All entries for Thursday 20 July 2006

July 20, 2006

Passages from the Bible

Some passages from the Bible have been playing on my mind recently. First these sections from the Song of Songs, the Song of Solomon.

Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards. Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck. How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices! Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon. A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard, Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices: A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon. Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.

I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved. I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night. I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them? My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him. I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock. I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer. The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me. I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love. What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us? My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand. His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven. His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set. His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh. His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires. His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars. His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

Sad here that the woman is punished for her hesitation (see part in bold). She hesitates when having to open her self to an other and suffers as consequence – when the moment of confrontation comes her 'soul' fails her and the lover disappears. When she searches for him, tries to reach him, it is impossible and as a result she is beaten and humiliated. The moment is lost and perhaps the watchmen represent the passing of time or her conscience.

Also this from Revelations…

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

I have written from the Song of Songs before in 'The Jewel Box' for example:


The Jewel Box

A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.
óSong of Solomon 4:12

I become a closed gardd, collapsing castell. Yet hear that!
A knock at my clogwyn: a boda reach of nesting thatch,
brim of ewinedd, esgyrn or dannedd. Remember the rivet grip and
the maharen. My lover is a pauper to whom I gift my fingers
as music for speaking and silence; yet I am a milwr.
I do not beg for fleshly talk, a luxurious bed: muscling
in a square room, I bring love. Who is that there raveling in
the closed garden? The maharen, who will have my purse, brings
a pearl and a boy knock–knocks at humming piano keys.
My love is the thrum of brown nightingale, for he sings
the bell of me and recalls begging entry. Who shall enter?
Remember the gweddw: she, of knitting or dam, spindles
at my door. But who will come in? My love knocks at pearl
and purse; yet I am a square room with such long lessons
in my fingers, tokens of paupers. But still a knock–knock
at eryr defiance, at a boda reach. Now will you not come in?
A pauper without, I tap at doorframes and windowpanes.

Some of the Welsh Words

boda: buzzard
maharen: ram
milwr: soldier
eryr: eagle


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