b(2)v xii
a translation of which is given in the justly-celebrated Letters
of the late Lady M.W. Montague.
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Ps. xlv. he likewise mentions
as a fine piece of oriental poesy; which is generally allowed to be
an epithalamium, composed on the marriage of Solomon with
the Egyptian princess, and is therefore most aptly chosen by that
judicious writer on this occasion, and compared with the Song
of Solomon
. The last he produces is a famous Greek poem
of great antiquity; it is the epithalamium of Theocritus, on
the nuptials of Menelaus with Helen. For further illustration
I beg leave to refer the reader to his work. See Outlines,
p. 104, &c. &c.

As to the nature of this poem, the learned have disagreed;
some calling it a simple pastoral, others a sublime allegory,
others an epithalamium. As to the subject of it, there seems
no room for doubt, it appearing evidently to have been
written on occasion of Solomon’s nuptials with the daughter of Pharoah.
This great and important event was to be celebrated in a
manner never to be forgotten: it was therefore recorded by an
inspired writer, and registered in the Holy Bible, at the command,
doubtless, of God himself. How far every individual
among us, who are of the Christian communion, may be interested
herein
, it behoves us seriously to consider. For did Solomon, at
that time a devout and zealous Jew, venture of his own accord to
act contrary to the spirit and intent of God’s law?—I say to the
spirit and intent of it; for hough the strict letter of the law, which
forbad making marriages with the heathen, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Deut. vii. 1-4.
related only to the seven cursed nations of Canaan; yet the reason of
it, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ver. 4. “For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they b(3)r xiii
they may serve other gods, &c.”
entended to other idolatrous nations,
as well as to the Canaanites, as was afterwards sdly expe—
rienced by Solomon himself. See INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.1 Kings xi. 1-9. And accordingly,
in Ezra’s reformation, we find at INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. ix. 1. the
Ammonites, Moabites, and the Egyptians particularly, mentioned
among those nations from whom the Jews ought not to have
taken wives
; and that Ezra solemnly obliged them to put
away such strange women, and the children they had by them.
See INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Ezra, ch. ix. x. throughout, and comp. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Neh. xiii. 23, &c.
Would the devout Solomon then have thus violated the law of
God, by taking a Gentile—an Egyptian princess, unless he had
been particularly directed so to do? No, certainly. But herein he
is to be considered as a lively and striking type of Christ. He was
allowed to take, and conscious of the divine grant did take, a
Gentile princess, and admit her a partner in his royal love,
with his former Jewish queen. Had the Almighty disapproved
the act, would he (presently afterwards) have appeared to the
king at Gibeon, in a dream by night, (see INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.1 Kings iii. 5-14.) and
bidden him ask a blessing, and applauded him for requesting an
understanding heart, instead of the vain objects of human
desire
? But supposing this poem to have been written on
the nuptials of Solomon with the Egyptian princess, yet it cannot
be an epithalamium, it being of too considerable a length
for a poem of that kind, and also abounding with too great a
variety of incident. Neither is it a pastoral, the style being,
in many parts, too lofty for compositions of that nature. But,
that a sublime allegory is couched beneath this description of conjugal
love, there cannot (I think) with a Christian, remain a doubt
.

Epithalamiums b(3)v xiv

Epithalamiums were, generally, sung in the chamber, an
near the bed of the new-married pair; they could not then be
of any considerable length; now this poem includes the space
of seven days, according to the received opinion, and as we shall
hereafter set forth, when speaking of the Time; and that
is one, among many reasons, why I believe it is not an epithalamium:
for all the compositions of that sort, which remain to
us from antiquity, are concise, differing in other respects also
from this before us. Lady M.W. Montague speaks of a
modern one, which her ladyship heard sung at a bagnio in
Constantinople, when a beautiful young Turkish bride was introduced
there. She does not indeed say how long they were
in the procession, but it must have been short, as her continuance
at the bagnio was but a few hours.

The matter of an epithalamium seems briefly this—the
praises of the bride and bridegroom (see INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Ps. xlv. which is a
perfect model of this kind of Asiatic composition) a promise, an
injunction. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.The Song of Solomon, indeed, abounds with the
first—but, where is the promise? where the injunction?

To this day the Arab brides are celebrated in songs, in which
their beauty, their virtues, their good qualities, are extolled;
even if nature, with hand illiberal, has sparingly dealt out the
scanty portion. Such songs as these (which were, and still are,
extemporaneous) may be found in ch. i. of the INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Canticles, to the
end of INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ver. 14; they are resumed at INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. iv. ver. 1, and continued to
the conclusion of INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ver. 7, when the Spouse being arrived at the
Holy City, they cease; and no further traces of them are to be
met with during the remained of the poem. These b(4)r xv
These extemporaneous songs, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. i. by the daughters of Jerusalem,
and INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. iv. by the daughters of Zion, must (if any
part of this divine poem be thus intended) be the epithalamium;
but such they do not appear to me: however, I leave my readers
to determine for themselves, humbly offering it as my
opinion, after many learned expositors, Thus, for instance, the eminently learned Gregory Nazianzen (cited by
Bishop Patrick in Pref.) calls it του νυμφι κου Δραματος τε και Ασματος the bridal
Drama and Song!
I hope, therefore, my application of the terms drama, dramatic,
and dramatis personae, will give no offence to my less
learned readers.
ancient and modern,
that the form of this sacred poem is dramatic, and, in conformity
to that opinion, I have proceeded in my paraphrase.

But though it be dramatic, it may want, and the critics say it
does want, dramatic unity
. According to our present notions, perhaps
it may. I pretend not to determine here, acknowledging
this to be a subject which I am by no means versed in, having
never made it my study. However, as the form appeared to me
dramatic, agreeably to that notion, and unbiassed by the laws or
strict rules of severe Aristotelian criticism
, I have endeavoured to
throw my work into that form, as far as the nature of this
ancient poem would admit, and my own confined knowledge
of the drama extends.

The time included in this Song is, accoring to the opinion of
Bossuet, the learned Dr. Lowth, now Lord Bishop of London,
and others, seven days. “It is well known” (says the author of the
New Translation) “that among the Hebrews, from the earliest
times, the nuptial feast continued seven days. This appears
from the words of Laban to Jacob, when he had obtruded Leah
upon him instead of Rachel: ‘Fulfil her week (i.e. complete2 plete b(4)v xvi
the seven days of the nuptial solemnity with Leah) and
then we will give thee,’
&c. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Gen. xxix. 27. It is likewise manifest
from INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Judg. xiv. 12, 15, 17, that the same number of
days was set apart for feasting at the marriage of Sampson.
This rule is, to this day, strictly observed among the Jews.
During these seven days of feasting (continues the same writer)
the bridegroom was attended by a select number of companions,
who passed the whole time with him, and are styled in
the New Testament, the ‘friends of the bridegroom’, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.John iii. 29.
and the ‘children of the bride-chamber’, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Matt. ix. 15. On the
other hand, a select number of virgins accompanited the
bride; these are called, in the book of Psalms, ‘the virgins,
her companions.’
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Ps. xlv. 14. In the company of these the
week of marriage was spent.” See Introduction to the New Translation, p. 15, 16.

In respect to the divisions of the poem, I have not followed
any preceding writer; but hope my method will appear clear
and probable.

I have adopted the ingenious conjecture of Mr. Harmer,
in supposing that the habitation of Chimham might be the place
where Solomon met the daughter of Pharaoh. The distance
to which Solomon went, we may believe, was not great—no
greater than might be very well travelled over between the decline
of the day and midnight, notwithstanding the slowness in
marching which the nuptial pomp required. Nuptial processions
were wont to be in the night. So our Lord represents the
cry—“The bridegroom cometh,” as made at midnight. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Matt.
xxv. 6.
The entrance of Solomon, with his bride, into Jerusalem,salem c(1)r xvii
we may suppose, was in the night: “Every man hath
his sword upon his thigh, because of fear in the night.”
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Cant. iii. 8.

“The habitation of Chimham” (says Mr. Harmer) “answers all
this, being near Bethlehem, which is known to be only six
miles from Jerusalem; lies in the road to Gaza, and that road
is called the desert or wilderness.” Outl. p. 231.

It was there that Johanan and his troops stopt, and it appears
to have beenthe last place in the road that way to Egypt,
fit for the accomodation of a large body of people. There
Johanan stopt, finally to determine whether they should go into
Egypt or not. See INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Jer. xli. 17. and INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. xlii.

The method I have chosen of varying the subsequent scenes of
the drama, I hope will not be displeasing to my readers.
Fancy, I acknowledge, may sometimes have taken the lead in this
arrangement; but I trust the judicious will not accuse me of
resigning the reins, where judgement and sound reason should, or
could have dictated. A proper distinction will, I doubt not,
be made by the reader: The sacred text remains inviolate, the
scenery and decorations only are to be looked on as the effort of
human judgement or imagination.

When I consider the importance of this divine Song—the
greatness of the subject—the sublimity of the language—the
peculiar mode of expression, I am fearful that, notwithstanding
all my care—my study—my attention, I have been able to soar
no higher than an humble imitation, and have failed in my endeavoursc vours c(1)v xviii
of transfusing the spirit and energy of Asiatic poetry into
English metre. Would that my poetic powers were more
equal to the task—equal to my desire of doing greater justice to a
poem so beautiful—so sublime—so important!

The eastern languages are all (I am informed) full, energetic,
comprehensive. The Hebrew (which is the origin of all
others
) retains, though partially understood, a grandeur, a sublimity,
a mode of expression commanding admiration, but almost
damping the distant hope of successful imitation. No other language
has powers to emulate the force, the nobleness of this:
and why? The Hebrew came immediately from God himself; all
other languages are but human corruptions, more or less distant
from the divine original. To reduce then the Hebrew poetry
to English verse, is nearly as difficult as to render pliant like
the slender osier, the solid branches of the sturdy oak.

How oft, intimidated by the arduous task, have I laid down
the faltering pen, shrunk from the subject, and mused in silent
dismay, till heavenly hope revived my drooping mind, and,
reassured, I smote the accordant strings, thus (ardent) invocating
the celestial muse: O! for an angel’s voice, an angel’s fire,To wake to raptur’d sounds the hallow’d lyre;To sing as suits the majesty of song,In numbers lofty, and in diction strong,In strains adapted to the great design,The subject Solomon, the theme divine!

“Whether the translation now offered to the public” (to speak in 10 terms c(2)r xix
terms somewhat similar to those of Mr. Scott, in his Preface to Paraphrase of Job, p. 7-8. an ingenious writer) “be
executed with tolerable success, and reflects the sense of a remote
and
difficult author, together with some faint sketch of the beauties
of a great and inspired poet, is submitted to those whose learning
and taste render them competent judges of both.”


Edgefield Parsonage,
near Holt, Norfolk,
1781-07-24July 24, 1781.
c(2)v

Erratum.

  • Page 2c. l. 1. for contemplation read continuation.
B(1)r

The
Song of Songs,

Which is
Solomon’s.

B
B(1)v

Dramatis Personae.

Solomon.

Nobles of Zion, attendant on the King. Ch. vi. 13.

Nobles of Zion. Ch. iii. 11.

The Egyptian Spouse. Ch. i. 16.

Choral Virgins of Egypt. Ch. i. 5.

Choral Virgins of Jerusalem. Ch. i. 2.

Virgins of Jerusalem, attendant on the Jewish Queen. Ch. iii. 7.

Choral Virgns of Zion. Ch. iv. I.

B(2)r

Chap. I
V. 1. Chap. I.
The first verse of this chapter needs no comment, it being a title only of the
succeeding Poem.
The The traces of an alternate singing are to be discerned in this chapter, from
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ver. 2 to ver. 15.—Different singers are supposed to attend the bride, in her being
brought to the camp of Solomon, and in her journey from thence to Jerusalem,
and to sing different parts. Outlines p. 96. Lady M.W. Montague’s
Letters shew that alternate singing is now used among the Turks. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Exod. ch. xv.
proves its use was far more ancient among the Jews, than the time of Solomon.
And if used in other solemn songs of triumph among them, why not at their nuptials?
as it certainly is among the Turks now. Outl. p. 98.

The Song of Songs, Which is
Solomon’s

Day the First.


Scene—A Plain near the Habitation of Chimham, distant
from Jerusalem about six Miles, situate on the Confines of Judea,
bordering on the Wilderness.
The Camp of Solomon in View.
Processional Songs by the Virgins of Jerusalem, advancing to meet
the Bride.
Time, Evening.

Canto the First.


First Virgin

sings (personating the Bride.)

V.2. Ver. 2. A virgin of Jerusalem sings, personating the bride: for “is it imaginable,”
says Mr. Harmer, “that an eastern princess, brought up in all the
delicacy and reserve of those countries, should express herself before marriage in
this manner? It is totally inadmissible, and consequently could never be so exprest
by a poet who followed nature: but if it be considered as the representation
of a song sung before her, it becomes quite a different thing.”
See Outl. p. 88.
P. Houbigant was of opinion, that the words “let him kiss me with the kisses
of his mouth,”
are a direct address to the bridegroom: but “a little attention will
convince us,”
says the author of the New Translation of this Song, “that the
bridegroom does not make his appearance till INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ver. 9,”
(in my opinion not till
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ver. 15;) for, continues he, “let us consider what a figure the bridegroom makes,
upon the supposition that he is present at the lady’s address; she overflows with
love and tenderness, but receives not one kind word in reply.”
“With the kisses of his mouth”.—The Hebrew idiom abounds with such redundancies.
“For thy love is better than wine”.—This bold apostrophe has been
compared to the following in Virgil“O formose puer, nimium ne crede colori.”
Note on New Translation, p. 50.

Let him on me the balmy kiss bestow,

With ruby mouth, whence honey’d accents flow:

For ah! those lips are fragrant as the rose,

When on its head the purple orient glows.

B(2)r B2 Second B(2)v 4


Second Virgin

still personating the Bride.

To share the favour of thy love be mine;

Thy love, more precious than the choicest wine.

Chorus B(3)r 5


Chorus of Virgins

singing the praises of the Bridegroom.

3. Ver. 3. “The eastern nations, and indeed the ancients in general, dealt much
in unguents; hence the odour of sweet ointments became a common metaphor
to express the extensive acceptableness of a good name. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Eccles. vii. I.”
Note on
New Translation, p. 51
—It was customary, on some occasions, to pour liquid
odours on the head—at the anointing of kings, &c. Christ saith to Simon, the
Pharisee, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Luke vii. 46. “Mine head with oil thou didst not anoint, but this woman
hath anointed my feet with ointment.”
Also INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Ps. xxiii. 5. “Thou hast
anointed my head with oil, and my cup shall be full.”

Sweet is the scent of perfumes rare,

Exhaling on the ambient air;

Sweeter thy name—a perfume spread,

Unrivall’d, o’er the royal head:

Therefore the virgins love thy name,

And join to celebrate thy fame.


Second Virgin

of the Bridegroom.

4. Ver. 4. “We will run ‘to the fragrance of thy perfumes.’ These latter words
are supplied from the Septuagint and Vulgate versions, and are countenanced by
the Chaldee paraphrase.”
Note on the New Translation, p. 52.
“The king is bringing me into his הדרים.” These are the inner apartments appropriated propitiated
to the Women. And as Solomon undoubtedly received the princess of
Egypt in an encampment, this term must here be understood to mean those tents
of pavilions which were erected for her accommodation, and for that of her female
attendants. So—“Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent, and
she became his wife.”
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Gen. xxiv. 67. The spouse was not, at this time, brought
into the royal tent
, but on the road, proceeding to meet the bridegroom: Should
not the verb הביאני then be rendered is bringing me, rather than in the preter
tense, hath brought?

O draw me “with thy pow’rful sweets,”


Chorus of Virgins.

And after thee we’ll fly:

Our sense thy fragrant odour greets,

As gentle breezes waft it thro’ the sky.

I First B(3)v 6


First Virgin

personating the Bride.

The King conducts me to the nuptial bower,

O! deck the path where love delights to stray,

Throw all around each fair delicious flower,

That opes its radiant beauties to the day.


Chorus of Virgins

of the Bridegroom.

In thee w’ll be glad and rejoice,

Extolling thy love more than wine;

The upright shall raise the loud voice

To swell the full chorus divine.


Virgins of Egypt, preceding the Bride, addressing themselves
to the Virgins of Jerusalem.


First Virgin of Egypt

sings (personating the Bride.)

5. Ver. 5. “I am brown as the tents of Kedar, but comely as the curtains of Solomon. mon.””
—The tents of Kedar, or of the wild Arabs, are covered with coarse haircloth,
which is woven by their women, who conduct the threads with their fingers,
having no looms; this cloth is black, and usually of goat’s hair. Dr.
Shaw
tells us, that they are called, among the Bedoween Arabs, dow-warah, or
doo-warah: these Bedoweens generally pitch their tents in the open fields, in a
circular figure. An encampment of this gloomy hue could afford no pleasing
prospect to the eye, and the ideas it gives rise to, serve as a contrast to those beautiful
images that flow in upon the mind, when it turns itself to the contemplation
of the grandeur and magnificence of a royal pavilion, decorated with the
nicest art, and fitted out at a great expence. Modern tents, among the Turks,
are exceedingly magnificent; we are told of one that cost 25,000 piastres; it was
made in Persia, and was three or four years in completing. There was nothing
remarkable in the outside, but it was lined with one single piece of camel’s hair,
and elegantly decorated with festoons, and sentences in the Turkish language.
That the Jews were (long before the time of Solomon) skilled in works of this
nature, we may learn from the description given us of that glorious tent erected
in the wilderness in the days of Moses. Solomon’s tent, on this occasion, was,
doubtless, extremely rich and ornamented, agreeably to the taste andability of a
young and wealthy monarch—a monarch who made silver in Jerusalem as stones,
and who surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.2 Chron. ix. 27. This
tent was prepared too for the reception of a bride superiour to Solomon in birth,
descended from a monarch (at that time) great and powerful, reigning over the
proudest people on earth.

I’m brown as Kedar’s tents, O virgin train!

Which rise in one bold circle o’er the plain:

But B(4)r 7

But still my form’s replete with native grace,

And charms majestic dignify my face:

Comely am I, as yon pavilion rare,

Whose broider’d curtains wanton in the air;

Whose splendid foldings mock the gloom of night,

Tipt with gay beams of artificial light.

