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Who patrol the city ;
Saw ye him whom my soul loveth ?
Scarcely had I passed them-
I found him whom my soul loveth:
I took hold of him,
I would not let him go,
Till I brought him
To the house of my mother,

To the chamber of her that bare me.'
Shel.-I charge you, ye daughters of Jerusalem,

By the gazelles and the lawns of the field,
That ye disturb her not,
'That ye awaken her not

Till she please. I-- 2 :7--3:5.) IV. The daughters of Jerusalem see a nuptial procession approaching the city from the country, and they describe it in the following terms:

Who is this approaching from the country,
Like a pillar of smoke-
The vapor of myrrh and frankincense,
Bringing the most costly perfumes ?
Behold the palanquin, the palanquin of Shelomob!
Sixty heroes surround it,
Of the heroes of Israel;
All, with sword in hand,
Skilful in war,
Every one girt with a sword,
On account of the dangers of the night.
A royal palanquin
Did King Shelomoh make for himself ;
Its poles of silver,
Its columns of gold,
Its hangings of purple,
Its couch worked with love,
By the daughters of Jerusalem.
Go out and see him,
Ye daughters of Zion,
Behold King Shelomoh,
In the crown with which his mother crowned him,
On the day of his nuptials,

In the day of the joy of his heart.—(3:6--11.) V. Dialogue between Shelomoh and Shulamith :

Shel.-A garden enclosed

Is my sister bride;
A spring enclosed,
A fountain sealed : 2
Thy plants a fruit-paradise,
With most exquisite fruits ;
Cyprus and nard,
Crocus and cinnamon,
Every odoriferous tree,

1 Feminine verb again. ,

· Chaste, inaccessible.

Myrrh and aloes,
The most delicious aromatic spices :
A garden fount-
A spring of living waters,
Rivulets of Lebanon,
Blow, O north wind!
Breathe in my garden,

That its fragrance may flow.
Shul.—Let my beloved enter bis garden,

And eat its costly fruits.?
Shel.-I am come into my garden,

My sister bride,
I pluck my myrrh and spices;
I eat my honey and honeycomb;
| drink my wine and milk;
Now eat, my friends,

Drink and be satisfied, my loved ones.-(4:12–5:1.) VI. A night scene; Shulamith addresseth the daughters of Jerusalem, whom she meets in her search for Shelomoh, tells them what had happened to her, and why she was in search of him; and then follows a dialogue between herself and the daughters of Jerusalem.

I was sleeping, but my heart was awake.
The voice of my beloved, he knocked ;
“Open to me, my sister, my friend,5
My dove, my pure one,
Open to me,
For my head is wet with dew,
My locks with the damps of the night.”

I have taken off my dress, how shall I put it on ?6
I have washed my feet, how shall I soil them ?"
My beloved put in his hand at the hole of the door ;)
My inmost affections were moved towards him ;
I arose to open to my friend;
My hands dropped with myrrh
On the handles of the bar ;s
I opened to my beloved;
Bui my beloved had turned away, he was gone;
My heart went out after his voice ;
I sought him, but found him not;
I called to him, but he answered me not.
The watchmen who patrol the city, met me;
They beat me; they wounded me;
They took off my veil from me,
The keepers of the walls !
I adjure you, ye daughters of Jerusalem !

If ye meet my beloved, * All a figurative description of the charms of the bride, > Sbe affects to understand him literally. 3 He tells her he is already there. • What lover would say this in respect to his beloved, in a literal love-song? » He speaks to her.

6 She replies,

7 Narrative resumed. • Perfumed by him. • Oriental manners force upon us the allegorical interpretation of such a poem,

What shall ye tell him ?

That I am fainting with love.
Daughters of Jerus.—What is thy beloved above another beloved,

Thou fairest of women ?
What is thy beloved above another beloved,

That thou dost thus adjure us ?
Shulamith.-My beloved is fair and ruddy;

Distinguished among a myriad;
His head is pure gold;
His locks curly, and black as the raven;
His eyes are as doves by fountains of water,
Bathing in milk, flowing in fullness ;
His cheeks garden beds of spices,
Aromatic mounds;
His lips roses, distilling flowing myrrh ;
His hands golden cylinders, set with topaz;
His body pure ivory, spangled with sapphires ;
His legs columns of marble
Fixed in pedestals of gold;
His form as Lebanon,
Elegant as the cedars;
His speech most delightful ;-
He is altogether most lovely.
Such is my beloved,
Such is my friend,

O daughters of Jerusalem !
Daughters of Jerus.-Whither hath thy beloved gone,

Thou fairest of women,
Whither hath thy beloved gone ?

