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DUO: THE SHULAMITE AND THE PEASANT LOVER.1

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Shulamite. “ The voice of my beloved ! behold, he cometh, Leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: Behold, he standeth behind our wall, He looketh in at the windows, He sheweth himself through the lattice. My beloved spake, and said unto me : Lover's Song. “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come

away. For, lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone ; The flowers appear on the earth; The time of the singing of birds is come, And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig-tree ripeneth her green figs, And the vines are in blossom, They give forth their fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the covert of the

steep place,
Let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice ;
For sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.
Shulamite's Song. “ Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that

spoil the vineyards ;
For our vineyards are in blossom.
My beloved is mine, and I am his :
He feedeth his flock among the lilies.
When the day breaks, and the shadows flee away,
Turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart,
Upon the mountains which separate us." 2

1 Chap. ii. 8–17.

2 The verse is a reminiscence of a vinedresser's song; and it intimates that her duties in the vineyard prevent her from immediately joining him. She imagines herself separated from his vineyard by some intervening hills, and begs him at the early dawn to climb over the mountains which separate them and come to her. All is in the realm of imagination.

The scene changes. The King has returned from Northern Palestine to Jerusalem, bringing the Shulamite maiden with him. He hopes that separation from her lover will cause her to forget her love. But in vain; in her sleep she dreams of her lover; dreams that she sought him in the city, found him, and brought him to her mother's house. The song of her dream ends with the distich we have already heard, “Stir not up, nor awaken love, until it please."

SOLO: THE SHULAMITE.1

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The Shulamite's Dream. By night on my bed I sought him

whom my soul loveth:
I sought him, but I found him not.
I said, I will rise now, and go about the city,
In the streets and in the broad ways,
I will seek him whom my soul loveth:
I sought him, but I found him not.
The watchmen that go about the city found me:
To whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth ?
It was but a little that I passed from them,
When I found him whom my soul loveth:
I held him, and would not let him go,
Until I had brought him into my mother's house,
And into the chamber of her that conceived me.
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
By the roes, and by the hinds of the field,
That ye stir not up, nor awaken love,
Until it please.”

To enbance the dramatic effect of the next scene, in which the King's appeal to the ambition of the Shulamite maiden is presented with all the eloquence of which the royal suitor is capable, the poet acts the part of Greek Chorus and describes the King and the military procession which accompanies him in the streets of the capital.

1 Chap. iii. 1-5.

SOLO OR CHORUS.1

Interpreter. “ Who is this that cometh up out of the wilderness

like pillars of smoke, Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, With all powders of the merchant ? Behold, it is the litter of Solomon; Threescore mighty men are about it, Of the mighty men of Israel. They all handle the sword, and are expert in war : Every man hath his sword upon his thigh, Because of fear in the night. King Solomon made himself a palanquin Of the wood of Lebanon. He made the pillars thereof of silver, The bottom thereof of gold, the seat of it of purple, The midst thereof being paved with love, From the daughters of Jerusalem. Go forth, 0 ye daughters of Zion, and behold King Solomon, With the crown wherewith his mother hath crowned him in the

day of his espousals, And in the day of the gladness of his heart." 2

The King in this splendor of his city life renews his suit: see how he does it — foolish wise man by flattery, not by love; and woman's heart is won 1 Chap. iii. 6–11.

By Griffis and Daland, following Delitzsch and Ewald, this is broken up into responsive utterances by different citizens: one asks, Who is this that cometh up out of the wilderness, a second replies, Behold, it is the litter of Solomon, etc. This appears to me to impart a modern artificiality into the poem. See note on page 207, ante.

2

by love, not by flattery. The response is a renewed protestation of her devotion to her peasant lover.

DUO: SOLOMON AND THE SHULAMITE.1
Solomon. " “ Behold, thou art fair, my love ; behold, thou art fair;
Thou hast doves' eyes behind thy veil : 2
Thy hair is as a flock of goats,
That lie along the side of mount Gilead.
Thy teeth are like a flock of ewes that are newly shorn,
Which are come up from the washing;
Whereof every one hath twins,
And none is bereaved among them.
Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet,
And thy mouth is comely:
Thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate
Behind thy veil.
Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armoury,
Whereon there hang a thousand bucklers,
All the shields of the mighty men.
Thy two breasts are like two fawns that are twins of a roe.
Thou art all fair, my love ; and there is no spot in thee.

Shulamite. “My beloved is mine and I am his,
He feedeth his flock among the lilies.
When the day breaks and the shadows flee away
I will get me to the mountain of myrrh
And to the hill of frankincense.” 4
1 Chap. iv. 1-7.

Compare chap. i. 15. She was not veiled in the country; now that she has come up to Jerusalem and the palace she wears her veil.

8 This is all the language of symbolism, not of imagination. See page 208 ff. He praises the delicacy of her hair, the whiteness of her teeth, the purity of her complexion, the fine lines of her mouth, the perfect proportion of her neck and shoulders.

4 For reasons for this change in the text see Dr. Griffis's The Lily Among Thorns, pp. 204–207. Verse 6 where it stands in the usual text makes a break in Solomon's song, which is out of character with the King, and the fact that it repeats the words of the Shulamite in chap. ii. 16, 17, affords a sufficient reason for believing that it is here misplaced, and should be regarded as the maiden's reply to the royal suitor.

2

All the scenic effects in this drama, it must be remembered, are left to the imagination of the auditors. Already the poet has portrayed the Shulamite imagining herself at home, and her lover coming to her over the intervening hills, and his song and her reply; and again as dreaming of him by night and of herself as seeking him in vain in the city of Jerusalem ; now again he portrays her day-dream of him interpreted by a duet between the two. She imagines him coming to her with his love song, full of the reminiscences of the country,

a song in spirit entirely different from that of her royal suitor's; and she gives to this peasant lover's suit an answer very different from that which she has given to the king. “A garden spring art thou,” she imagines him saying to her; and herself replying, “Let my lover come into his garden and eat his precious fruit.”

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DUET: THE PEASANT LOVER AND THE SHULAMITE. The Peasant Lover. Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, With me from Lebanon : Come from the top of Amana, From the top of Senir and Hermon, From the lions' dens, From the mountains of the leopards. Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my bride; Thou hast ravished my heart with one look from thine eyes, With one chain of thy neck. How fair is thy love, my sister, my bride! How much better is thy love than wine!

1 Chap. iv. 8-v. 1.

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