6 6. O B(4)v 8

6. Ver. 6. This brownness, or swarthiness, here complained of, must be considered
as adventitious: for “D’Arvieux observes of the Arabs of the Holy Land,
that, though the ordinary women are extremely tawny, yet that their princesses
are of a very clear complexion, being always kept from the sun.”
Outl. p. 188.
And Dr. Shaw says, “the greatest part of the Moorish women would be reckoned
beauties even in Great Britain; the boys being much exposed to the sun,
quickly attain the swarthiness of the Arab, but the girls, keeping more at home,
preserve their beauty till they are thirty.”
Shaw’s Travels, p.4 to. p. 241. The
same, therefore, we may believe, says Mr. Harmer, of the women of Egypt, and
consequently of this princess, as to her natural complexion. Maillet himself allows
it, when he says, the women of Egypt are pretty fair. Outl. p. 189.“The sun”
(says she) “hath looked upon me.” His too fervid rays had injured her complexion,
and tarnished the native lustre of her charms. And no wonder, when we consider
the long journey she had undertaken at that sultry season of the year, in
April as it should seem, which month, in Egypt, the Holy Land, &c. is extremely
hot
. This journey was undertaken at the earnest request of בני אמי—rendered
her mother’s children, but are supposed to mean her countrymen, the people of
Egypt; who, desirous of making an alliance with Solomon, appear to have insisted,
with some degree of warmth
, on the immediate departure of the Princess,
contrary, it might be, to her own inclinations at that time, when travelling
must of necessity be irksome, through heat, and the numerous insects, &c. which
infest those deserts through which she was to pass, in the summer months. And
this seems to be the anger alluded to in the text; theywere displeased with her,
for appearing to prefer her own ease to their interest: and the event proves, that
she did nobly advance their interest, at the risk of her own safety, ease, and
beauty: thus keeping their vineyard, but neglecting her own.
There There is something so very striking in the following description of the celebrated
Zenobia, queen of Palmyra, (as given us by Mr. Wood, in his account
of the Ruins of that place) that I am inclined to insert it here, being of opinion
(with Mr. Harmer) that, it very well agrees with that in the Canticles of the royal
spouse
; proving, past dispute, that it is possible for a woman to be brown, and yet
enchantingly beautiful: “Zenobia’s complexion was a dark brown; her eyes black
and sparkling, and of an uncommon fire; her countenance divinely sprightly;
her person graceful and genteel beyond imagination; her teeth white as pearl;
and her voice clear and strong.”
See Harmer’s Obs. on divers Pass. of Scrip.
vol. i. p. 140.
Eyes sparkling, and of uncommon fire, seem not well to agree with
such as were those of the Spouse, which are termed dove’s eyes; but this young
and sprightly Egyptian might have (and probably had) naturally eyes full of fire,
expressive of a lofty mind, considering her high descent and princely education:
yet those eyes might, at that time, be softened by the different emotions of the
heart, where love and fear bore alternate sway.

O then, behold me with a partial eye!

Nor, nicely curious, casual faults descry:

What nature gave—the blush of op’ning day,

Is fled, is tarnish’d by the noontide ray:

Egypt’s C(1)r 9

Egypt’s stern sons requir’d my utmost speed,

And me the keeper of their charge decreed;

Their int’rest dearer than my own I prize—

And haste o’er desert plains, ’neath summer’s fervid skies.


Second Virgin of Egypt

inquiring for the Bridegroom.

7. Ver. 7. “Makest to rest at noon.”“In the hot countries, the shepherds and
their flocks are always forced to retire to shelter during the burning heats of
noon; this is beautifully expressed in a fine passage of Virgil’s Culex.”
Note
on the New Translation, p. 116.
See likewise Virg. Georg. iiiv I. 331, &c. and Dr.
Dr. Martyn’s note there; who observes, that Virgil’s precept of shading the
sheep at noon is taken from Varro; adding, “we find an allusion to this custom
in the Canticles: Tell me, &c.”

Tell me, darling of my soul,

(Thou who can’st ev’ry wish control)

Tell me where thou feed’st?—and where

Repose at noon thy princely care?

For C C(1)v 10

For why should I still darkling rove,

E’en by the tents of those I love?


First Virgin of Jerusalem

in reply.

8.

If thou know not, peerless maid,

Where thy royal shepherd’s laid,

Mark the footsteps of this flock—

And winding gently ’neath the rock,

Feed thy fair kids these shepherds tents beside;

On the green margin of the mazy tide.


Second Virgin of Jerusalem

personating the Bridegroom,
on the nearer approach of the Spouse and her attendants.

9. Ver. 9. “To the horses in the chariots of Pharaoh.”Dr. Shaw observes, that
“the horse, formerly the glory of Numidia, is now degenerated; but that the
Tingitanians and Egyptians have justly the reputation of preserving the best breed.
The Egyptian horses have deservedly the preference of all others for size and
beauty; the smallest of which are sixteen hands high, and all of them shaped, according
to their phrase, like the antilope.”
Travels, p. 165, 166. The
Egyptians were so fond of their horses, and so tenacious of them, that, before the
the days of Solomon, they permitted none to go out of the kingdom; but through
the interest of that prince, the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of Syria,
were supplied with these valuable beasts. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.1 Kings x. 29. We are first to consisider
the beauty—the stateliness—of this animal; secondly, the high estimation it
is held in by the orientals; then we shall be enabled to discover the force, the
propriety of the compliment, where an Oriental, on seeing the young princess
advancing (with her fair and numerous train of virgins, tall, graceful, aptly
chosen, and only inferiour to herself in charms—in dignity—in the splendour of
their apparel)—exclaims—“I have compared thee, O my love” (permit me to add,
with this thy bright retínue) “to the horses in the chariots of Pharaoh.” It is worthy
observation, that Theocritus compares the Grecian Helen to a Thessalian animal
of this kind. See note on New Translation, p. 56. And it may not be amiss
to add, that I heard a person (a short time past) declare, that a “certain tall, graceful,”
and “beautiful woman” of his acquaintance, always put him in mind of a fine
horse
.

Pleas’d, I compare thee, O my royal love!

(Attended by thy gay resplendent train)

To stately coursers, which triumphant move

O’er the smooth surface of th’ Egyptian plain:

Which, C(2)r 11

Which, taught by skilful hands to wield the car,

Advance, with plaudits, through th’admiring throng,

When Pharaoh quits the fervid scene of war,

And pours with regal majesty along.


First Virgin of Jerusalem

of the Bride.

10. Ver. 10. The first part of this verse alludes to the coiffure of pearls worn by
the eastern ladies, which, beginning at the forehead, descends down the cheeks,
and fastens under the chin. So Olearius informs us, “that all the head-dress of the
the Persian ladies are two or three rows of pearls, which go round the head, beginning
on the forehead, and descending down the cheeks, and under the chin;
so that their faces seem to be set in pearls. This coiffure of pearls”
(says
he) “is very ancient among the eastern people, since mention is made of it in the
Song of Songs,”
ch. i. 10. Outl. p. 205.
“When the Khalife Al-Mamon went to receive Touran-Dokht, his intended
bride, that prince found her seated on a throne, her head loaded with a thousand
pearls, every one of them as big as a pigeon’s egg.”
Outl. p. 205.
The second part of the verse alludes to those chains of gold which were, and
still are, worn by the women (of some nations) around the neck. D’Arvieux
describes the Arab women as having gold chains about their necks, which hang
down to their breasts. Outl. p. 206. Dr. Shaw says, that “the ladies of Algiers
wear chains of gold.”
Sandys informs us, that the Egyptian Moors, those of the
better sort, wear plates of gold, I suppose, hung about their necks. See Trav.
lib.
ii. p. 85.

Thy comely cheeks, adorn’d with rows

Of orient pearls, I view,

And charm’d behold the chain that flows

O’er breast of snowy hue!

Chorus C2 C(2)v 12


Chorus of Virgins

of the Bride.

11. Ver. 11. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.See ch. iv. 3.“We will make thee studs of gold תורי—is rendered
rows in the verse preceding, and certainly should have been thus rendered here)
with studs or spots of silver.”
The Turkish ladies wear, in summer, says Lady M.W. Montague, vol. ii.
p. 31, of her Letters
, a talpock of light shining silver stuff, bound on with a circle
of diamonds. The Jewish ladies might wear a cap like this described above, and
those rows of gold, if they were cut through with a graving tool, would then appear
as if they were actually studded with silver. Mr. Sandys, speaking of the
Jewish ladies, tells us, “they wear high caps of plate; some are made of beaten gold,
gold.”
Lib. iii. p. 116.—The same author says of the Turkish ladies, that “they
wear on the top of their heads a cap, not unlike a sugar-loaf, yet a little flat,
made of paste-board, and covered with cloth of silver tissue.”
Lib. i. p. 54.Dr.
Shaw
informs us, that “the Moorish ladies fashion wear on their heads a
sarmah; this constitutes the uppermost part of the head-dress, and is made of thin
flexible plates of gold or silver, variously cut through, and engraven, in imitation
of lace.”
See Shaw’s Trav. p. 229.—To decorate this young and beautiful
princess, on an occasion so great and important, we may believe no expense
was spared.
The Egyptian ladies, says Maillet, “dress magnificently, in a manner much
more rich and splendid than any thing of that kind among us. Their dress consists
of a quantity of pearls, precious stones, costly furs, and other things of
value. Their shifts alone come to six or seven pistoles. In a word, three young
ladies of France
might be handsomely dressed for the same sum that a common habit
comes to in Egypt.”
Lett. ii. p. 112. See Harmer’s Obs. vol. ii. p. 380.

Thy roseate temples we’ll enfold

In triple rows of verdant gold,

With studs of radiant silver dight,

Dispensing beams of varied light.

First C(3)r 13


First Virgin of Jerusalem

personating the Bride.

12. Ver. 12. “Until the king receive me” במסבוin circuitu suo, i. e. in his circular
encampment, &c. Now, if we consider that the present Arab princes always receive
their brides in an encampment formed for that purpose, and that an Arabian
encampment is always circular
; and further, that those of the Israelites were also
of that figure (as appears from INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.1 Sam.Samuel xvii. 20. xxvi. 5,7.מעגלה—a noun
fem. signifying a round camp or encampment), it will throw great light on this
text, and, I hope, make the translation I propose clear and intelligible.
My spikenard, &c. evidently alludes to the custom of perfuming their brides.
The virgins chosen for Ahasuerus were purified six months with oil of myrrh, and
six months with sweet odours, &c. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Esth. ii. 12. What time was taken up in
preparing the brides, in the days of Solomon, we cannot ascertain: I should imagine the ceremony (in the present case) was quickly performed, as the circumstance cumstance
is not dwelt on, by the royal poet. Spikenard, we find, was used together
(we may suppose) with other sweet odours, and the spouse is represented as
desiring they may be perpetually applied—till the king should require her presence
that she may be presented to him with the accustomed fragrancy of a royal eastern
bride. “The Egyptian ladies of these times,” says Maillet, “are very curious
in washing and perfuming themselves:”
“We may believe then (adds Mr. Harmer)
that the ancient princesses of that country were not less careful of their
persons, than were the Persians in the days of Esther.”
See Outl. p. 210.
Lady M.W. Montague, in her description of the reception of a Turkish bride
at a bagnio, among other ceremonies, observes, “that two virgins filled silver
gilt pots with perfumes, and began the procession, singing before the bride.”

Until the king receive me, shed

Unceasing odours on my head;

Lo! C(3)v 14

Lo! wrapt in majesty profound,

He waits, in yon capacious round,

Where circling tents superbly rise,

Aspiring boldly to the skies:

My spikenard now its sweets exhales,

Diffusing fragrance through the vales.


Second Virgin of Jerusalem

of the Bridegroom.

13. Ver. 13. “A bundle of myrrh.”“This seems to be,” says Mr. Parkhurst,
“what Dioscorides, lib. i. cap. Lcxxiv. calls Στακτη, Stacte, and which he informs
us makes a perfume itself; it is very fragrant and dear, and is said to be at present
unkown.”
The Orientals were wont to place this precious perfume in a
casket of gold, covered with jewels; this casket was fastened to the chain or
necklace that surrounded the neck, and hung בין שדי—betwixt the breasts. בתי
הנפש—are mentioned among the ornaments of the women. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Isa. iii. 20. The words, according
according to Mr. Parkhurst (see his Heb. and Eng. Lex. in נפש signifying “perfume-boxes,
vessels or boxes to sniff or smell at
; so the Vulg. rightly, olfactoriola
smelling-boxes.”
They are still in use among Persian women; and I was
lately informed, by an ingenious friend, that she was shewn one of these perfumeboxes,
by a gentleman who brought several of them from the East Indies; that
it was made of ivory curiously wrought, and exactly resembling a small tower.
Of this vessel of perfume it is said, that it, not he, shall remain between my breasts:
mere continuance being the meaning of the Hebrew verb ילין, which has here, I believe,
no reference to the night.

Precious as stacte is my love to me,

Which flows spontaeous from the parent tree;

In C(4)r 15

In a gold casket artfully comprest,

The choice perfume shall dwell upon my breast.


First Virgin of Jerusalem

of the Bridegroom.

14. Ver. 14. “A cluster of כפר”—Our translators have rendered it camphire and (in
Marg.) cypress: but, according to the opinion of the virtuosi, it means the al-hennah
of the East. Rauwolff, who travelled in those countries in the days of Queen
Elizabeth
, gives the following account of this plant: “We find there”(says he) “a
tree not unlike our privet, by the Arabians called al-canna, or henne, &c. which
they have from Egypt, where (but above all in Cairo) they grow in abundance:
the Turks and Moors nurse these up with great care and diligence, because of
their sweet-smelling flowers, and put them into earthen pots or boxes, to keep
them in the winter in vaults, from the frost, which they cannot endure: and because
they hardly begin to sprout before August, they water them with soapsuds,
or place lime about the root, to make them put forth the earlier, that they
may flower the sooner. The smell of these flowers resembles musk; they are of
a pale yellow colour, and stand in spikes of the length of a span, but not very
close, so that the leaves appear between them.”
P. 53, 54. See Outl. p. 218.
Rauwolf
Rauwolff also observes, that “this shrub is mentioned in the first chapter of
Solomon’s Song.”
Dr. Shaw says, “that at Gabs, in the kingdom of Tunis,
they have several plantations of palm-trees, but that their chief trade consists in
the great number of al-hennah plants.”
Travels, p. 113. Here it is worthy observation,
that he found the palm and al-hennah thriving on the same spot. The כפר of
this Song grew in the vineyards of En-gedi: En-gedi was famous for palms too,
and therefore is called in scripture הצצון תמר, the palm-tree plat. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Gen. xiv. 7.
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.2 Chron. xx. 2. “En-gedi” (says Mr. Maundrell) “ was situate about three miles
east of Bethlehem.”
p. 86. Its vineyards were famous for aromatic shrubs; for
though they were called כרמים, I do not find they produced vines: but that term
seems applicable to other plantations, and is thus frequently to be understood in this
divine Song. The palm and al-hennah require a moist situation and warm air; Engedi
was famous for both, and therefore proper for such choice and valuable productions.
The leaves of the al-hennah were used for staining the hair and nails
of a red colour. Dr. Shaw says, “it is of a tawny saffron colour.” Hasselquist
assures us, that he saw the nails of some mummies tinged with it.” Outl.
p. 220.
Mr. Sandys says, “about nine in the forenoon we pitched by Catara:
hereabout, but nearer the Nile, there is a certain tree, called alchan by the Arabs:
the leaves thereof being dried, and reduced into powder, dye a reddish yellow.
There is yearly spent of this, through the Turkish empire, to the value of fourscore
thousand sultanies. The women dye with it their hair and nails, some of
them their hands and feet, and not a few their whole bodies.”
Lib. ii. p. 107.

A fragrant cluster is my royal love,

Cull’d from En-gedi’s palm-encirlced grove;

A fragrant C(4)v 16

A fragrant cluster of al-hennah pale,

Whose high effluvia scent the sportive gale.

2 Scene D(1)r 17

Scene the Second.—The Tent of Solomon.


Solomon,

meeting the Spouse, as they are conducting her into the
royal Pavilion.

15. Ver. 15. “Thou hast dove’s eyes”, i.e. eyes full of love, benignity, and gentleness;
rendered more soft, more amiably engaging, by some degree of doubt and
youthful diffidence. “They,” says the author of the New Translation, “who
have seen that fine bird, the eastern carrier-pigeon, will need no comment on
this place.”
Note, p. 57. Mr. Harmer observes, “That it is usual for our western
lovers to compare the eyes of their mistresses to sloes and diamonds; but that
a lover of the east talks of the eyes of the antelope, when he would pay his mistress
a refined compliment. The eyes of this creature are extremely fine and
beautiful, but in that native loveliness is expressed a kind of fear, mixed with innocence.
Solomon, however, does not compare the eyes of his ladies to those of
the antelope; his spouse he compliments with having dove’s eyes, while those of
his Jewish queen are likened to the pools of Heshbon.”
See Outl. p. 155-6.

Behold, thou’rt wond’rous fair! my love,

Behold, thou’rt wond’rous fair!

Thine eyes, than those of yonder dove

More mild, more tender are.

The Spouse

to Solomon.

16. Ver. 16. ערשנו—as it stands in our translation, is our bed; but, as Mr. Harmer mer
justly observes, “it seems to mean what was spread on the floor of their
duans, and consequently is here equivalent to a carpet: which the eastern people
spread anciently (as they do now) on such places.”
See Obs. on divers Pass.
of Scrip.
vol. ii. p. 65, &c.—also Outl. p. 227.

Behold, my best-belov’d is fair!

Yea, pleasant to the sight!

Our carpet’s green, by nature’s care

With flowrets gay bedight.

Solomon D D(1)v 18

Solomon

to the Spouse.

17. Ver. 17. “The beams of our house are cedar, our cielings of fir.” ברותים—is
the original word for fir, and they are probably the same sort of trees as Pliny
Nat. Hist. lib. xii. c. 17. calls Bruta, which he says resemble a spreading
cypress in form, and the cedar in smell. The roof of an eastern house is
lofty, flat at the top, and those of the great men are made of cedar. This palace
of Solomon, we may observe, was roofed with two different kinds of wood, both
very precious; and, I suppose, according to the oriental taste, richly ornamented
with gilding and painting, in the Mosaic style. Mr. Maundrell, speaking of
the houses of Damascus, says, “the cielings and traves are, after the Turkish
manner, richly painted and guilded
.”
p. 123.

Our beams are cedar, and our cielings rise

(Of cypress form’d) magnificently high!

Where skilful artists taught the vivid dyes

With changeful hues t’attract the gazers eye;

There chosen sentences effulgent glow,

Pouring instruction on the crowds below:

These shall my fair one view, and raptur’d own

That art, for once, has nature’s self outdone.

End of Canto the First.

Day D(2)r 19

Day the Second.


Scene—A Garden belonging to the Palace of the Jewish
Queen, in the Country.
Jewish Queen and her Attendant Virgins, the Daughters
of Jerusalem.

Canto the Second.

Time, Morning.

Jewish Queen.

V. 1.

I’M now no more than Sharon’s common rose,

That blooms neglected on the humble thorn,

Where many a flower with equal lustre glows,

With equal fragrance scents the breezy morn.

I’m now the lily of the lonesome vale,

Whose maiden beauties die away unseen;

Whose sweets are wasted on th’ inconscious gale

That sweeps the bosom of the desert green.

D2 Queen D(2)v 20 Queen in contemplation, repeating to her attendants a conversation
that had past lately, it should seem, between Solomon and
herself.

2. Chap. II. Ver. 2. The lilies of the valley, in this Song, do not mean those little fragrant
flowers whcih we find in woods, and which are known among us by that name;
but the large white lilies which flourish in the vales and low lands in Palestine,
where there is plenty of water, and which in that warm climate grow to a vast
size.

“As shines”, said he, “the lily ’mong the thorns,”

And with it’s lustre the gay scene adorns;

So shines my love the fairest maids among,

Bright and conspicuous o’er the virgin throng.


3. Ver. 3. תפוח is in the Chaldee paraphrase rendered citron-tree. Even in
our western regions thesle trees are eminently beautiful; what then must they be
in a clime so warm as that of Judea? What a fine comparison! what a delicate
compliment to the king! l. 3.“I have sat beneath its shade,” &c.—the shade
of the citron-tree, which must, indeed, have been delightful, spreading its fragrant
branches over her head. “Shade, according to Mr. Wood, is an essential
article of oriental luxury, the greatest people seeking its refreshments as well as
the meaner.”
Outl. p. 35—Any shade must, in so hot a country, afford great delight;
but the shade of the citron-tree must have yielded double pleasure, on account
of its fragrant scent and ample foliage. Egmont and Heyman were entertained
with coffee, in a garden at mount Sinai, under the shade of some fine orange-
orange-trees
. See Pococke’s Observ. in Outl. p. 248,9.“And it’s fruit was
sweet to my taste.”
“This may refer” (says Mr. Harmer) “to the eastern custom of
shaking down the fruit on the heads of those who sit under the tree. So Dr.
Pococke
tells us, when he was at Sidon, he was entertained in a garden, in the
shade of some apricot trees, and the fruit of them was shaken down upon him.”