We would seek him with thee.
Shulamith.-My beloved hath descended to his garden,

To the garden bed of spices,
To feast in the gardens,
To pluck the lilies;
I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine,

He feeds his flock among the lilies.-(5:2–6:3.) VII. A morning scene in the garden. Shelomoh goes into his garden early in the morning, and there unexpectedly sees Shulamith, and exclaims :

Shel.-Who is this,

That looks forth like the morning dawn,
Fair as the moon,
Pure as the sun,

Terrible as a host in battle array ?
Shul. To my nut garden I came,3

To see to the fruits in the vale ;
To see whether the vines are budding,
Whether the apples are in bloom.
Ere I was aware,

i The soft, full, rich, moving, loving expression of the eyes.
? Asserts her peculiar interest in him-all but jealous.
3 She apologizes for being there.

My soul was as the war chariot i

Of my noble people.
Shel.-Return, return, O Shulamith!

Return, return,

I would look upon thee.
Shul.—Why wouldst thou look upon Shulamith

As upon a chorus of dancers ?3 (6: 10-12.) VIII. The brothers of Shulamith are introduced, consulting together as to what they shall do with their sister, now that she is addressed by Shelomoh, pretending that she is too young to receive such addresses. She replies to them indignantly; then follows the concluding dialogue between herself and Shelomoh. First Brother.–Our sister is yet young;

Her bosom is not full.4
What shall we do with our sister, .

Now that she is addressed ?
Second Brother. If she be a wall, we will build upon it a silver palace ;

If she be a gate, we will shut it up with boards of cedar.s
Shul.-I am a wall,6

My bosoms are towers;
Thus was I in his sight,
As one that found favor.
A vineyard had king Shelomoh in Baal-hamon,
He gave it out to keepers,
Each man got for its fruits a thousand pieces of silver.
My vineyard I keep myself;
The thousand pieces of silver shall be for thee, Shelomoh,

The keepers shall have two hundred.?
Shel. - Thou dweller in gardens !

Thine associates await thy voice,

Let me hear it.
Shul.- Fly, O my beloved !

Like the gazelle, like the fleeting fawn,
On the spicy mountains. (8 : 8–12.)

The above specimens may suffice to give an idea of the general tone and spirit of this interesting relic of antiquity. The translations are free, but I believe they are in strict fidelity to the meaning and form of the original. The subject is the more important on account of the misunderstandings which are so general with reference to this book. These misunderstandings have prevailed to such an extent, that many even now are disposed to deny the book a place among the canonical Scriptures. Objections to its place in the canon, however, are wholly arbitrary ; they have not a shadow of testimony to give them plausibility. The attempt, I think, has never been made to displace it from the canon on philological grounds; and I presume, never will be made by any one acquainted with the subject. It is true there is no express quota tion from it in the New Testament, and it is true also that it is not expressly quoted by Philo; but its existence as a part of the canon is recognised by Josephus, and all the early Christian writ ers, and it has always made a part of the Septuagint translation, which was completed probably some 200 years before Christ. On this topic the statements and reasonings of Eichhorn in his Einleztung ins Alt. Test., Th. I., 109–179, wholly exhaust the subject, and are perfectly unanswerable.

! Excitement occasioned by even the unseen and unknown approach of her beloved.

2 She has turned to go away.
3 Would you gaze upon me as men gaze upon dancing girls ?
* Not yet marriageable.

5 If she is chaste (like a wall) we will ornament her; if she is open (like a gate) we will shut her up.

6 She replies indignantly in their own style. ? The keepers had cheated him, but she will do him justice. Herself is the vineyard, which she keeps, and keeps it for him.

8 They escape from the envious brothers; their union is perfected, and the

poem closes.

1. The testimony of Josephus, in his work against Apion, I., 8, compared with Antiq. viii., 2:5, is entirely explicit with reference to this book.

2. Melito, Bishop of Sardis, in the second century of the Christian era, went to Palestine on purpose to ascertain the Scriptural books of the Jewish canon, and found the Canticles among the number.- Euseb. Eccl. Hist. iv., 26.

3. Origen, of Alexandria, the best biblical scholar of his time (born A.D. 185, died 253), after the most patient and accurate investigation, came to the same result.--Euseb. Eccl. Hist. vi., 25.

4. Jerome, in the fifth century, the most learned critie of the Latin church, in his Prologus galeatus to the Vulgate, gives the same testimony.

5. The Jewish Talmud, written between the second and fourth centuries, witnesses the same.

6. So also Theodoret, the learned bishop of Cyprus, A.D. 450, testifies in the same way. Indeed, the testimony is uniform ; it is all on one side. Compare Eichhorn as above, and Rosenmüller, Scholia in Vet. Test., P. ix., vol. 2, p. 269–272.

If a fact can be established by testimony, it is established by testimony that the Song of Solomon was a part of the Hebrew canon in the time of Christ. Nor is there


internal evidence against it; but as far as that goes, it is all in its favor, for there are other portions of the Old Testament acknowledged to be canonical, which are exceedingly like it both in sentiment and imagery. Let the reader carefully consult passages like the following: Ps. 45: Jer. 3: Ezek. 16:, 10:, 13: Hos. 1., 2., 3: and compare Lowth's Lectures on Hebrew Poetry, Lect. xxx. and xxxi., and the notes on these lectures in the Andover edition, 1829.

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