Vol. ii. p. 85. See Outl. p. 248.

As shines the citron ’mong th’ ignoble trees,

Where, tinged with light, they greet the morning breeze;

So shines my Solomon the youths among,

Beams through the crowd, and gilds th’ encircling throng.

The D(3)r 21 The Queen recounts some incidents which had lately occurred—as
Solomon’s’ taking her to the house of wine—inviting her to the
Country, &c.—and she concludes with wishing his return before
the next dawn of light.

I’ve sat beneath it’s shadow with delight,

It’s ample foliage waving o’er my head;

How sweet the fruit! how grateful to the sight

The new-fall’n blossoms o’er my carpet spread!


4. Ver. 4. “He brought me to the house of wine, and his lamp over me was love.”
To be conducted to the house of wine was an honourable distinction, a mark of
royal favour: Haman was called by Queen Esther to her banquet of wine. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.See
Esther v. 4. vii. 8.
“And his lamp over me was love.” דגל signifies a lamp,
or light. “The time of travelling in the East is generally in the night: they have
have lights to direct their march, which are carried on the tops of high poles;
they are somewhat like iron stoves, within which they put dry wood, which being
frequently supplied, keeps a constant light. Every cottor (company) has one of
these poles belonging to it, some of which have ten, others twelve of these lights,
on their tops, of different figures, one oval-ways, another triangular, or like an N
or M, &c. so that every one knows by them his respective cottor.”
See Harmer’s
Observ. vol. i. p. 472.
Might not a lamp be, on some certain occasions, distinguished
by the word love? and might not such a lamp be used as the flambeau to
conduct the chosen fair one to the house of festivity? and might not the placing it
over her head
be a token of the monarch’s favour? The Asiatics delight in mottoes,
in figures, &c. Amid their choicest paintings are inserted sentences, expressive of
love, of joy, or &c. The midst of Solomon’s chariot was paved with love, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. iii. 10;
and strange as this (at first hearing) may sound to an European, yet it is a term as
full of force, surely, as that such a Lady’s cloak or gown is trimmed with love. The latter we understand, because it is a mode of expression usual among us; but were
it to be told in Asia, that my Lady S—’s cloak was trimmed with love, what
would they think? Why, that her ladyship had adopted the fashion of a certain
great lady of the East“a wife of the Califf Haroun Alraschid, who, we are
told, had her veil embroidered with gold letters along the edge, which made up
words that signified her strict and inviolable attachment to her husband.”
See
Outl. p. 278.—This veil was indeed trimmed with love, and of the better sort.
An old-fashioned veil—a little out of date in our age of politeness.

He brought me to the house of wine,

And bade the liquid rubies flow;

Bade melting harmony divine

Assuage my mind depress’d with woe;

To wake my soul to ecstasy they strove,

While o’er my head he plac’d the radiant lamp of love.

5. Support D(3)v 22

5. Ver. 5. “Comfort me with citrons.” The citron is extremely reviving to
fainting persons. See Obs. on Divers. Pass. of Script. vol. i. p. 398.

Support me, daughters of the warbling string;

Your rich spic’d wine and chearing citrons bring;

I’m sick of love!—mine eye abhors the day;

Support me, maids, my fleeting spirits stay.

6. O! D(4)r 23

6. Ver. 6. “In the original” (says Mr. Harmer) “the last clause is literally—‘his
right hand shall embrace me’
: and as the first is exprest in a short manner—his left
hand under my head
, and neither is, nor shall be, in the original, it must be supplied
from the latter clause, and made in the same tense with that, his left hand
shall be under my head, and his right hand shall embrace me. This, adds he,
would be the strict translation; but as the grammarians affirm that the Hebrew
future tense is sometimes to be understood optatively, and as it is so understood,
sometimes, by our translators, and that in this very INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Song, ch. i. 2. this verse,
if rendered with the true spirit, I presume should be—O that his left hand were under
my head
, and that his right hand did sustain me! which perfectly agrees with the
notion of the king’s being absent, being an affectionate complaint of his so soon
leaving her.”
See Outl. p. 246-7.

O! that his left hand now were laid

Under my sad desponding head!

And that his right hand did sustain

Me, sinking ’neath my love-sick pain!


7. Ver. 7. “The Arabian Night’s Entertainments represent the Mohammedan
califfs as wont to be surrounded by young and handsome ladies in a morning,
with all sorts of instruments of music in their hands, standing wth great modesty
and respect
; who, on the califf’s sitting up in the bed, in order to rise, prostrate
themselves, and begin a concert of soft flutes, &c. In the halls in which they ate
and drank, bands of musicians attended in like manner. To this customary early
music
, I presume, says Mr. Harmer, the queen refers. It is certain it could not refer
refer to any part of the marriage ceremonial, since this passage visibly relates to
Solomon’s cohabitation with one who had been for some time his wife; the
charge expressing rather her affection, and the joy she had in his presence, than
intended to insinuate that they were in common wont to awake the king out of
sleep; the reverence and awe with which oriental majesty is treated hardly allowing
such a supposition. Something of this sort was practised in the court of
David, as appears from the speech of Barzillai to that king, when he invited
him to Jerusalem, and proposed to have him at his table, ‘Can thy servant taste
what I eat, or what I drink? Can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing
women?’
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.2 Sam. xix. 35; and we may be satisfied it was used in that of Solomon,
who excelled his predecessors in magnificence.”
See Outl. p. 181, 182.—
“I conjure you”, says the queen to her virgins, “by the roes and by the hinds of the
field,”
&c. By the roe is here meant the gazell or antelope, Heb. צבי, which
is a native of the south-eastern countries, whereas the roe does not appear to be
known there.

I’ve charg’d you oft, O virgin throng!

By the nimbly bounding roes,

By the hinds that browze along

Where the warbling current flows,

To 3 D(4)v 24

To drop the cadence of your song,

Nor e’en your softest airs prolong,

But with cautious steps to move,

And not disturb my sleeping love.


Scene the Second—A chiosk or Arbour in the
Garden of the Jewish Queen, belonging to her Palace in the
Country.

Jewish Queen and Attendant Virgins.
Time, Evening.

Jewish Queen

to her Attendants.

8.

The voice of love then struck my ear!

(The accents flow’d distinct and clear)

I look’d— E(1)r 25

I look’d—when on the mountain’s brow,

9. Ver. 9 “My beloved resembled a roe.”“Swiftness of foot and agility of
body were admired accomplishments among the ancient Hebrews.”
Note on
New Translation, p. 61.
He maketh my feet like hind’s feet. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Ps. xviii. 33.
Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.2 Sam. ii. 18.“Behold he stood
behind our verdant wall,”
flourishing through the lattice.—This wall, we may
conclude, was that which form’d the chiosk or arbour; a description of
such a delightful recess I take leave to insert, from the Letters of the late
Lady M.W. Montague
, vol. ii. p. 74.
“In the midst of the gardens in
Turkey is the chiosk, that is, a large room, beautified with a fine fountain in the
midst of it. It is raised nine or ten steps, and enclosed with gilded lattices,
round which vines, jessamines, and honey-suckles, form a sort of green wall.”

A beautiful youthful countenance appearing through the lattice, is here aptly
compared
to a fine flower, which bursting from its pod displays its full radiance
to the golden sun-beams—“blushing in the bright diversities of day.” Cowley.

Leaping like a wanton roe

Or youthful hart—behold my love!

Skipping o’er the cliffs above:

Now with agile feet he flew,

Mocking oft the transient view:

Then lo! he stood behind our verdant wall,

Oft times attentive to the fountain’s fall;

Next from the windows view’d the garden’s bloom,

Or through the lattice-work inhal’d perfume:

When through the foliage beam’d his roseate face,

Like some fair flower, he caught my ravish’d eye,—

A flower expanding with unrivall’d grace,

And it’s rich beauties opening to the sky.

E 10. Lo! E(1)v 26

10.

Lo! he spake—the voice of love

Warbled thro’ the list’ning grove!

Rise up, my love, without delay,

Arise, my fair one, come away.

11. Ver. 11 “The rain is over and gone.” “This” says Mr. Harmer “is not to be
understood as signifying that all the showers of the spring were past, but only
that it had just ceased raining; after which, according to Russell, several days of
fair weather are wont to succeed. It is to such a pleasant interval these words
refer: had the drought of summer been begun, the country would have lost its
delightful appearance.”
See Outl. p. 151.
“The time of Solomon’s marriage with the daughter of Pharaoh was the
latter end of April: and we find from Dr. Russell’s account of the weather at
Aleppo in Syria (and it is supposed that it is pretty much the same in some parts
of Palestine) that from the end of May, if not sooner, not one refreshing shower
falls, and scarce a friendly cloud appears to shelter from the excessive heat of the
sun, till the middle of September; that the verdure of the spring fades before
the middle of May, and before the end of that month the whole country puts on
so parched and barren an aspect, that one would scarce think it capable of producing
any thing, there being but a few plants which have vigour enough to
resist the extreme heat.”
See Obs. on divers Passages of Scrip. vol. i. p. 18.
“No sooner do those genial showers cease, but all verdure, all pleasantness,
withdraws at once.”
Dr. Shaw informs us, that in Syria and Phœnice “the
first rains fall about the beginning of November, the latter rains sometimes in the
middle, sometimes towards the end of April. During the summer season these
countries are rarely refreshed with rain, but enjoy almost uninterrupted serenity
of air.”
Trav. p. 335.
Sandys speaks of heavy rains incommoding them in their passage between Rama
Rama and Jerusalem, on the Wednesday I think, before Maunday Thursday,
1673ann. Dom. 1673, lib. iii. p. 120. Again, p. 158 “—being at the east end of
mount Carmel, the clouds”
(says he) “fell down in streams, and the pitchy
night had bereft us of the conduct of our eyes, had not the lighting afforded a
terrible light.”

Behold the rigid winter’s o’er,

The brumal rains descend no more.

12. “Now E(2)r 27

12.

Now all around the teeming earth

Pours forth her fair luxuriant birth,

And laughing spring, with genial showers,

Awakes to life the blushing flowers:

Hark! how the feather’d chorists sing,

And, conscious, plume the trembling wing:

The nightingale, the thorns among,

Sweetly warbling, trills her song:

And now the turtle tells his tale,

Soft cooing in the humid vale:

Through every glade, through every grove,

He pours the dulcet voice of love.

13. Ver. 13 The fig-tree, &c.—חנט signifies to embalm, “impregnate a dead
body with aromatics, that it may resist putrefaction.”
Johnson. See Parkhurst’s
Heb. and Eng. Lex.
in חנט, p. 186.
“The fig-tree is said to be embalming
her
פגי, or early figs, that is, filling them with that clammy delicious juice,
which is so well known, and is particularly noticed in scripture, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Judg. ix. 11.”
Lex.
Lex. p. 187.“פגי—The first young figs, which shoot fo
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Cant. ii. 13, which easily fall off by the wind (comp. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Isa xxxiv. r. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Rev.
vi. 13.
) and Dr. Shaw, Trav. p. 144, says that ‘the kermouse, or latter figs
in general, continue a long time upon the tree before they fall off: whereas the
boccôres, or early figs, in the eastern countries, drop as soon as they are ripe.
Their Hebrew name פגי, therefore, seems to be taken from this circumstance:’

as it signifies to fail, to perish.”
See Heb. and Eng. Lex. in פג, p. 519.. As
the same Hebrew word is used for embalming a dead body, and for the fig-tree’s
embalming her first young figs, so it is proper to remark here, that we are informed
by Mr. Harmer, “that the same time is taken up in making the fig palatable and
spicy
, as that employed by the Egyptians in embalming a dead body; i.e. about seventy
days.”
See Outl. p. 153. Dr. Shaw says, that “the boccôres, or firstripe
figs, were hard, and no bigger than our common plumbs, in the Holy Land,
in the beginning of April.”
Trav. p. 335. The blossoming vines are also said
to yield their scent, but this, says Mr. Parkhurst, they probably do in Judea
about two months sooner than with us; that is, towards the end of April, or beginning
of May. The beauty of the vine is greatly admired by the present
inhabitants of the east, as appears by that line of the song of Ibrahim, “I went
down to admire the beauty of the vines.”
The season of the year in which
they are so delighted with it, is—when the nightingales fill the gardens, and
roses are in blossom—“The nightingale now wanders in the vines,Her passion is to seek roses.”
“The fable of the amours of the nightingales with the roses is as well
known in Turkey as any story in Ovid among us.”
Lady M.W. Montague.
Rose-trees and vines says Mr. Harmer blossom nearly at the same time;
roses appear sooner by a few days, but continue till vines are in blossom.
“This song joins the time of the singing of birds (of nightingales it without
doubt means) and the voice of the turtle together; and Lady M.W. Montague, gue,
in a letter dated 1717-04-01April Ist, O.S. speaks of turtles as cooing on the cypress-trees
of her garden, from morning till night, vol. ii. p. 52. At Aleppo,
about the middle of 1717-04April, O.S. the country is said to be in full bloom: and as
the productions of the country about Aleppo and Judea are nearly in the same
degree of forwardness, it is no wonder that the Jewish poet represents the time of
the blossoming of the vines, of the singing of the nightingale, and of the cooing
of the turtle, as the time of flowers too: it is the time when they are in the
greatest abundance.”
See Outl. p. 149. It is also observed by Mr. Harmer,
that the trees and plants about Aleppo are forwarder than ours, about two
months
. It is certain that the vine is very fragrant, even in our cold climate,
(although Sir Thomas Brown seemed to question it) for an ingenious gentleman
told me last summer, “that he took peculiar pleasure in walking, or sitting,
near the vine-branches, when the flowrets were expanded, for that they afforded
a rich scent like mignonette.”
If at the north-east extremity of Norfolk, a
few vines yield so delicious a perfume, what must be the odours exhaling from
full vineyards in the warm region of Palestine? Comp. Outl. p. 138, 9.

Behold the early figs appear,

With virid surface bright the clear;

“ The E2 E(2)v 28

The parent tree rich juice supplies,

And swells the round to ampler size:

E2r “ The E(3)r 29

The vines, besprent with argent dew,

Present their tender grapes to view,

With op’ning flowrets fresh and fair,

Breathing fragrance through the air.

Rise up, my love, without delay,

Arise, my fair one, come away.

14. Ver. 14 “O my dove in the clefts of the rock,” &c. Solomon, in the soft language
of affection, calls her his dove: and “nothing” says Mr. Harmer “can be
more natural to an oriental imagination, than the immediate comparing the then residence
residence of the Jewish queen to the rocky cliffs in which their doves were
wont to build. Palaces, among the Jews, were built of stone, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Amos. v. 11.
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Isa. ix. 1O. and magnificence was then supposed, as well as now, to require
loftiness in their structures: it is no wonder then that her apartments, in a lofty
palace of stone
, were compared to the holes in a rocky cliff, in which the pigeons
are wont to build.”
See Outl. p. 255.“Steps are cut likewise in some of the
eastern rocks, to facilitate the climbing up to their tops, in those of Mount
Sinai
in particular.”
See Outl. p. 254. This then may be considered as a
description of the palace of the Jewish queen at Jerusalem: when Solomon, impatient
to draw her from the city, paints the gay charms of all-enlivening
spring, with the florid pencil of an Asiatic—the flowers appear—the birds sing
the voice of the turtle is heard—the fig-tree putteth forth—the blossoming vines give
a smell!
Dr. Shaw tells us—that a city of Tunis was named, from a number
of wild pigeons that are bred in the cliffs of adjacent mountains, Hamam
et: Hamam
being the name for a wild pigeon Trav. p. 90, 1. “The method
of building, says the same author, both in Barbary and the Levant, seems
to have continued the same from the earliest ages, without alteration or improvement;
large doors, spacious chambers, marble pavements, cloystered
courts, with fountains playing in the midst, are certainly convenient, and well
adapted to the circumstances of these hotter climates.”
Trav. p. 207.
“For sweet thy voice.” The Hebrew word ערב is, by Montanus and others,
others, rendered dulcis, sweet. “It is” says Mr. Parkhurst “a beautifully descriptive
word
, expressing how agreeable conversation mixes with the soul, warms and
enlarges the heart,”
&c.
In my translation of this verse I have endeavoured to give the full force and
energy of the word, pursuing the idea, with the hope of transfusing the spirit of
the original into the mind of the judicious English reader.

From yonder rocky clefts above,

Look down on me, my turtle-dove;

“ Awaken’d E(3)v 30

Awaken’d by th’ impassion’d strain,

Hear now thy tender mate complain;

And deign, the secret stairs between,

To let thy countenance be seen.

Be mine thy dulcet voice to hear,

Soft breathing on my list’ning ear;

For sweet thy voice, when love inspires

Thy soul with all its wonted fires;

“ Then E(4)r 31

Then fall thy words with easy art,

And melting mingle with the heart:

Superior charms thy comely face adorn,

Bright as the lustre of the rising morn!

15. Ver. 15 “Take us the foxes, the littlefoxes,” &c. It is a dispute among the
learned, whether the canis vulpes, our common fox, or the jackall, canis or
vulpes aureus, the little eastern fox as Hasselquist calls him, Travels, p. 119
be meant by this term. See Parkhurst’s Hebrew and English Lexicon under
שעל p. 702, 3.
“שעל occurs not as a verb,” says Mr. Parkhurst, “but the
idea appears to be hollow, concave, or the like. As a noun שועל, plural שועלים,
and שעלים, the name of an animal, probably so called from his burrowing or making
holes
in the earth to hide himself, or dwell in.”
The שעלים,—שעלים קטנים,
here mentioned by Solomon, should seem to mean the jackall, canis or vulpes aureus;
as the epithet קטנים, or little,appears inapplicable to the canis vulpes or
larger fox. Olearius informs us, that these creatures, the jackalls, are gregarious;
that in Persia they roam the villages in troops, making a continual
noise, like the cries of a man in distress. “If Olearius says Mr. Harmer
found himself so much disturbed by these creatures, what must a princess be,
be, who was used to the music of Solomon’s court?”
Outlines, p. 259.
“Hasselquist likewise observes, Travels, p. 277 that in Palestine he saw many
of the jackalls’ caves and holes,in the hedges round the gardens. The Hebrew
name שועל therefore may suit the jackall as well as the fox. And Dr. Shaw
Travels, p. 175 remarks, that the jackalls are creatures by far the most common
and familiar, as well as the most numerous, of those countries, several of
them feeding often together; whereas the fox, properly so called, is rarely met
with, neither is it gregarious.”
Parkhurst’s Heb. and Eng. Lex. ut sup.
The jackalls being gregarious, and roaming about the villages, vineyards,
and gardens, yelping continually through the night, must be supposed greatly
to interrupt the peace and comfort of rural retirement: the king therefore orders
his attendants to take them, that they may not disturb the rest of the queen,
nor spoil those vineyards in which she delighted.

Take us, my friends, the little foxes take,

That seize and trample on the fruitful vines;

In wanton sport they ev’ry tendril break,

That round the kindly-fost’ring elm intwines:

5 “ For E(4)v 32

For now, behold, the tender grapes are seen

In fragrant clusters peeping through the green.

16.

My best-belov’d is truly mine,

And I am his!—O why incline

His roving steps, when ev’ning dews prevail,

To feed among the lilies of the vale?

17. Ver. 17. עד שיפוח חיוםMr. Parkhurst says עד should here be rendered
before, not until, as in our translation; and the sense of the verse seems to require
that it should be thus rendered. “Before the day breathes, turn my beloved,”
&c. The breathing of the day is no local beauty, as the author of the New
New Translation supposes; it is indeed a beauty; for Solomon, who was a philosopher
as well as a poet, knew how to express himself agreeably to the established
laws and mechanism of nature
; and where nature is the guide, beauty and truth
are the usual concomitants. There is not a doubt, I think, of the meaning of the
divine poet here; it was the morning breeze he described. “That a certain
brisk easterly gale does blow at the time of the sun’s approach to the horizon,
and a little after he is risen, is obvious to common observation in almost every
country, in settled weather; and this, no doubt, is the breathing of the day here
mentioned.”
See Parkhurst’s Lex. under נפח. Solomon, who had so frequently
experienced the comfortable refreshment of these breezes, and who understood
so well from what causes they originated, knew how to express himself
with propriety on the subject. That the easterly gale blows brisk at the rising
of the sun, I myself have often experienced,when climbing the lofty summit of
the Sussex downs. With us, indeed, these breathings of the day are less attended
to than those hot countries, where the refreshing gale adds new vigour to the
frame, braces and renovates the man oppressed with heat, and panting through
the sultry summer’s night, and where the inhabitants in general rise much earlier
than with us. Josephus makes the satisfaction of cooling breezes a representation
of the blessedness of good men after death. That the meaning of this
expression might not be mistaken, the royal poet adds“And the shadows flee
away”
—what should drive the shadows, those nocturnal glooms, from the face
of our hemisphere, but that great and powerful minister of God, in this system,
the Solar Light?

Before the incense-breathing dawn

Shall chase the nightly shades away,

And all impurpled glows the lawn,

Emblazon’d by the orb of day—

Turn, F(1)r 33

Turn, my belov’d;—and be thou like

The youthful hart or roe,

Which boudning up the path oblique,

Leaves dusky vales below:

Which leaps exulting on the topmost height

Of Bether’s mountains, ting’d with orient light.

End of Canto the Second.

F D A Y F(1)v 34

Day the Third.

Scene—The Palace of the Jewish Queen.
Jewish Queen and Attendants.

Canto the Third.

Time, Morning.


Jewish Queen

to her Attendants, relating an incident that had
happened (perhaps on the Night preceding that on which Solomon
set out from Zion, to meet the Bride.)

V. 1.

On my lone bed, one murky night,

I anxious sought my soul’s delight;

Perplex’d with dire foreboding thought,

I sought him—but in vain I sought!

2.

I said, Behold, I’ll instant rise,

Ere sleep invade my tear-swoln eyes;

About the city will I rove;

Perchance, I there shall find my love:

I rose, F(2)r 35

I rose, perplex’d with anxious thought,

And sought him—but in vain I sought.

3.

The watchmen round the city rov’d,

To whom—“Saw ye my best-belov’d?”

4.

Scarce had i pass’d the nightly band,

When lo my love!—his glowing hand

I raptur’d seiz’d; we mov’d along,

Unheeded by the jovial throng.

My mother’s house appear’d in sight,

Conspicuous through the shades of night;

While lamps, from cypress-trees, around

Shed vivid lustres on the ground:

A secret chamber there he chose,

And pleas’d, sunk down to calm repose;

Careful I watch’d him, as he slumb’ring lay,

Nor bade soft flutes announce returning day:

5.

But charg’d you, O ye vigin throng,

By the nimbly-bounding roes,

By the hinds that browze along

Where the warbling current flows,

To drop the cadence of your song,

Nor e’en your softest airs prolong;

F2 But F(2)v 36

But with cautious steps to move,

And not disturb my sleeping love.

Scene the Second—An Arbour on some eminence
in the garden of the Jewish Queen, commanding a view of the
wilderness.
Jewish Queen and Attendants. Time, Night.

Jewish Queen

in surprize on seeing the bridal procession advancing
to the city.

6. Chap. III.
Ver. 6. “Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, like pillars of smoke?”
In the hot countries it is usual, as has been before observed on INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. ii. 4, to
travel in the night, by the light of lamps; which may in part account from the
expression—like pillars of smoke.But besides this, a large quantity of choice
perfumes, of myrrh, frankincense, and all powders of the merchant, we find
were burned before the royal pair: these (as is now the usage in the east) being
sprinkled, or placed, on heated censers, sent up a mighty smoke, and diffused
around powerful and most delicious odours. Powerful those odours must have
been, that the Jewish queen could distinguish the prevailing sweets, myrrh and
frankincense
, at a distance. Her country residence, to which she had withdrawn at
at the earnest solicitations of the king INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.comp. ch. ii. 10, 13 might be within
view of the road from the wilderness; and from some eminence in her garden,
perhaps, she beheld the procession advancing to the city, and enquired of her
virgins who or what it was. Not only the burning of perfumes rendered the
procession visible, but, much more, those numerous lamps, which were wont to be
lighted up on these occasions. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.See Matt. xxv. 1. “Ten virgins took their lamps,
and went forth to meet the bridegroom.”

Be still, my soul!—who’s this ascends

From where the wilderness extends?

Lo! from gold censers fuming aloes rise,

In smoking columns, mingling with the skies!

Pure myrrh and frankincense their sweets exhale,

And foreign perfumes float along the vale.

Virgins F(3)r 37

Virgins of Jerusalem,

in reply (describing the carriage of
Solomon.)

7. Ver. 7. מטתו—According to Montanus, ipsius lectus; but Mr. Harmer conjectures,
that it signifies a litter, or palanquin, which was used in this processio
for the conveyance of the bride, and was something so magnificent and unusual,
as to be thought worthy of being celebrated in this Song. This מטה could
certainly be no common bed, couch, or sopha; what other then could it be,
than that which, after it has been so pompously introduced, is, for another
reason, called אפריון? And it seems an eminent characteristic of Hebrew poetry,
to mention the same things by different names. See some remarkable instances,
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Job xxxix. 5, 6. The Hebrew word is by the LXX rendered φορειον, and by
the Vulgate ferculum, i.e. a carriage, a vehicle; very different words from those
used by these translators for a chariot. Parkhurst.
A Turkish coach, according to Lady M.W. Montague, is made of wooden
lattices
, painted and gilded; Solomon’s carriage, of the wood of Lebanon, its
pillars of silver. The inside of the Turkish coach was painted with baskets of
flowers and nosegays, intermixed with little mottoes, according to the fancy of the
the artist; the midst of Solomon’s was paved with love by the skilful daughters
of Jerusalem; i.e. with a rich, beautiful sort of tapestry, curiously wrought with
the needle, where flowers of different kinds and various colours mixed with, and
surrounded, short sentences, expressing the power of love, and the warmth and animation
of that passion, which a young bridegroom entertains for a fair, beautiful,
and virtuous bride. Here was an ample field for the daughters of Jerusalem
to display their genius, and their skill in needle-work. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.See Judg. v. 30.
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Prov. xxxi. 22, 24. The covering of this vehicle was of purple; that of the
Turkish coach, of scarlet cloth, lined with silk, richly embroidered and
fringed.

Behold, King Solomon’s approaching car

Irradiates through the thickest glooms of night!

About it stand the valiant men of war,

Each in his rich effulgent armour dight;

Threescore F(3)v 38

Threescore of Israel’s distinguish’d band,

The brave protectors of this sacred land.

8.

They all hold swords; erected high,

Lo! how they flame and glitter to the sky!

Anon, dependent from the baldrick, throw

Quick-trembling flashes on the sands below:

Each, in dread war expert, contemns the fight,

And braves the horrors of terrific night.

9.

King Solomon a splendid carriage made

Of cedar-wood, with curious art inlaid;

There silver pillars, beauteous to behold,

Spring from a basis all of burnish’d gold;

It’s canopy with royal purple glows,

And the rich curtain kindles as it flows;

In F(4)r 39

In full festoons it meets the dazzled sight,

Or floats redundant on the brow of night.

The midst thereof, with glowing love inwrought,

Gives to the eye the animated thought;

There gilded characters in mottoes rise,

From the gay ground of variegated dyes;

Still as they swell the flow’r-wrought ground above,

They shine, expressing the fair artist’s love:

Salem’s bright daughters plann’d the great design,

And wrought in colours and in traits divine.

Scene the ThirdZion, or the City of David.

Nobles of Zion,

to the Choral Virgins, ordering them to
go forth to meet the Bridegroom, now drawing near the Holy
City.

11. Ver. 11. “Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion,” &c. comp. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Matt. xxv. 6. “At
midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet
him.”
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Ver. 7. “Then the virgins arose,” &c.
“With “With the crown wherewith his mother crowned him, in the day of his
espousals”
, &c. comp. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. v. 11. We have no description of the Jewish crown
royal
remaining to us from antiquity; but Josephus has left us an account of
that worn by the high priest. “It was a circular ornament of gold; in the
fore part was a plate, on which the name of God was inscribed: the other part
of the circle, consisting of three rows of gold,was adorned on the top with an
ornament, shaped like the calyx of the flower of henbane.”
Something of this
kind, we may suppose, was worn by the Jewish kings. It appears then, that
this crown was of gold, not of flowers. “Among the inhabitants of Zacinthus,
who are in general Greeks, it is a custom for the priest to place garlands of
flowers on the heads of the bride and bridegroom.”
See Sandys’s Travels,
lib. i. p. 6.
And, says the author of the New Translation, in a note on p. 17,
“The Misnah informs us, that the custom of placing garlands, or crowns, on
the heads of new-married persons, prevailed among the Jews; and it should
seem, from the passage before us, that the ceremony of putting it on was performed
by one of the parents: Among the Greeks (adds he) the bride was
crowned by her mother, as is inferred from the instance of Iphigenia, in Euripides.
The nuptial crowns used among the Greeks and Romans, were only
chaplets of leaves or flowers. Among the Hebrews, they were not only of
these, but also occasionally of richer materials, as gold, silver, &c. according to
the rank or wealth of the parties.”

Go forth, go forth, O virgin throng!

From Zion’s sacred hill,

The timbrels take, and aid the song

With your harmonious skill.

Go 10 F(4)v 40

Go forth, your youthful King behold;

His blooming temples, crown’d

With triple rows of radiant gold,

Cast mild effulgence round;

Crown’d by his skilful mother’s art,

On this his spousal day,

When beaming gladness through his heart

Spreads it’s all-chearing ray.

Scene G(1)r 41
Scene the Fourth.—The Royal City. Processional Songs, by the Virgins of Zion, in praise of the Bride.

First Virgin

personating the Bridegroom.

V.1. Chap. IV.
Ver. 1. “בעד occurs not as a verb in Hebrew; but in Syriac and Arabic it
signifies to remove, be distant, and as a particle, in the latter language, behind.”

Parkhurst Lex. p. 59. Mr. Michaelis renders מבעד—post, behind (thy veil.)
The eastern ladies never appear without a veil, unless before their domestics.
“Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and saw Isaac;— then she took a veil, and covered
herself.”
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Gen. xxiv. 64, 65. “It is the custom, says Mr. Harmer (from
Sir J. Chardin’s Manuscript) in all the Mohammedan countries, for women
to cover themselves with a veil, which conceals all their dress, sometimes even
their very shoes.”
See Additions to Outl. note 6. Some of these veils are of pure
silk, others brocaded with gold; the head-piece of some are shaped like a coronet,
or &c. “The Egyptian Moorish women cover their faces with black cyprus
bespotted with red; when abroad, they wrap themselves in ample robes of
linen, which reach from the crown of the head to the foot, spreading their arms
underneath, to appear more corpulent.For they think it a special excellency to be
fat
, and most of them are so.”
Sandys, lib. ii. p. 85. “ ’italic(Thy)
“Thy hair is like a flock of goats, that appear from Mount Gilead.”——“Bochart
refers the comparison to the hair of the eastern goats, which is of
the most delicate silky softness, and is expressly observed, by an ancient naturalist,
to bear a great resemblance to the fine curls of a woman’s hair. Le Clerc
observes further, that the hair of the goats of Palestine is generally of a black
colour, or of a very dark brown, such as that of a lovely brunette may be supposed
to be.”
See note on New Translation, p. 70. comp. ch. i. 5. Mr. Michaelis
thinks the interpretation of this difficult place may be, “thy hair is like a
flock of ascending goats, which is seen from Mount Gilead;”
supposing the point of
comparison chiefly to turn on the head’s being covered with fine flowing locks,
as Mount Gilead was with the shaggy herd, reaching in an extended line from
it’s foot to it’s summit. See Subsequent Remarks to New Translation, p. 96.

Behold, thou’rt wondrous fair! my love,

Behold thou’rt wondrous fair!

Thine eyes, as of the tender dove,

Behind thy veil appear.

Thine auburn hair in graceful tresses flows,

Shading thy cheeks, more vermeil than the rose.

Such G G(1)v 42

Such glossy locks Mount Gilead’s goats adorn,

As sleek ascending at the break of day,

Refresh’d, they catch the balmy breeze of morn,

And up the pointed rocks with added vigour stray.

Second Virgin.

2. Ver. 2. “Like a flock of sheep”. “These images are intended to denote, that
the bride’s teeth were—even—white—exactly paired or matched, and the whole
set entire and unbroken.”
See note on New Translation, p. 71.

Thy pearly teeth are like a new-shorn flock

Of sheep, ascending from the argent tide,

(Where, from the basis of the craggy rock,

The rapid streams in brisk meandrings glide)

Which all are twins, none mourns its fellow lost,

Or drooping on the plain, or on the white wave tost.

First G(2)r 43

First Virgin.


3. Ver. 3. “A thread of scarlet”. Lips are with us compared to rubies, roses,
&c. &c. but this comparison of the royal poet conveys not only an idea of the
colour, but likewise of the form of the mouth he celebrates; lips resembling a
thread of scarlet must be thin as well as red: a beauty (I suppose) in the days of
Solomon
.
“Thy temples are like a section of the pomegranate.”רקת, according to Mr.
Parkhurst
, “cannot signify cheeks, and the expression seems particularly to allude
to the redness of her temples, contracted by the heat of her journey,”
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.comp.
ch. i. 5,6.
which circumstance is here turned into a compliment:
“Did not our temples glow In the same scorching winds and sultry heats?”
Cato. Though the rind of the pomegranate be yellow (much resembling our orangegourd)
yet the inside is of a bright purplish red, very like that hue which the
scorching sun gives to a complexion naturally fair.

Thy lips are like a scarlet thread,

Thy speech enchanting flows!

Behind thy veil, what vivid red

On each soft temple glows!

So glows the gay pomegranate’s purple hue,

When the bright sections open to the view.

G2 Second G(2)v 44

Second Virgin.

4. Ver. 4. “Like the tower of David.”“מגדל—a tower or turret growing
wider from the top to the bottom.”
See Parkhurst Lex. in גדל. To such a tower
the spouse’s neck is here compared, and that of David being eminently beautiful,
and of admirable proportion was chosen to illustrate it’s fine form and due
symmetry. Sandys, speaking of Mount Zion, says, “Aloft on whose
uttermost angle stood the tower of David, whose ruins are yet extant, of a wonderful
strength, and admirable beauty, adorned with shields, and the arms of the
mighty
.”
See Trav. lib. iii.p. 137. It was usual, in time of peace, to hang
their arms on the walls and towers round about. The same author informs us,
that “The proud palace of the tyrant (speaking of the Grand Signior’s seraglio
at Constantinople) doth open to the south, having a lofty gate-house
(without lights on the outside, and engraven with Arabic characters, set forth
with gold and azure) all of white marble. This leadeth into a spacious court,
three hundred yards long, and above half as wide. On the left side stands the
round of an ancient chapel, containing the arms that were taken from the Grecians,
in the subversion of this city; and at the farther end of the court a second
gate, hung with shields and cymeters, doth lead into another, full of tall cypress-trees.”
Lib. i. p. 25. The inner walls of the gates of Tyre were ornamented
after the same manner. We were before informed, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. i. 10, that the
spouse’s neck was adorned with chains; to these chains were fastened various
kinds of ornaments, as plates of gold (Sandys), perfume-boxes Complete Syst.
of Geogr.
vol. ii. p. 175
, tablets, &c. These trinkets are, not inelegantly, compared
to the arms hung about a stately tower; nor is it against the laws of poetry
to suppose they might attract the lover’s eye, and find a passage to his heart; or rather, ther,
that they might be employed, by the captivating fair one, as her artillery in
the business of subduing hearts. “It must be a very peculiar heart” (says a certain
author) “that is affected by a diamond necklace.” See note on New Translation,
p. 74.
A very peculiar heart indeed!—if that diamond necklace were fastened to
the neck of an inanimate statue: but, sparkling from that of a beautiful woman, I
am inclined to think it sometimes enhances the value of the wearer, and darts a few
of it’s resplendent beams into the regions of the beholder’s heart.

Thy neck’s like royal David’s tow’r,

For splendid arms design’d:

Like that it shews thy sov’reign pow’r,

Thy empire o’er mankind:

From 5 G(3)r 45

From thence are radiant shields display’d,

And bucklers rich with gold:

Round thy white neck, O princely maid!

The wond’ring crowds behold

Arms more destructive; aim’d with surer art,

They catch the eye, and penetrate the heart.

First Virgin.

5. Ver. 5 “Like two young roes”.—Mr. Jones takes this animal to be the gazel
of the Arabians. It is, he informs us, “a kind of antelope, exquisitely beautiful,
with eyes uncommonly black and large. This is the sort of roe to which Solomon
here alludes in this delicate simile.”
See Jones’s Essay on the poetry of
the eastern nations
, p. 187.

Thy two fair breasts like two young roes appear,

The tender daughters of the vernal year,

Which ’mong the fragrant lilies love to stray,

As pure, as soft, as exquisite as they!

Second G(3)v 46

Second Virgin

personating the Bridegroom.

6. Ver. 6 “To the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense”. “Myrrh
and frankincense were among the most valued perfumes of the East, and the
compliment is concluded by comparing the spouse to an entire heap of those
spices.”
New Translation, note 72. “Farrakh was the name of a person
who was looked upon in Persia as a compleat model of justice and greatness of
Soul, as was also Feridoun. Upon which occasion Assadi, one of their poets,
says, ‘Farrakh and Feridoun were not angels; their bodies were made neither of amber
nor musk;’
it was their justice and liberality that made them celebrated.”
From
D’Herbelot, p. 337. See Outl. p. 290. “As eastern (as well as western) poets
frequently style the ladies they celebrate angels (see Ibrahim’s verses, in Lady
M.W. Montague’s
Lett.)
we may believe from these words of Assadi, that they
have been wont also to represent them as having bodies of amber and musk.”
Ibid.
And it is pretty clear, I think, that a compliment of this kind was intended
by the sacred poet in this verse.

Before the incense-breathing dawn

Shall chase the nightly shades away,

And all empurpled glows the lawn,

Emblazon’d by the orb of day;

I’ll get me to this mountain, where

Pure myrrh embalms the ambient air,

And on the hill with joy repose,

Where frankincense spontaneous grows.

First Virgin.

7.

How fair art thou, how lovely is thy mien!

In all thy form no envious spot is seen.

End of the Processional Songs.

Scene G(4)r 47
Scene the Fifth.—The Palace of Solomon.

Solomon

to the Spouse.

8. Ver. 8 “We cannot,” says Mr. Harmer, “understand Lebanon, Amana, Shenir,
and Hermon, literally: a princess of Egypt would hardly have been brought
to Solomon that way; the distance also was too great for the daughters of Jerusalem
to go to, in order to return singing in procession from thence to the city.
Those places were very different from each other, and she could have only
stopped at one of them, when this procession met her; from whence she is invited
to proceed forward: for, if they were all parts of one and the same range of
mountains, yet they were different parts, and perhaps considerably distant from
each other.”
The same ingenious gentleman informs us, that “processions
of virgins were not wont to go out to the distance of several days journey, to
meet even a royal pair: but that Lebanon, it is certain, was several days journey
from Jerusalem, and in the extremity of Solomon’s kingdom.”
He then proceeds
to consider it, in a figurative sense, as expressive of the dangers to which
they are exposed who dwell in idolatrous countries. Agreeably to this, it seems
other places, considered in contradistinction from Mount Zion, the seat of the
most solemn worship of the true God, are called mountains of prey by the
Psalmist, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Ps. lxxvi. 4. The interpretation he proposes is “Come with me
from Lebanon, turn away thine eyes from Amana, &c. and look me with tenderness.”
La Roque tells us Voy. de Syrie. &c. p. 70. in his description of
Lebanon, that there are many tigers and bears in that mountain, but he
makes no mention of lions. Russell informs us, that it is on the Euphrates,
betwixt Bagdat and Bussorah, that the lion is found, in low grounds near water.
See Outl. p. 130, 1, 2, 3.

O come with me, from Lebanon away,

My spouse—from Lebanon’s exalted height

Thine eyes avert, nor Amana survey,

Nor Shenir’s head, when deck’d with golden light,

Nor Hermon’s lofty brow, with glist’ring dews bedight.

O look G(4)v 48

O look on me with tenderness and love!

Shun, shun those heights where bears and tigers rove,

Those humid dens, and deep sequester’d cells,

Where the fierce lioness securely dwells,

Those mountains dire where spotted leopards stray,

Darting ferocious on their trembling prey.

9. Ver. 9 “Thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of
thy neck.”
“One dart from your eyes” (says Ibrahim) “has pierced through my
heart.”
See Lady M.W.M.’s Lett.AndisAnd is it not natural and graceful” (says
Mr. Harmer) “to mention the ornament of one side of the neck, to mark out a gentle
turning of her head in part to him, expressive of affection mingled with great
modesty?”
Outl. p. 292.

From one bright eye a piercing dart

Elanc’d, has vanquish’d all my heart;

O how it struggles to be free!

But still entangled with that chain,

(Which idly from it’s fellows straying,

Now o’er thy snowy bosom’s playing)

In vain it sighs for liberty,

For freedom still it pants in vain.

10.

My spouse, how beauteous is thy love,

How excellent to me!

The ruddy wines, that sparkling move,

Less grateful are than thee:

Far H(1)r 49

Far more delicious is thy love than wine,

When the brisk liqours o’er the goblets shine:

More sweet the scent thy precious perfumes yield,

Than all the spices of En-gedi’s field.

11. Ver. 11 “Thy lips drop the honey-comb” —expressing her sweet and melting
conversation. “Pleasant words are an honey-comb, sweet to the soul.” INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.
xxi. 24.
——“Like the smell of Lebanon.” “Lebanon abounds with various odoriferous
trees, from which the finest gums are extracted, particularly frankincense,
from whence some derive the name of Lebanon; לבונה, frankincense.”

Note on New Translation, p. 75. Mr. Harmer thinks the expression “may allude
to those chests of cedar in which the garments of the rich and great were, and commonly
are deposited, and which, we know, will strongly perfume such garments.”

Outl. p. 293. As brides were perfumed in an extraordinary manner, I imagine the
words are designed as a compliment, intimating that the care she had taken to render
her person agreeable
on this occasion, was not unnoticed by him to whom she
sought to recommend herself. Perfumes are used in the most lavish manner in the
East, the heat of the climate making them necessary; “All thy garments smell of
myrrh, and aloes, and cassia”
, says the holy Psalmist, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Ps. xlv. 8. (speaking of a
royal bride). “The smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon,” says my
author. And Isaac said, “The smell of my son is as the smell of a field which
the Lord hath blessed.”
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Gen. xxvii. 27. “On common visits to the great, in
Turkey, fair slaves are introduced with silver censers in their hands, who perfume
the air with amber, aloes-wood, &c.”
as Lady M.W. Montague informs
us, Lett. p. 91
; who also says“that her hair, clothes, and handkerchief,
were (on another visit) censed by two kneeling slaves.”

Thy rosy lips, O gentle spouse, dispense,

In copious strains, enchanting eloquence!

Whene’er thou speak’st, the honey’d accents all

Awake the mind to rapture as they fall!

H Honey H(1)v 50

Honey and milk thy tuneful tongue imparts

In melting language to our yielding hearts.

Thy garments, sweet as Lebanon, exhale

Their pow’rful odours on the buoyant gale.

End of Canto the Third.

Day H(2)r 51

Day the Fourth.

Scene—A Royal Pavilion in the Palace Garden. Solomon and the Spouse.

Canto the Fourth.

Time, Morning.

Solomon

to the Spouse.

V. 12. Ver. 12 “A garden enclosed—a spring shut up—a fountain sealed.” Mr.
Maundrell
informs us, that they went, 1696-04-01April 1, 1696, to visit some places in
the neighbourhood of Bethlehem. “The first place that we directed our
course to”
(says he) “was those famous fountains, pools, and gardens, which were
the contrivance and delight of King Solomon, alluded to INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Eccles. ii. 5,6. About
the distance of an hundred and forty paces from these pools, is the fountain from
from which they principally derive their waters. This (the friars told us) was
the sealed fountain, to which the holy spouse is compared, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Cant. iv. 12; and they
pretend a tradition, that King Solomon shut up these springs, and kept the door
of them sealed with his signet, to preserve the waters from his own drinking, in
their natural freshness and purity. Nor was it difficult thus to secure them,
they rising under ground, and having no avenue to them but a little hole, like
the mouth of a narrow well. These waters wind along through two rooms,
cut out of the solid rock, which are arched over with stone arches, very ancient;
perhaps the work of Solomon himself. Below the pools runs a narrow
rocky valley, enclosed on both sides with high mountains
: this, they told us, was the
enclosed garden alluded to in the same Song.”
See Maundrell’s Travels, p. 87.
likewise Mr. Parkhurst’s Heb. Lex. under גן 11. p. 94.

My sister-spouse is like a garden fair,

Enclos’d, by nature’s skill, with wondrous care;

Which on each side the shelt’ring mountains rise,

(Shooting in rocky columns to the skies)

Deep H2 H(2)v 52

Deep in the length’ning vale securely grows,

Untouch’d by vulgar hand, the maiden rose.

All pure art thou, as springs that glide unseen

’Neath vaulted rocks, that bound the neighb’ring green;

Which, safely seal’d, no foul pollution know,

But rise translucid, and translucid flow:

Chaste as the draught the secret fountain yields,

When fervid summer blasts the sick’ning fields.

13. Ver. 13. “The bridegroom having, in the preceding verse, called the bride an enclosed
enclosed garden, here carries on the allegory, and compares her virtues and accomplishments
to all the choicest productions of an eastern paradise.”
Note on
New Translation
, p. 57.

Thy virtues, royal fair one! rise

Like some sweet paradise, whose bloom,

Expanding ’neath congenial skies,

Breathes on the gale it’s choice perfume;

Within H(3)r 53

Within whose verdant borders we behold

Pomegranates, ting’d with vegetable gold:

Delicious fruits of varied hues,

Besprent with artificial dews,

When the dedal fountain pours

Limpid drops, in trickling show’rs,

Lighting on the Hennah pale,

And spikenard trembling with the gale.

14.

Scented canes and saffron grow

Where the gurgling streamlets flow;

Spikenard and cinnamon we find,

With other precious spices join’d;

And, far remov’d from purly rill,

Tall frankincense ascends the hill;

The hill rich myrrh and aloes love, Ver. 14, Line 7. “’Tis not the plant, but wood of aloes, which is here
meant; this, when dried, is of a very fragrant smell.”
Note on new Translation,
p. 75. And see Parkhurst’s Heb. Lexicon, under אהל. III.

And mingling, graceful, form a grove;

The grove, relax’d by southern breeze,

Sheds sweets from aromatic trees.

O spouse H(3)v 54

15. Ver. 15. “A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from
Lebanon.”
The bridegroom here compares the bride to fountains and streams;
for what is so enchanting to an Asiatic, as shady gardens, fragrant plants, bubbling
fountains
, and cooling streams? To all these, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.in the 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th
verses
, is the spouse compared. Almost all their notions of felicity are taken from
freshness and verdure: A green meadow, and clear rivulet, afford pleasures to
an Oriental, that we (in our cold climate) do not, cannot taste, in so exquisite a
degree
, even when in the full fruition of those things. Mr. Maundrell informs
us, “that near Damascus, he saw a very beautiful bagnio, and not far from it,
a coffee-house, which had two quarters for the reception of guests: That designed
for summer, was a small island, washed all round with a large swift
stream, and shaded over-head with trees. We found here (continues he) a
multitude of Turks, regaling themselves in this enchanting place; there being
nothing in which they so much delight, as greens and water.”
Trav. p. 122
Of the streams from Lebanon, Mr. Maundrell speaks thus: “There is a very
deep rupture in the side of Libanus, running, at least, seven hours travel directly
up into the mountain. It is on both sides exceedingly steep, and high,
clothed with fragrant greens from top to bottom, and every where refreshed with
with fountains falling down from the rocks in pleasant cascades, the ingenious
work of nature. The streams all uniting at the bottom, make a full and rapid
torrent, whose agreeable murmuring is heard all over the place, and adds no
small pleasure to it.”
Trav. Sunday 1696-05-09May 9, p. 118. “These waters seem to
be referred to, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Cant. iv. 15.”
Wells’s Sacred Geography, vol. ii. p. 266.

O spouse! delicious to thy lover’s sight

As bubbling fountains ting’d with noon-tide light,

Whose living waters down the channels stray,

Shining reflective in the solar ray;

Whose waves derive from Lebanon their source,

Winding through flow’ry vales their mazy course:

First from the chasm in his awful side,

The rude cascades in broken murmurs flow;

Till all uniting in one ample tide,

With melting warblings glides the stream below.

Awake, 5 H(4)r 55

16. Ver. 16. “Awake, O north wind, and come, thou south, blow upon my garden,
that the spices thereof may flow out”
. We are not to suppose that these two contrary
winds were invoked to blow together, or in immediate succession to one
another. “Come, thou cool north wind, blow upon my garden; refresh and reanimate
it’s drooping productions: And come, thou south wind, in due and
proper season; when the swelling bark of the aromatic trees requires thy emollient
breath—then come thou, and cause the rich spices to flow out in copious
effluvia.”

Awake, O north! and come, thou southern gale!

(Breathing propitous through the flow’ry vale)

Bid trees, exuding, precious spices shed

On vernal carpets, ’neath their umbrage spread;

Call all the odours of my garden forth,

Soft southern breezes, cool refreshing north.

Spouse

to Solomon.

Then come, my love; the genial breezes blow,

The bark distends, the aromatics flow;

Delicious fruits thy princely hand invite,

And flowers, expanding, court thy curious sight.

Solomon H(4)v 56

Solomon

to the Spouse.

V. 1. Chap. V.
Ver. 1. In the first part of this verse, Solomon addresses himself to “the bride”;
at the words, “I have eaten my honey-comb,” &c. he speaks to his friends, supposed posed
to be partaking of the nuptial banquet. “Milk and honey” (says Dr.
Shaw)
“always make part of the entertainment among the Turks and Moors.”
Trav. p. 297.
“I have drunk my wine with my milk.” This alludes to the eastern custom
of acidulating the milk with some kind of tart wine; perhaps with that made
of the juice of the pomegranate, which is in high estimation in the hot countries,
and so making a kind of sillabub.
“Yea, drink abundantly.”שכר signifies “to satisfy, satiate, to satisfy thirst,
or the desire of drinking (as שבע, of eating) to drink heartily, or freely, to be
cheared with drink.”
See Parkhurst’s Lex. in שכר, p. 683. “Of our loves,”
says the New Translation. I hope I may be pardoned for saying to our loves.
Draught may be imagined, at first view, not to rhyme with thought; but
I beg leave to obseve, that in many counties it is pronounced drawt, not draft.
That draught, the act of drinking, is derived from draw, see Johnson’s Dictionary;
and in the remarks of the Critical Reviewers on Sheridan’s English
Dictionary
(Review for 1780-05May 1780)
may be found several authorities from
our English poets for making these two words rhyme together.

I’ve view’d my garden’s varied bloom,

And pleas’d inhal’d it’s rich perfume;

I’ve cropt my myrrh with spices rare;

The honey on my palate glows;

I’ve drunk my wine, in vases fair,

With milk commix’d with nicest care,

Till o’er the brim brisk curdling masses rose.

Scene the Second—A Pavillion in the Palace
Garden.
The Nuptial Banquet.

Solomon

to his Friends, assembled at the Banquet. Time, Evening.

Eat, O my friends! and drink with me,

Quaff deep th’ inspiring draught;

Till, lost in mirth and rapt’rous glee,

Confusion mingle with the rising thought:

Mark I(1)r 57

Mark well the gen’rous wine—aright it moves;

Drink deep, my friends; drink to our plighted loves.

End of Canto the Fourth.

I Day I(1)v 58

Day the Fifth.

Scene—The Palace of the Jewish Queen, in the Country.

Jewish Queen and Attendants.

Canto the Fifth.

Time, Morning.

Jewish Queen

recounting to the Daughters of Jerusalem an
Adventure that had happened on the preceding Night.

V. 2. Ver. 2. Solomon must have gone (as Mr. Harmer observes) some distance
from his own palace, in quest of his Jewish queen; to her country retirement,
no doubt, whither she had withdrawn (as before observed) at the king’s request,
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. ii. 10; and from whence (it should seem) she would not be prevailed on to come
come forth, in order to pay the proper compliment to the bride, which her new
dignity required, and as common good-breeding might have induced this haughy
queen to have done, and as it appears the other queens, concubines, and virgins
had done
, on her arrival at Jerusalem, mentioned INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. vi. 8; and this I take to
have been the cause of Solomon’s visit at this time: For though, from the tenour
of the poem, it appears he was tender of her peace, and sought by every gentle
mean
to win her to an acquiescence, yet her wilfully absenting herself from his
court, when the time of complimenting the new queen was arrived, and persisting
in the resolution of keeping her distance
, touched the monarch, and induced
him to seek a personal conversation, hoping thereby to make a mutual agreement
between the parties. Solomon might, for some private reasons, wish the absence
of his Jewish queen
, when he was conducting the bride into the royal city; but
that over, it was reasonable to expect her submissive acquiescence in the measure,
and her consequent good behaviour. To the ear of a western wife, I
grant, the doctrine sounds harsh; but in those countries where polygamy is allowed,
a lady is not supposed to regard these matters; nor was there occasion
to be over-nice here, as it appears the young king had already (exclusive of
the two ladies in question) no less than threescore wives of the first order, and
fourscore wives of an inferior sort, whom the Translation styles concubines,
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. vi. 8; but who are not to be looked on as women of that denomination
among us
. Busbequius tells us, that “the difference between a wife of the
most dignified kind, and a concubine, is this—the wife has a dowry appointed
her—the concubine has none.”
See Outl. p. 19.

I slept—but O! my anxious mind,

To peaceful slumber disinclin’d,

Still brooded o’er it’s mighty woes,

And in my dream the shad’wy train arose;

When lo! a voice the mighty gloom pervades!

(’Twas love’s known voice that murmur’d thro’ the
shades.)

He 9 I(2)r 59

He knock’d—attent I caught the welcome sound,

And heard from vaulted domes thick-answ’ring strokes
rebound.

Quick ope to me, my gentle love,

My undefil’d, my turtle-dove;

For ah! my head is fill’d with dew,

My locks with drops of glist’ning hue.

12 3. My I(2)v 60

3. Ver. 3. “I have put off my coat—I have washed my feet, how shall I defile
them?”
The eastern ladies sleep generally in their drawers, and at least one
or two waistcoats, and in winter in their furs: The houses likewise of the
great ladies, in those countries, are kept so extremely neat, that had she risen at
the king’s request, she would have been in no danger of taking cold, or of
soiling her new-washen feet; besides surrounded by her attendants (as Princesses
in the East constantly are) she need not have arisen herself at all; for at
her command they would certainly have admitted the king; and I conclude,
had not they been forbidden by the queen, they would of course have opened to
their royal master. The whole of her reply was declarative of anger and resentment;
and the excuses of angry people are often frivolous, and little consistent
with truth.

My vest (said I) is laid aside,

And ev’ry ornament of pride;

My feet are wash’d: How can I rise,

When midnight slumbers hover o’er my eyes?

4. Ver. 4. “My beloved put in his hand through the opening of the door,” (not in
at the casement, as good Bishop Patrick supposed, with design to pull her out of
bed.) The curious have remarked (says Mr. Harmer) “that if their gates are
sometimes of iron and brass, their locks and keys are often of wood; and that
not only of their houses, but of their cities too. Thevenot, speaking of Grand
Cairo, says, All their locks and keys are of wood; the keys are bits of timber,
with little pieces of wire, that lift up other pieces of wire that are in the lock, and
and enter into certain little holes, out of which the ends of the wire that are in
the key having thrust them, the gate is opened: But without the key, a little
soft paste, upon the end of the finger, will open the lock. What is here observed,
may serve to illustrate this verse. Solomon attempted to open the door,
by putting in his fingers at the key-hole (according to some such method as described
above) but it did not open. The handles of the lock are, Mr. Harmer
supposes, these wires; the word sometimes signifying branches, which these
wires resemble.”
See Observations on divers Pass. of Script. vol. i. p. 208.
“My hands dropped myrrh.” It is to be supposed, that the queen had been
copiously anointed, as well as washed INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ver. 3—in expectation, perhaps, of the
king’s arrival; and the abundance in which the eastern ladies used perfumed unguents
considered INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.see Esth. ii.12 may account for this passage, “My hands
dropped myrrh.”
There is a thought very similar, in Mr. Jones’s allegory of the
Seven Fountains: “She turns the key; her cheeks like roses bloom,And on the lock her fingers drop perfume.”
See Poems, p. 45.

I spake; when lo! the hand of love

Retouch’d the sounding door;

Then all the tender passions strove

With force unfelt before!

5. In I(3)r 61

5.

In haste I rose t’admit my royal guest,

While flush’d with hope my cheeks like roses bloom’d;

With unct’ous hand the yielding lock I press’d,

And pow’rful sweets the midnight air perfum’d;

Pure liquid myrrh my fragrant fingers shed,

And o’er the handles of the bolt it spread.

6.

I open’d to my royal love,

But he was far away;

My soul with sad emotions strove,

And fail’d with dire dismay!

His I(3)v 62

His parting words, engraven on my mind,

Sunk deep, and left a lasting sting behind.

Long while, oppress’d with anxious thought,

I sought him—but in vain I sought!

I call’d him—but no kind reply

Return’d he to my plaintive cry.

7. Ver. 7. “They smote me, they wounded me.” “They hurt me, or made me
sorely smart. פצע does not always signify a ghastly wound, but sometimes such
sharp cuts or stripes as are inflicted by wholesome discipline.”
See note on
New Translation
, p. 78.
“The accounts of some travellers, concerning the
treatment the wives of the great men sometimes meet with in the East, is really
astonishing. These שמרים, or keepers, not only talk to them in rough language,
and hunt them from place to place, but make no scruple of punishing
them corporally too
. If this be the state of the eastern ladies, the complaint of this
princess
will not appear so unnatural as we may have been ready to imagine.”

See Out. p. 316, to which I beg leave to refer the curious reader.—“Plucked
my veil off me.”
This passage is not to be understood as by the generality of
commentators, in the sense of taking her veil away from her, but only taking it
off to “know or to expose her.” Note on New Translation, p. 78.—And he
may be necessary to observe, that the queen met with a treatment from these
watchmen or keepers very different from that which she received from them in
her nocturnal ramblings, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. iii. 3. To account for which, different reasons
have been assigned, but the true one, perhaps, lies yet concealed; which appears pears
to have been simply this, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. iii. 3. she met the watchmen, and immediately
interrogated them, saying, “Saw ye him whom my soul loveth?” Before
they could reply (for we read of no answer to this question) she found him whom
her soul loved
. First, the very question argued her quality, as no ordinary woman,
rambling about at midnight, would have dared to enquire for the king in
terms like those; oriental majesty being treated with the profoundest respect.
Secondly, the immediate appearance of the king silenced all impertinencies on
the part of the keepers, had they been disposed to talk to her roughly, or to
inflict blows. In the verse before us the circumstannces differ, though that difference
has not been duly attended to by preceding commentators. The queen
met the watchmen, as before, but she spake not to them (probably her recent
ill treatment of her royal partner, see ver. 3, might make her fearful of repeating
the enquiry.) her strict silence, and apparent dread of being known, which
appears from her receiving even blows without complaint, and wrapping herself
closely up in her veil
, raised suspicions to her disadvantage; which induced them
(at length) to take off, or lift up the veil, in order to see who this obstinately silent
woman
was. But, no sooner did they discover that it was the queen, but their
blows and impertinencies ceased at once, and she was dismissed in consequence of
that discovery
.

The watchmen found me; with relentless blows

They smote me, mocking at my silent woes:

Down from the tow’ring walls the keepers flew,

And the close veil from off my temples drew:

No I(4)r 63

No more conceal’d I mock’d their prying sight,

But stood confest, ’mid gleams of borrow’d light;

For splendid lamps their trembling rays display’d,

With varying lustres, through the midnight shade.

8.

I charge you, O ye virgin throng!

If my belov’d shou’d pass along,

While you around the city rove,

O tell him I am sick of love!

Virgins I(4)v 64

Virgins of Jerusalem

to the Queen.

9.

What is thy beloved? say,

Thou fairest of the fair!

What sov’reign charms does he display,

That claim such earnest care?

What is thy beloved, say,

More than another’s love?

Superiour darts his potent ray

Salem’s bright sons above?

Stands he distinguish’d noble youths among,

When fair perfection gilds the blooming throng?

Jewish Queen,

in reply (describing the charms of her royal lover.)

10. Ver. 10. “The chiefest” (says our translation) “among ten thousand”; but Mr.
Parkhurst
renders the words דגול מרבבה “lighted with ten thousand lamps,
or dazzling (as a gaudy bridegroom) surrounded with ten thousand lamps.”

See Heb. Lex. in דגל II. p.108.

My love is white, and ruddy as the morn,

Radiant as those whom bridal vests adorn,

When silver lamps pour round their fulgid rays,

And tissued robes reflect the dazzling blaze.

11. As K(1)r 65

11. Ver. 11. “As the most fine gold”—alluding to the crown royal, which was of
gold. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Comp. ch. iii. II. “His locks bushy and black as the raven.” “Black
hair,”
Sir John Chardin observes, “in a note on ch. v. II. is reckoned most beautiful,
and is most esteemed in the east. And those whose hair is of some other
colour dye it black.”
See Additions to Outlines, p. 3.

As gold resplendent shines his royal head,

His raven locks o’er his fair shoulders spread,

The floating ringlets wanton in the wind,

Salute his cheek, or, graceful, fall behind.

12. Ver. 12. “As the eyes of doves”sparkling, and yet mild, as those of milkwhite
doves, when they are delighted as they sit by the water-side.”
See Patrick,
Bochart, &c.
note on New Translation, p. 79.

His eyes are as the eys of milk-white doves,

Which woo, by swelling streams, their plumy loves;

Peaceful they sit the ample floods beside,

And cooing sip the waters as they glide.

13. Ver. 13. “His cheeks (or rather his beard, which covered his youthful cheeks)
like מגדלות מרקחים towers of perfumes: vases for preserving perfumes, in use
among the Hebrews.”
See Parkhurst’s Lex. in הכל IV. p. 128. The general and constant
constant use of perfumes had been often mentioned in these notes, as there are
continual allusions to that custom in this Song, as well as in other oriental compositions.
The beard, among the Jews, &c. was suffered to grow to the length
nature designed; and when it had once imbibed the rich odours, must be supposed
long to have retained them. Mr. Maundrell informs us, “that at the conclusion
of a visit which he paid to the bassa of Tripoli, his beard was perfumed in
the following manner: ‘Then comes the finishing part of the entertainment,
which is perfuming the beards of the company: they have for this purpose a small
silver chafing-dish covered with a lid full of holes, and fixed upon a handsome
plate. In this they put some fresh coals, and upon them a piece of lignum
aloes, and then shutting it up, the smoke immediately ascends with a grateful
odour, through the holes of the cover. This smoke is held under every one’s
chin, and offered (as it were) a sacrifice to the beard.’”
See Travels, p. 30.
“His lips lilies”—compared to lilies, either on account of their softness, or
(as Bishop Patrick supposes) of their red colour, resembling the rubens lilium,
which he tells us is very highly esteemed in Syria. “Dropping sweet-smelling
myrrh,”
notes the sweetness of his conversation, and is supposed by Sir Thomas
Brown
to refer to the roscid and honey drops observable in the flowers of
martagon, and inverted-flowered lilies, and is probably the standing sweet-dew
on the white eyes of the crown-imperial, now common among us. Note on
New Translation
, p. 79.

His downy cheeks are like a spicy bed,

Whence choicest aromatics rise,

Which, sweetly budding forth, unceasing spread

Their rich effluvia through the skies.

His K K(2)v 66

His lips are lilies dropping honey-dew,

Ting’d with the ruby’s animated hue.

14. Ver. 14. “As gold rings set with the beryl.” Mr. Sandys informs us, that,
“among the Egyptian Moors, those of the better sort wear hoops of gold and
silver about their arms.”
Trav. p. 85. lib. ii. Something of this sort was worn
by Solomon,—a kind of gold bracelet. Judah left his bracelet in pledge, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Gen.xxxviii.
xxxviii. 18.
“Bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.” This refers to the tunic,
or close under-coat, which appears to have been made of white, edged with
blue, besprinkled with gold spangles,—“the colour of sapphires INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.comp. vii. 2.
white and blue were royal colours.”
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.See Est. viii. 15. Parkhurst. Dr.
Shaw,
speaking of the dress of the Arab men, says, some wear, underneath
their hyke, a close-bodied frock, or tunic, called a jillebba, with or without
sleeves, not unlike the Roman tunica.”
Trav. p. 226. Sandys tells us, that
“the Turks wear an half-sleeved coat girt unto them with a towel.” Lib. i.
p. 50.
“The Egyptians,” says the same author, “wear side-coats of
linen girt to their waists.”
Lib. ii. p. 85.

His hands are rings of gold, where dazzling glows

The yellow chrysolite in sparkling rows.

Like K(2)r 67

Like purest iv’ry, delicately white!

Appears his waist, with snowy tunick dight;

The snowy tunick, edg’d with gold and blue,

Like radiant sapphires glitters to the view.

15. Ver. 15. “As pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold.” “Doubtless”
(says Mr. Harmer) “his legs being like pillars of marble, refers to the breeches
[or drawers] of fine linen he wore; such garments being ordered to be worn by the
priests of God, whose vestments were appointed for glory and beauty.”
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Exod.
xxxiii. 2, 42.
See Outl. p. 117. Sandys says of the Turks, that “they
wear next the skin a smock of calico with ample sleeves, under this a pair of
calsouns (or drawers) of the same, which reach to their ankles; the rest naked,
and going in yellow or red slip-shoes, picked at the toe,”
&c. Lib. i. p. 49.
Solomon’s slippers or sandals appear to have been yellow, as his feet are compared
to sockets of gold. The modern Turks, even to the Grand Signior, are extremely
fond of yellow slippers, and they will not permit either Jews or Christians
to wear them of that colour. Complete Syst. of Geogr. vol. ii. p. 20. col. 2. The
The Asiatics were always famous for beautiful shoes, which fit as exactly to the
foot as a neat kid glove to the hand. So Homer,
“And ties to his feet gay shoes.”
“Like Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.” “Does not this clause intend a
sweetly venerable majestic calmness?”
Outl. 319.

His comely legs, like marble pillars shine,

Round which, with art, the linen draw’rs entwine;

Below K2 K(2)v 68

Below the draw’rs rich sandals we behold,

Like finish’d pedestals of burnish’d gold.

Majestic as those cedars that arise

From Lebanon’s exalted height,

Pushing their verdant branches to the skies,

With native excellence bedight,

Beams his fair countenance, with grace replete,

Awfully mild, majestically sweet!

16.

His mouth is fragrance, such as flows,

When morning breathes, from dewy rose;

Yea, he is lovely as the dawning day!

Such is my royal friend, ye tuneful throng,

Such is my best-belov’d! O virgins, say,

Mark’d ye such charms Salem’s bright sons among?

Virgins K(3)r 69


Virgins of Jerusalem.

V. 1.

O where is thy beloved stray’d?

Thou fairest of the fair!

Say, shall we seek him down the glade,

And tell thy tender care?

O whither is he turn’d aside?

Perchance to hear the warbling streamlets glide;

Say, shall we seek him with thee there,

When dews descending cool the sultry air?

Jewish Queen

to her Attendants.

2.

My love is, doubtless, in his garden straying,

Or ’neath thick trees, on beds of spices playing;

Full oft ’tis his, when ev’ning shades prevail,

To gather lilies in yon humid vale.

3.

I am my love’s, and he is mine!

Why does he from truth’s path decline?

And roving seek, when ev’ning shades prevail,

To feed among the lilies of the vale.


End of Canto the Fifth.

K(3)v 70

Day the Sixth.

Scene—A Garden belonging to the royal Palace of Solomon

Solomon and the Spouse (with their Attendants).

Canto the Sixth.

Time, Morning.

Solomon to the Spouse.

4. Chap. VI.
Ver. 4. “Beautiful as Tirzah.” Tirzah was the royal city of the kings of
Israel, after the revolt from Rehoboam, till the reign of Omri, who built Samaria; maria;
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.see 1 Kings xiv. 17. xvi. 6, 8, 9, 15, 23, 24. and from this passage of
Canticles it was remarkable for it’s pleasant situation, which seems implied in it’s
Hebrew name תדצה, from רצה. See Parkhurst’s Heb. Lex. in רצה, p. 649.
“Graceful as Jerusalem.” “Jerusalem was esteemed the most charming place
in Palestine, and is called by Jeremiah the perfection of beauty.”
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Lam. ii. 15.
Note on New Translation, p. 80. Comp. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Ps. xlviii. 2.“Beautiful for situation,
the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion.”
Sandys, speaking of Palestine,
says, “a land flowing with milk and honey: in the midst, as it were, of the
habitable world, and under a temperate clime, adorned with beautiful mountains
and luxuriant vallies; the rocks producing excellent waters, and no part empty
of delight or profit. Jerusalem (continues he) once sacred and glorious, elected
by God for his seat, and seated in the midst of nations, is like a diadem crowning
the head of the mountains.”
Lib. iii. p. 110, 120. אימה “Dazzling כנדגלות
women shone upon by nuptial lamps, the splendour of which would no doubt be
strongly reflected by their rich attire and jewels worn on the occasion.”
See
Parkhurst’s Lex. in דגל, p. 108.

O! Thou art beautiful, my love,

As Tirzah, tow’ring o’er the grove

New gilt with morning light;

On her gay tow’rs the purple radiance plays,

And kindling domes reflect the fulgent rays:

Tirzah, the scene of pleasure and delight!

Graceful K(4)r 71

Graceful art thou as Salem to mine eye,

(Salem, the seat of regal majesty)

Whose fair perfection future bards shall sing,

When all-inspir’d, they sweep the silver string.

Dazzling, in these thy bridal vests array’d,

Thou beam’st as lamps, resplendent through the shade.

5.

Avert thine eyes!—a fatal dart

Has found, and vanquish’d all my heart!

Ah! quick the tender passions rise!

I die!—avert those piercing eyes.

3 Thine K(4)v 72

Thine auburn hair in graceful tresses flows,

Shading thy cheeks, more vermeil than the rose;

Such glossy locks Mount Gilead’s goats adorn,

As sleek, ascending at the break of day,

Refresh’d, they catch the balmy breeze of morn,

And up the pointed rocks with added vigour stray.

6.

Thy pearly teeth are like a snowy flock

Of sheep, ascending from the argent tide,

(Where, from the basis of the craggy rock,

The rapid streams in brisk meandrings glide)

Which all are twins, none mourns it’s fellow lost,

Or drooping on the plain, or on the white wave tost.

7.

Behind thy veil, what vivid red

Is o’er each radiant temple spread!

So glows the gay pomegranate’s purple hue,

When the bright sections open to the view.

8.

I’ve threescore queens, of beauty bright,

And fourscore concubines, as fair,

With tuneful virgins clad in shining white,

Who sweep the warbling strings, and trill the dulcet air.

9. But L(1)r 73

9. Ver. 9. “My dove, my undefiled, is one”—i.e. stands alone in my affections:
she is dear to me as an only child to her mother: as her darling to her
that bare her.”
See New Translation, p. 31.—Can a woman forget her sucking
child
. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Isa. xlix. 15.

But she, my dove, my undefil’d,

Admits no proud compeer;

Dear to my soul as is an only child

To her fond parent dear:

Alone she reigns within this ardent breast,

A constant, pleasing, unremitted guest.

The virgin-daughters saw my love,

And blest her in their song;

The queens, amaz’d, beheld her move

With majesty along,

And join’d the concubines! One gen’ral voice

Then rose to swell her praise, and celebrate my choice.

Scene the Second—The Garden.

Solomon

in surprize, on seeing his Jewish Queen approaching.

10. Ver. 10. “As the morning.” Theocritus, speaking of the Grecian Helen,
Idyll. xviii. says, “As rising morn displays her lovely face,So shone the golden Helen forth.”
Note on New Translation, p. 81.
A lady, in the Arabian tales, is called day-light. Those who are remarkable
for their beauty are still compared, by oriental writers, to the sun and moon:
therefore, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, is truly in the oriental taste. “יפה
is fair with regard to the complexion: INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.see 1 Sam. xvii. 42. ברה—is properly
clear, unsullied, of unobscured splendour, and therefore is well applied to
the glowing surface of the great orb of day.”
Note on New Translation, p. 81.
“We are informed, by D’Herbelot, that the late writers of those countries
have given the patriarch Joseph the title of the moon of Canaan, that is, the
most perfect beauty that ever appeared above the horizon of Judea.”
Hasselquist
informs us, that “it is likewise applied to female beauty by the Arabians, who
are wont to compare a lady’s face to the moon.”
Outl. p. 329. “‘The works
of the Persians,’
says Mons. de Voltaire, ‘are like the titles of their kings, in
which the sun and moon are often introduced: but he does not reflect, that every
nation has a set of images and expressions peculiar to itself, which arise from the
difference of it’s climate, manners, and history.’”
See Jones’s Poems, Essay i.
p. 178.

But who is she that moves with princely gait,

And onward comes in this majestic state?

L Clear L(1)v 74

Clear as the morn, bedeckt with orient light,

She shines confest, and radiates on the sight!

Fair as the moon, in argent splendours drest,

Bright as the sun, inrob’d in golden vest!

Dazzling as brides, in nuptial pomp array’d,

Beaming effulgent through the midnight shade!

When flaming lamps with vivid lustres blaze,

And tissued robes reflect the vary’d rays;

7 When L(2)r 75

When gold and gems, inkindling to the sight,

With brilliant sparkles chear the brow of night.

Solomon

to his Jewish Queen.

11. Ver. 11. “To the garden of nuts”“Rather, to the garden kept in order by
cutting, or pruning, hortos putatos; so the words גנת אגוז seem rather to
mean.”
See Parkhurst’s Lex. in גז, which word signifies to take off, or away
so to prune, cut away.—“There are none of our parterres, according to Lady
M.W. Montague
, in the gardens of Turkey; but they are all planted with
high trees, which afford an agreeable shade, and to my fancy (says she) a
pleasing view.”
Lett. vol. ii. 74. “Captain Norden speaks of vine-arbours, as
common in the Egyptian gardens; and the Praenestine pavement, in Dr. Shaw,
gives us the figure of an ancient one.”
Outl. p. 141.

Hither I come, the garden’s bloom to view;

Descending slowly through the length’ning vale,

I mark it’s fruits, enrich’d with morning dew,

While the light foliage trembles with the gale:

If the flow’ring vine appear,

Peeping fost’rign boughs between,

Raptur’d, oft I find it here,

Scenting all the neighb’ring scene;

Here the pomegranates feel the genial ray,

And swell the bud, expanding to the day.

Jewish Queen,

in reply (preparing to quit the Garden.)

12. Ver. 12. “The chariots of Ammi-nadib.” Ammi-nadib was a furious driver
of his age; as Jehu in succeeding times, see INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.2 Kings ix. 20. To place one
on the chariots of Ammi-nadib, seems to be equivalent to—You have made me
resolve on instant flight. “Nothing is more common in Homer, than celebrating
particular heroes for their skill in breaking and driving horses in chariots,
though this does not appear in Mr. Pope’s translation, who frequently
neglects to give the force of the epithet Ἱπποδαμος, literally horse-breaker,
meaning for chariots; for no other horse-soldiers are mentioned in Homer.
The people of Thessaly, who seem to be the first Grecians that rode on horseback,
were in the Trojan times looked upon by the rest as monsters, and called
Centaurs.”
Parkhurst.

I knew it not! my weak unstable mind,

In quest of peace, to solitude inclin’d;

L2 But L(2)v 76

But now, convinced, my soul prepares for flight;

Adieu! behold me hast’ning from thy sight,

Quick as the chariot thunders o’er the plain,

When Ammi-nadib holds the glowing rein.

Nobles of Zion

to the Queen retiring.

13. Ver. 13. “It certainly was not usual, among the Hebrews, to call women
after the name of their husbands, as the ingenious author of the New Translation
supposes. See his note, p. 85. השולמית therefore does not denote the wife
of Solomon
, but if spelled without the ו (as in several Hebrew MSS.) is plainly
the woman of Salem; (just as המואבית is the woman of Moab, the Moabitess, Ruth
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Ruth i. 22; השונמית the woman of Shunam, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.1 Kings i. 3. &c. &c.) and
it appears as if the nobles, by calling the Jewish queen by that name, meant
to give an oblique hint at the meanness of her birth, compared with that of the
Egyptian princess; and so to intimate an argument for her submission and reconciliation.
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Comp. ch. vii. I, בת נדיב—i.e. nobleman’s daughter, not of royal
descent
.”
Parkhurst.

Return! return! O Shulamite, return!

Let not our hearts with expectation burn;

Return! return! that we may look on thee—

Virgins of Jerusalem

to the Nobles.

What wish ye in the Shulamite to see?

Nobles 5 L(3)r 77

Nobles of Zion.

We wish to see two friendly troops unite,

That each glad heart, replete with gay delight,

May it’s sensations chearfully impart,

And send them, glowing, to it’s fellow heart.

Scene the Third—A Chiosk in the Royal Garden. Solomon, the Jewish Queen, and their Attendants. Time, Evening.

Solomon.

Chap. VII.

V. 1. Chap. VII.
Ver. 1. “‘How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, or sandals!’ Hence we learn,
that these were anciently an eminent part of female eastern finery. So Homer, in
in the brief description he gives us of Juno’s dress, when she intended to captivate
Jupiter, does not however omit her sandals. II. xiv. line 186. ‘Ποσσι δ’ὑπαι λιπαροισιν εδησατο καλα πεδιλα’ ‘Last her fair feet celestial sandals grace.’
Pope.
Lady M.W. Montague likewise informs us, that the slippers of the beautiful
Fatima see Letter xxxiii. vol. ii. p. 71 were white sattin, finely embroidered.”

Parkhurst’s Heb. and Eng. Lex. under נעל. “The Hebrew women were remarkably
nice in adorning their sandals, and in having them fit the foot neatly,
so as to display it’s fine shape. Vide Clerici Comment. Judith’s sandals are
mentioned, among her other ornaments of jewels, her bracelets, &c. with which
she set off her beauty, when she first went to captivate the heart of Holofernes,
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. x. 4; and it is expressly said that her sandals ravished his eyes,”
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. xvi. 9.
Note on New Translation, p. 86. Lady M.W. Montague tells us, that her
shoes were of white kid leather, embroidered with gold. Sandys mentions the
silken buskins of a Turkish bride.” Lib. i. p. 53. נדיב agrees better with
our English word nobleman, than with that of prince: and the applying of it here
to the Jewish queen, points out the proper distinciton which was to be observed
between the two ladies, the one the daughter of a powerful monarch, the other
descended only from some Jewish nobleman. The חמוקי here mentioned, appear to
be drawers, which cover or conceal the thighs, being derived from the verb חמק,
which undoubtedly signifies withdrawing, or concealment. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Comp. ch. v. 6, in Heb.
See Lex. in המק, p. 182. All the eastern ladies wear drawers; “the first part
of my Turkish dress, says Lady M.W. Montague, is a pair of drawers, very full,
full, that reach down to my shoes, and conceal the legs more modestly than
your petticoats: they are of a thin rose-coloured damask, brocaded with silver
flowers
.”
See Lett. vol. ii. p. 28. “The citizens of both sexes” (says Dr. Shaw,
speaking of the Turks and Moors) “wear drawers; those of the virgins are made
of needle-work, striped silk, or linen, just as Tamar’s garment is described,
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.2 Sam. xiii. 18.”
Trav. p. 228. “The Jewish women” (says Sandys) “wear long
quilted waistcoats, with breeches underneath, in winter of cloth, in summer of
linen. They are generally fat, good work-women, and can do any thing for
profit, that is to be done by the art of woman, consistent with the fashion of
these countries.”
Trav. lib. iii. p. 116. Of what materials the drawers of
this Jewish princess were made, we cannot determine; certainly not of silk (silk
being unknown in Judea in the days of Solomon.) We are told, “that even
in the time of emperor Aurelian, who lived one thousand three hundred
years later than Solomon, silk was so scarce, that it sold for it’s weight in
gold
; for which reason the emperor refused his empress a garment of it, though
she very importunately desired one.”
See Observationson divers Passages of
Scripture
, vol. ii. p. 354
. Silk-worms in our days abound in the Holy Land,
but they were introduced long since the reign of Solomon.
“Like jewels.” Whatever these ornaments might be, which decorated the
drawers of the queen, they probably resembled such as were fashioned by the
graving tool
; they were like הלאים. “The verb חלא, signifies to wear away;
from thence, as a noun masculine plural, חלאים, ornaments which are made
by the workman’s continually wearing away with his graver the parts of the
matter to be wrought. It means”
(I suppose, says Mr. Parkhurst) “thin flexible
plates of gold or silver, artfully cut through and engraven, in imitation of lace.”

(See Dr. Shaw’s description of the Sarmah, worn by the Moorish ladies, in Notes
on ch. i. II. vii. 5
.) And so the Jewish queen’s drawers seem, like Lady
M.W. Montague’s
, to have been of a kind of brocade, that is, “of a stuff of
gold, silver, or, &c. raised and enriched with flowers, foliages, and other ornaments, according
according to the fancy of the merchants or manufacturers.”
See New and Complete
Dictionary of Arts
in brocade. Comp. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Ps. xlv. 13, 14
.
ידי אמן, “hands of steadiness, constant, perservering hands;” such surely are
the hands of the skilful graver. See Parkhurst’s Lex. in אמן, p. 21.

How beautiful thy feet, O noble fair!

Adorn’d with sandals, wrought with nicest care,

Where gold, and threads of variegated hues,

Thy captiv’d lover all-inraptur’d views;

Thy L(3)v 78

Thy stately legs the curious draw’rs infold,

Deckt as with graven ornaments of gold,

Where L(4)r 79

Where by the toilsome artist’s steady hand

The mimic buds, and leaves and flow’rs expand.

2. Thy L(4)v 80

2. Ver. 2. “A round goblet, which wanteth not liqour.” Bishop Patrick thinks
this, and the following passage, descriptive of the figures wrought on the queen’s
garments
. Mr. Harmer, and others, are of opinion, that it alludes to the clasp
of her girdle
; and it appears to me most probable that it should, as it is called,
after the eastern mode (See Preliminary Discourse) by the name of that part of
the body
which is covered by the clasp. See a Turkish lady in her proper dress,
Sandys’s Trav. p. 53, lib. i. “In Niébuhr, Voyage de l’ Arabie, tom. i.
p. 135
, is a print of a Grecian lady, of Alexandria, in Egypt, the clasp of whose
girdle resembles two little oval shields; and in Russell’s Nat. Hist. of Aleppo,
p. 101
, we have a Turkish lady represented, with a clasp of three artificial
flowers, of precious stones I suppose.”
Parkhurst. Lady M.W. Montague
informs us, that “a certain great Turkish lady had her shift fastened at the
bottom with a large diamond, shaped like a lozenge; her girdle as broad as the
broadest English ribbon, entirely covered with diamonds.”
Lett. vol. ii. p. 151.
The clasp of this queen’s girdle was circular, and enlosed a beautiful variety of
precious stones, whose changeful hues are elegantly compared to the bubbles
ascending to the top of a goblet, or cup, filled with fermenting liquors.
“A heap of wheat, set about with lilies,” or bounded with lilies. “Such
heaps of wheat, as well as lilies, were objects so very familiar to the Jews, that we
we may well suppose them to be mentioned together in a comparison, without
alluding to any actual custom of conjoining them. The protuberant shape of the
queen, covered with a golden damask or tissue waistcoat, above and below which
the white smock appeared (as being both much longer, and considerably higher)
might be aptly compared to a heap of golden grain, bounded on the extremities
with lilies.”
Parkhurst. “It may be necessary to observe here, that in the
east, they do not stack up their corn in the straw, as we do, but thresh it out in
the field, and then lay it up in considerably large heaps.”
See Russell’s Nat.
Hist. of Aleppo
, p. 182
.
Lady M.W. Montague’s account of her Turkish dress, will serve to elucidate
this difficult passage. “The antery” (says she) “is a waistcoat made close
to the shape, of white and gold damask, with very long sleeves, falling back,
and fringed with deep gold fringe, with diamond or pearl buttons: The smock
is of fine white silk gauze, edged with embroidery; this smock has wide sleeve,
hanging half way down the arm, and is closed at the neck with a diamond
button; but the shape and colour of the bosom is very well to be distinguished through
it
.”
Lett. vol. ii. p. 28, 31. “Nothing” (says Mr. Harmer) “is more common, than
to express an exquisite white by that of the lily; and to use the epithet of golden,
when poetry speaks of grain”
. Outl. p. 3. Corpulency is reckoned a great
beauty
in the east, which induces the women of those countries to use frequently
the warm bath, and certain kinds of food, which help to enlarge their bulk. “The
Turkish ladies,”
according to Mr. Sandys, “are elegantly beautiful, for the most
part ruddy, clear and smooth as polished ivory, being never ruffled by the weather,
and daily frequenting the bagnios.”
Lib. i. p. 53. And Lady M.W.
Montague
says, “that every kind of beauty is more common there than
with us.”

Thy clasp is like a goblet round,

Where mingled liquors play,

When wines, with mantling rubies crown’d,

Reflect the changeful ray:

Thy waist is like an heap of golden grain,

With lilies bounded, rising from the plain.

3. Thy M(1)r 81

3.

Thy two fair breasts like two young roes appear,

The tender daughters of the vernal year.

4. Ver. 4. “Like the pools of Heshbon.” Solomon compares the eyes of his Jewish
queen to the pools of Heshbon, perhaps on account of their beautifully oblong form,
their largeness, and shining humidity. So Sandys tells us, that “large eyes
the Turks have in principal repute (affected also by the Grecians) as it should
seem from the beginning, since Mahomet doth promise such (nay as big as eggs)
in his imaginary paradise:”
and this Homer attributes, as an especial excellency,
as Juno: “———to whom repliesJuno, with the cow’s fair eyes.”
And again— “The great-eyed Juno smil’d.”
Iliad i.
See Trav. lib. i. p. 53.
Lady M.W. Montague, speaking of the lovely Fatima, says“that sur—
prizing harmony of features—that charming result of the whole—that exact
proportion of body—that lovely bloom of complexion—the unutterable en—
chantment of her smile!—but her eyes!—large and black—with all the soft languishment
of the blue!”
See Lett. vol. ii. p. 85. Large eyes were therefore
(and still are) accounted beautiful in the East; and to make them appear larger, and
and more conspicuous than nature in common designed them, they use a certain
black powder, which is very artfully conveyed between the eye-lids, as described
by Dr. Shaw, &c. &c.
פוך is mentioned, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.2 Kings ix. 30. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Jer. iv. 30, as what the women tinged
their eyes with; and it appears from the testimony of Dr. Shaw and Dr. Russell,
(see Trav. p. 229. Nat. Hist of Aleppo, p. 102.) that what the women about
Aleppo now use for this purpose, and also the Moorish women in Barbary, is the
powder of lead ore. (Comp. Parkhurst’s Lex. in כחל.) The last-mentioned author
has given so clear an account of their manner of using it, that the reader
cannot be displeased with seeing it in this place: “They take a cylindrical piece
of silver, steel, or ivory, about two inches long, smooth, and of the size of a
common probe. This they wet with water, in order that the powder may stick
to it, and applying the middle part horizontally to the eye, they shut the eyelids
upon it, and so drawing it through between them, it blacks the inside,
leaving a narrow black rim round the edge.”
This practice was in use too
among the Jews; see The conformity of customs between the East Indians and
Jews, Art. xv. Hanway’s Trav. vol. i. p. 272.—See Parkhurst’s Lex. in פך.
Mr. Sandys informs us, that “the Turkish ladies put between the eye-lids
and the eye, a certain black powder, with a fine long bodkin or pencil; this
powder is made of a mineral brought from the kingdom of Fez, and called alcohole,
which, by the not disgraceful staining the lids, sets off the whiteness of the
eye. They dye also their eye-brows, making them half circular, and to meet.”

Lib. i. p. 35.
“Like the tower of Lebanon”—alluding to the symmetry and just proportion
of her nose.

Thy taper neck, inimitably fair!

Nature has form’d with more than usual care;

M From M(1)v 82

From thy fine shoulders we behold it rise

Like some white tow’r, ascending from the ground,

Whose lofty summit shoots into the skies,

Still less’ning to the view it’s spiring round.

Thy large full eyes with humid lustre shine,

Like Heshbon’s ample pools, unstain’d and clear,

Serenely mild, and amiably benign,

The faithful tokens of a heart sincere.

Thy M(2)r 83

Thy nose arises with resistless grace,

Diffusing majesty o’er all thy face;

Such grace adorns fam’d Lebanon’s high tow’r,

Whose just proportion charms the judging view,

Which stands a monument of regal pow’r,

Rais’d with nice art, commensurate and true.

M2 5. Thy M(2)v 84

5. Ver. 5. “Like Carmel.” “The roses of Sharon—the verdure of Carmel—the
vines of En-Gaddi—and the dews of Hermon, are sources of many pleasing metaphors
and comparisons in sacred poetry.”
Jones’s Essay i. p. 165.
“Mount Carmel, according to Sandys, stretcheth from east to west, and
hath it’s uttermost basis washed with the sea; steepest toward the north, and of
an indifferent altitude, rich in vines and olives, when husbanded, and abounding
with several sorts of fruits and herbs, both medicinal and fragrant: though
now much overgrown with woods and shrubs of sweet savour. Once celebrated
for the habitation of Elias.”
Trav. lib. iii. p. 158. The mountains in the
Holy Land are covered with fragrant shrubs and plants, as thyme, rosemy,
sage, &c. “Mount Carmel, in particular, is remarkable for the richness of it’s
soil, and the nobleness of it’s vegetable productions.”
See Egmont and Heyman,
vol. ii. p. II, 13. Outl. p. 112.
Dr. Russell tells us, that “the women
of Aleppo are very fond of flowers, and decorate their head-dress with them.”

Outl. p. 112. The comparing of the queen’s head (ornamented, we may suppose,
with a variety of flowers) to Carmel (celebrated for it’s vegetable productions) is
striking, and very poetical.
“Thine hair is like royal purple (or the purple of a king) bound up in the canals
or troughs.”
“So the Vulgate rightly refers אסור to the purple, not to the king.
This royal purple the dyers dipt in the canals, after having tied it in small bundles. ’italic(dles.)
Suppose we then, they began by dying the wool in skeins, and afterwards
made it into stuffs; and this may serve to illustrate the comparison of a lady’s
hair to royal purple, bound up in the canals or troughs: If we suppose, what is
highly probable, namely, that the eastern ladies anciently braided their hair in
numerous tresses, in a manner somewhat similar to that described by Lady M.W.
Montague
.”
See Parkhurst’s Lex. in רהט, p. 623. Probably also the queen’s
hair might be braided with purple ribbons, purple being a royal colour. “My
head-dress”
(says Lady M.W. Montague) “is composed of a cap, called talpock;
which is in winter of fine velvet embroidered with pearls or diamonds, and in
summer of a light shining silver stuff. This is fixed on one side of the head,
hanging a little way down, with a gold tassel, and bound on with a circle of diamonds,
or a rich embroidered handkerchief. On the other side of the head the
hair is laid flat; here they place (as fancy directs) plumes of heron’s feathers, or
&c. but the most general fashion is a large bouquet of jewels, made like natural
flowers
, the buds of pearls, the roses of different-coloured rubies, the jessamines
of diamonds, the jonquils of topazes, &c. so well set and enamelled, it
is hard to imagine any thing of that kind so beautiful. The hair hangs at it’s
full length behind
(divided into tresses braided with pearl or ribbon) which is always
in great quantity: I never saw”
(continues she) so many fine heads of hair;
I counted a hundred and ten tresses descending from one lady’s head, all natural.”

See Lett. vol. ii. p. 28-31. Dr. Shaw informs us, that “the Moorish women
affect to have their hair hang down to the ground, which they collect into
one lock, upon the hinder part of the head, binding and plaiting it afterwards about
with ribbons. After their hair is plaited, they proceed to dress their heads, tying
close together, above the lock described, the several corners of a triangular
piece of linen, wrought into a variety of figures with the needle. Persons of
fashion wear above this a sarmah, which differeth not much in shape from the former:
former head-dress, but is made of thin flexible plates of gold or silver, variously
cut through and engraven in imitation of lace. A handkerchief of crape,
gauze, or painted linen, bound close about the sarmah, and falling negligently
upon the lock, completes the head-dress of a Moorish lady.”
See Trav. p. 293.

Thy stately head, majestically high!

With various flowrets elegantly grac’d,

Of ev’ry shade, and ev’ry vivid dye,

With wondrous skill and lively fancy plac’d,

Appears like Carmel’s top, with verdure crown’d,

Where flow’rs, and plants, and od’rous shrubs abound.

Thy plaited hair in gaudy tresses flows,

As in the crystal wave the royal purple glows.

6. How 3 M(3)r 85

6.

How beautiful art thou, my love!

How charming to the sight!

More fragrant than the spicy grove,

And form’d for soft delight.

7. Pleas’d M(3)v 86

7. Ver. 7. “This thy stature is like a palm-tree.” “תמר a palm-tree, from it’s
straight upright growth—Also the name of several women, in allusion to the
straightness, height, and beauty of the palm-tree. So Theocritus compares
Helen to a cypress-tree in a garden, Idyll. xviii. l. 30. but Ulysses, in Homer’s
Odyss. vi. l. 162-3, makes almost the very same comparison as the sacred poet
in this verse, by likening the princess Nausicaa to a young palm-tree growing
by Apollo’s temple at Delos.”
See Parkhurst’s Heb. and Engl. Lex. in תמר,
p. 736-8
. The palm-tree, we are told, rises sometimes to the height of
more than an hundred feet:“‘I was exalted as a cypress-tree upon the mountains
of Hermon, says the son of Sirach; I was exalted like a palm-tree in
Engaddi.’
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Eccles. xxiv. 13, 14; and of Simon the high-priest, the son of
Onias, he says, ‘he was as a cypress-tree, which groweth up to the clouds —as
a young cedar in Libanus; and as palm-trees they (the inferior priests) compassed
him round about.’”
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. l. 10, 12. See Outl. p. 180.

Pleas’d, I behold thy graceful stature rise,

As some straight palm-tree, of majestic size:

8. Ver. 8. “I will take hold of the boughs thereof,” says our translation; but it is
observed, that “the palm-tree has no boughs, and that though סנסן occur not as
a verb, yet as a noun masc. plur. in reg. סנסני signifies the clusters of fruit in the
female palm or date- tree.”
See Parkhurst’s Lex. in סן page 443.

I said, with ardent love possest,

Up to this stately palm I’ll go,

And clasp her clusters to my breast,

Her clusters rich, where dates luxuriant grow:

Like M(4)r 87

Like clusters of the vine thy breasts appear

Through the light gauze, too exquisitely clear! Ver. 8 line 6. “Through the light gauze”—I am here aware of an observation
of the critic; gauze, cries he, is made of silk, and silk, this lady tells
us, was not known in Judea in the days of Solomon. But gauze is likewise
made of thread; the Scotch gauze has no silk in it, yet is equally
transparent. The Lacedemonian maidens wore gauze-like vestments: we
read also of transparent vests, and glassy vestments; and the Greeks and Romans
had such transparent stuffs long before silk was commonly used among them. It is
not to be supposed that this queen’s neck was quite concealed; but more natural
and consistent with the present mode of the Asiatics, to conclude that, “the shape
and colour of the bosom appeared advantageously through the light transparent covering,”
as Lady M.W. Montague informs us her’s did, through her shift of
gauze, which was fastened under her chin with a diamond button.

More sweet the breath thy fragrant nose exhales,

Than citron-groves, refresh’d by morning gales.

9. Ver. 9. line 7, 8. “Draught—thought”. See Note on ch. v. I, towards the end.

Thy speech is like the choicest wine,

That moves itself aright,

When royal favourites incline

To revel through the night;

Full oft, when morning’s ruddy beams arise,

And pond’rous sleep weighs down their glowing eyes,

The slumb’rers, warm with the inspiring draught,

Pour forth, in mutt’ring sounds, the half-form’d thought.

7 The M(4)v 88

The Jewish Queen to Solomon

expressing great joy at the
appearance of his returning love.

10.

Yes, my beloved, I am thine,

He feels th’ accustom’d fire!

His eyes with mild forgiveness shine,

Commixt with soft desire.

11.

Come then, my love, let’s seek the field,

Where op’ning flow’rs their odours yield;

Let us in some lone village rest,

With peace, and joy, and rapture blest.

12.

Then we’ll rise at early dawn, (Lightly tripping o’er the lawn)

Marking oft the vineyard’s bloom,

Breathing fresh it’s rich perfume;

If the flow’rets on the vine,

Tipt with recent dew-drops shine;

If the tender grapes are seen,

Peeping through the foliage green;

If the pomegranates feel the genial ray,

And swell the bud, expanding to the day.

There, ’mid the umbrage of incircling groves,

I mean to bless thee with my tend’rest loves.

13. The N(1)r 89

13. Ver. 13. “The mandrakes give a smell.” Hasselquist, speaking of Nazareth
in Galilee, says“what I found most remarkable at this village, was the great
number of mandrakes, which grew in a vale below it. The fruit now (1751-05-05May 5th)
hung ripe on the stem, which lay withered on the ground.”
Voyages, p. 160.
“Brookes observes, that the fruit has a strong nauseous smell, though he says nothing
about the scent of the flower.”
The Samaritan chief-priest told Mr.
Maundrell
Travels, p. 61 that “The mandrakes were plants of a large leaf,
bearing a certain sort of fruit, growing ripe in harvest, i.e. in May, O. S. but
of an ill favour, and not wholesome.”
From INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Cant. vii. 13. “it appears,” (says Mr.
Parkhurst
) “that they yielded a remarkable smell at the time when vines and pomegranates
flowered
, which, in Judea, is about the end of April, or the beginning
of May”
(see Mr. Harmer’s Outlines, p. 147); therefore this smell seems rather
to have arisen from the fruit than the flower. See more in Parkhurst’s Heb. and
Eng. Lexicon
under דדא. II. p. 108, 9
.
“Near our gates all” מגדים—rendered by Montanus, delicata; our translators
have added fruits: now it does not appear from the text, that fruits
were ripe in Judea at this time; vines and pomegranates were blossoming, and
the first figs no bigger than a common plumb: delicious fruits are mentioned,
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. iv. 16; but that is to be understood figuratively: citrons are called for,
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.xi. 5; but they must be citrons of the former year, the citron being a durable
fruit. Mr. Harmer is of opinion, that “curious plants are here meant,” in the
knowledge of which the Jews excelled in the time of Solomon, that prince himself
being extremely fond of every thing rare or useful in the vegetable world, and
understanding trees and plants, “from the cedar-tree that is in Lebanon, even unto
the hyssop that springeth out of (up by) the wall.”
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.1 Kings iv. 33. “We are told of
a curious balsam-tree that long flourished in Judea, an object of great attention to Solomon;
Solomon; which was afterwards translated to Matarea in Egypt, where it continued
till about two hundred years ago.”
Maillet, Lett. iii. p. 111, 112. See
Outl. p. 296.
“New and old.” By new were perhaps meant exotics newly introduced into
Judea; by old, those plants which were natives of that country.

The ripen’d mandrakes scent the air,

And near our gates are seen,

All precious plants, and flow’rets rare,

That blush along the green:

For N N(1)v 90

For thee, my love, these plants were taught to rise,

These flow’rs to bloom in variegated dyes.

End of Canto the Sixth.

Day N(2)r 91

Day the Seventh.

Scene—A Garden belonging to the Royal Palace.

Jewish Queen and Attendants.

Canto the Seventh.

Time, Morning.

Jewish Queen

speaking of Solomon.

V. 1. Chap. VIII.
Ver. 1, 2. Jewish Queen complains, that had Solomon beeun a brother,
instead of an husband, her kisses would have occasioned no invidious reflexions, since
since a brother would, without reluctance, have conversed freely, instructing
her fully in this matter (relative, we may suppose, to the recent marriage with
the Egyptian princess) though the husband was so reserved and silent on the
subject; for it is observed by Mr. Harmer, that “the word in the third clause
of this second verse, may be as well understood to mean the second person masc.
as the third person fem.”
See Outl. p. 347.
“Spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.” “The spiced wine, and the
juice
, or new wine, of my pomegranates (עסיס רמני) are (I apprehend)
different things; for what can be more different than aromatics from acids?”

Parkhurst. See Hebrew and English Lex. in רקח, II. and רמה, VII. It is
customary in Turkey, and in other hot countries, to acidulate their liquors with
the juice of the pomegrantate; and where wine is not forbidden (as it is in all
the Mohammedan countries) it is often made entirely of that juice.

O That thou wert as my fond brother near!

Whose kindred soul with mutual ardour glows,

Whose glist’ning eye pours forth the pitying tear,

Awake, and present to a sister’s woes:

Then should I find thee in the public street,

O! I would kiss thee with a sister’s kiss;

For sisters thus their darling brothers greet,

Nor crouds, reproachful, judge the deed amiss.

2. Yea, N2 N(2)v 92

2.

Yea, I wou’d lead thee to my mother’s gate,

Void of pale jealousy and anxious fear;

There wou’dst thou freely all thy thoughts relate,

Pouring instruction through my list’ning ear;

While, grateful, I wou’d high-spic’d wine produce,

Refreshing cordial to the weary soul;

Or, if thy thirst require the acid juice,

Pomegranates tart should crown the mantling bowl.

3.

O that his left hand now were laid

Under my sad desponding head;

And that his right hand did sustain

Me, sinking ’neath my love-sick pain!

5 The N(3)r 93

The Queen

addressing herself to the Daughters of JeruSalem.

4.

I’ve charg’d you oft, O virgin throng!

To drop the cadence of your song,

And still with cautious steps to move,

Lest ye shou’d wake my sleeping love.

Scene the Second—The Palace Garden. Jewish Queen and her Attendants. Solomon and the Spouse approaching, with the Nobles of
Zion, and Egyptian Virgins.
Time, Evening.

Jewish Queen.

5. Ver. 5. “Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness?” &c. must here be
understood as a repetition of a thing past INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.see ch. iii. 6 “leaning” (says our
translation) “on her beloved?” The strict reserve of eastern princesses, allows of
no such freedom before marriage. The Hebrew word, here translated leaning, is
is מתרפקת. Montanus renders it by adjungens sese, joining herself. “The
verb in Arabic”
(says Mr. Parkhurst) signifies to lean, as upon the elbow, a pillow,
or bolster, &c...—also, to join another as a companion on a journey: we may
therefore interpret the Hebrew word advancing towards, in order to join company;
which was the very case of the Egyptian bride, and the circumstance
that had alarmed her rival.”
“I raised thee up” (or I excited thee to love) “under the citron-tree.” “Here
Solomon reminds the Jewish Queen of the encouragements he had given her,
which had raised up her confidence in, and fixed her affections on, him: and
the words seem to intimate, that he gave pledge to her mother for her, that he
would do nothing that should justly occasion anxiety or distress; the Hebrew
words signifying the mother’s receiving a pledge, not her giving one. The intervention
of the mother, is not at all abhorrent from the oriental usages. Alnaschar,
in an Arabian tale, supposes, that the mother of his princess would interpose,
on his behaving roughly to her, and endeavour to conciliate matters between
them.”
See Outl. p. 351-3.

Be still, my soul!—lo! she ascends

From where the wilderness extends!

Again N(3)v 94

Again she comes! Behold the splendid train,

With added pomp and dignity elate,

Advancing slowly o’er the neighb’ring plain,

Lo! I beheld her join her royal mate!

Solomon

to the Jewish Queen.

Peace, gentle fair one! in yon citron-grove,

Did I not thee excite to mutual love?

’Twas there, one morn, beneath our fav’rite tree,

Thy prudent mother took a pledge for thee;

’Twas there the darling boon she did impart,

And bound thee, blushing, to my panting heart.

3 Jewish N(4)r 95

Jewish Queen.

6. Ver. 6. “Set me as a seal upon thine heart,” &c.—Alluding to a very ancient
custom of sealing with a seal, or signet; see INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Gen. xli. 42; INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Esth. iii. 10, 12;
viii. 2, 8, 10
; likewise INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Isa. xlix. 16, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Jer. xxii. 24; and it is said, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Prov. vi. 12
“Bind them upon thine heart, tie them about thy neck;” again, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. vii. 3,
“Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.”
This custom of sealing with a seal, or signet, is still retained in the East. Dr.
Pococke
says, “they make the impression of their name with their seal, generally rally
of cornelian, which they wear on their finger, and which is blacked when
they have occasion to seal with it.”
Mr. Hanway observes, that “the Persian
ink serves, not only for writing, but for subscribing with their seal.”
“Many
of the Persians, in high offices, could not write.”
See Append. to Parkhurst’s
Heb. and English Lex. in טבע, p. 754-5
. Then follows a florid description
of love and jealousy, breathed forth from the glowing breast of the impassioned
Queen, abounding with metaphors strong and forcible; and here the numbers
rise, and swell, and kindle as they flow! Love—strong as death!Jealousy—cruel as the grave!The coals (rather darts) thereof, coals of fire—a most vehement flame!
“Implying, that love shoots into the heart, wounds it, and burns there, inflaming
it vehemently, by the wounds it gives. The metaphor is taken from an
arrow shot out of a bow, which, by the swiftness of it’s motion, takes fire.”

Note on New Translation, p. 93. Or rather, since the fact last mentioned
seems fictitious, from the fire-bearing arrows, Βελη πεπυρωμενα, which were certainly
used in after-times, both by the Greeks and Romans. See Parkhurst’s
Lex. in רשף, IV
.

O! set me as a signet on that breast,

And bid my name, in lasting lines imprest

On some bright seal, in glowing traces rise,

Beam from thine arm, and catch thy roving eyes:

For mighty love is strong as death,

If jealousy, with fervid breath,

Impel the rising fire:

Fell jealousy is cruel as the grave,

None from it’s fangs the tortur’d heart can save,

Imprest with doubt, led on by soft desire:

The darts thereof are fiery darts,

Quick they assail unguarded hearts,

And burn with veh’mence there:

So, quick the missive arrow flies,

Impulsive, through the yielding skies,

And with it’s rapid motion kindles in the air.

7. When N(4)v 96

7.

When potent love assails the human breast,

In vain for peace we seek, in vain for rest;

Not mighty waters can it’s pow’r control,

Nor floods impetuous mitigate it’s force;

But, unassuag’d, it vanquishes the soul,

And, unimpair’d, maintains it’s furious course:

Wou’d the rich man his ample wealth impart,

To bind in golden chains the free-born heart,

Still unavailing wou’d his treasures prove;

“For love—love only—is the price of love.”

8. We O(1)r 97

The Jewish Queen

speaking of the Spouse.

8. Ver. 8 “A little sister,” &c. This appears to have been spoken by the
Jewish queen slightingly, as treating the spouse like a child.

We have (you know) a little sister fair,

Whose infant worth demands our tender care;

Though yet unform’d, no dawning beauties glow,

On swelling hills of animated snow:

What shall we for this little sister do,

When royal lovers come (at length) to woo?

Solomon

to the Jewish Queen.

9. Ver. 9. “If she be a wall—‘Is she not a wall?’” interrogatively; which
is only a strong way of asserting that she is so. See Outl. p. 358.
“We will build upon her a palace (towers) of silver—we will enclose her with
boards (a porch) of cedar;”
i.e. “we will have her treated in the most dignifying
manner.—The comparing of this princess to a wall, and a door, is perfectly
comformable to the eastern manner of speaking. Solomon’s marrying her, was
to be considered as giving a new security to Judea, by making affinity with
a very powerful prince, and also adding to the territories of his own kingdom.
See INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.1 Kings ix. 16. So the servants of Nabal told their mistress that David’s people
had been a wall to them in the wilderness, i.e. a guard and defense, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.1 Sam.xxv.
xxv. 16
. And as by means of the Egyptian princess there was a free communication
between Egypt and Judea (more than was allowed by the Egyptians to
other countries, since the Syrian and Hittite kings were forced to make use of
the assistance of Solomon’s subjects to procure some commodities, which are
with great difficulty exported at this day) she might, with great propriety, be
called a door. So we find, in the 10th of St. John, our Lord is called a door.”

See Outl. p. 359.

To us she is a guardian wall—

A bulwark to this realm of mine;

We’ll build on her the turrets tall,

With burnisht silver taught to shine:

A door to us this sister’s found,

Enclose her then with cedar round:

Through O 98 O(1)v

Through her, rich commerce opes her hand,

And deals out plently through the land.

The Spouse

to the Jewish Queen.

10. Ver. 10 “Like towers,” &c. “This expression is strong, even for the
mouth of an Asiatic: but as the heat of resentment might naturally heighten her
expressions, so her being immediately before compared to a wall, strongly led
to this image.”
Outl. p. 360.

I am indeed a guardian wall,

Adorn’d with turrets fair and tall;

For here, behold, twin beauties glow,

On hills of animated snow;

Therefore he markt me with the eye of love,

And rais’d my head the envying crowds above.

11. Ver. 11. “Solomon hath a vineyard in Baal-hamon.” “Bocat, the name of
the valley in which Balbec stands, might, by a little care, be made one of the richest
richest and most beautiful spots in Syria; for it is more fertile than the celebrated
vale of Damascus, and better watered than the rich plains of Esdraelon and
Rama.”
See Mr. Wood’s Account of the ruins of Balbec, p. 5. This place,
according to the firm opinion of the people of the East, was one of the seats of the
pleasures of Solomon, and might (very possibly) be the place called here Baalhamon.
See Outl. p. 35, 36. A vineyard does not (as before observed) in the
language of scripture, always imply a place of grapes, but includes gardens,
orchards, plantations of trees, shrubs, and aromatic plants.

Solomon has a vineyard rare,

In rich Baal-hamon’s plain;

To 3 O(2)r 99

To keepers he assigns the care,

Who bring th’ appointed gain:

Each, for the fruit thereof, to Salem’s king,

Must year by year a thousand shekels bring.

12. Ver. 12. “My vineyard,” &c. Here the Spouse speaks of the possessions she
brought Solomon, which possessions she calls her vineyard. The sacred historian
tells us, that “Pharaoh, king of Egypt, having gone up and taken Gezer,
he burnt it with fire, having slain the Canaanites that dwelt there, and gave it
for a present unto his daughter, Solomon’s wife; and Solomon built Gezer,”

INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.1 Kings ix. 16, 17. “The daughter of Pharaoh therefore had possessions,
which, in consequence of her marriage, were annexed to the kingdom of Israel.
Now Gezer is supposed to be the same with Gadara, or Gazara, in the neighbourhood bourhood
of Joppa and Jamnia; which Gazara is represented by Josephus as
a place abounding with springs of water. Now such a place must have been
extremely proper for delightful plantations of all sorts of trees and flowers, and
might very naturally be set in contrast with Baal-hamon; and the noble gardens
of the one, against those of the other.”
For further illustration, I beg leave to
refer the curious reader to Mr. Harmer’s Outl. p. 32—37.

My vineyard, which ere-while was mine,

And blooms in yonder vale,

(But now, O Solomon! is thine)

A thousand brings, by tale;

Two hundred shekels more, to those whose eyes

Watch the choice products as they annual rise.

O2r Solomon O2 O(2)v 100

Solomon

to the Jewish Queen, demanding her final answer
respecting her future conduct towards him.

13. Ver. 13. Solomon demands the final answer of his Jewish queen, in regard
to the resolution she had formed, with respect to her future conduct towards
him.

O thou! that in the gardens seek’st to dwell,

Haunting the grot, and solitary cell;

Speak now, the dictates of thy mind declare;

The friendly company, prepar’d to hear,

In silence wrapt, await thy final voice;

Cause me to hear it; bid my soul rejoice.

Jewish Queen

to Solomon, signifying her firm resolution of
keeping her distance.

14. Ver. 14. “Flee (Eng. Marg: flee away) my (once) beloved!”—is the reply
of the angry Shulamite. ברח signifies to flee, flee away; so the Seventy render it
it here by “φυγε”, and the Vulg. and Montanus by “fuge”. “‘You seem’ (says she)
‘determined to take the Egyptian princess in marriage; flee then, my once-
beloved husband, flee swiftly from your slighted wife, to enjoy the charms of your
new love.’
Thus one great cause why the Jewish church and people persevered,
and still perservere in rejecting Jesus Christ, was, and is, that the Gentiles
were received to spiritual blessings and privileges, equally with themselves. See
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Luke xv. 28; INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Acts xiii. 44—50; xviii. 4,6; xxii. 21—23; and INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Eph. chap. ii. I
think”
(continues my learned friend, Mr. Parkhurst) “that the conclusion of the Song
of Solomon
greatly resembles that of the parable of the prodigal son, in INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Luke xv;
for after the younger son is received into his father’s favour, we are informed
that the elder son was angry, and would not go in; and that his father came
out, and intreated him. But though we find the father persisted in his resolution
of affectionate reconciliation with the returning prodigal, we are not told whether
the elder brother accepted his father’s earnest invitation to the feast. So at the
end of this divine Song, we see the Gentile princess actually united to Solomon,
we behold the Jewish queen’s resentment on that account, and we hear Solomon
kindly requesting the queen’s final answer relative to her future behaviour; to
which she replies in terms expressive of distance and chagrin, on account of Solomon’s
connexion with his Gentile spouse.”
“And be thou like a roe, or a young hart.” “Hasselquist tells us, he had an
opportunity of seeing the capra cervicapra, or rock-goat, hunted near Nazareth
in Galilee; which was done by a falcon, which kept distressing the creature till
the huntsmen came up, and cut it’s throat, the falcon drinking it’s blood, as a reward
reward for his labour.”
P. 190. “It should seem,” says Mr. Harmer, “that by
this term Hasselquist meant the antelope.”
Outl. Note, p. 285. But however
this be, Dr. Shaw, Trav. p. 347—8, gives a similar account of their method
of hunting antelopes, in those countries, with hawks. “Ought not this circumstance
to be attended to in illustrating this Song? This way of using hawks for the
stopping of creatures, otherwise too swift for their dogs, gives a much more lively
idea of the speed of these wild animals on the mountains of Bether, &c. than,
perhaps, we should otherwise have had.”
Outl. p.285. Comp. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. ii. 17.

“Upon the mountains of spices,” literally denoting such places as are frequented
by the animals mentioned; but figuratively alluding to the envied charms of
the Egyptian bride. Comp. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.ch. iv. 13, 14.

Flee, once-belov’d! quick hasten from my sight,

New charms attract thee, and new joys invite:

For O(3)r 101

For me, alas! for me what now remains?

To roam neglected on far distant plains!

Flee, once-belov’d! quick hasten from my sight,

Like a young hart, or like a bounding roe,

Which climbs with agile feet the airy height

Where od’rous plants in rich profusion grow;

Where 7 O(3)v 102

Where aromatic shrubs luxuriant bloom,

And trees balsamic shed their choice perfume.

The End.