Arise My Beloved

Hark! my lover–here he comes
springing across the mountains,
leaping across the hills.
My lover is like a gazelle
or a young stag.
Here he stands behind our wall,
gazing through the windows,
peering through the lattices.
My lover speaks; he says to me,
“Arise, my beloved, my dove, my beautiful one,
and come!
“For see, the winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of pruning the vines has come,
and the song of the dove is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines, in bloom, give forth fragrance.
Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one,
and come!

“O my dove in the clefts of the rock,
in the secret recesses of the cliff,
Let me see you,
let me hear your voice,
For your voice is sweet,
and you are lovely.”
(Song of Songs 2:8-14)

Scripture Study

2:8 The sound of my lover This word can refer either to a voice or a sound. The woman is excited as she hears the approach of her beloved. leaping across the hills May indicate the urgency of his approach. It may also indicate that he had to overcome certain obstacles to reach her.

2:9 our wall The pronoun “our” is probably meant to include the woman’s mother. Elsewhere, she describes leading her beloved into her mother’s house to share love (3:4; 8:2).

2:12 the song This word can refer either to “pruning” or to “a song.” However, pruning occurred toward the end of the season rather than the beginning. It may describe the singing of birds who returned after migrating for the winter.

2:13 Arise, my friend, my beautiful one Just as he began his speech (2:10), the beloved ends by inviting his love to come away with him.

2:14 My dove Possibly a description of gentleness or softness. Since doves were not a common symbol of beauty (Hos 7:11), the reason for this comparison is unclear. The twofold statement of the woman’s beauty indicates it is a compliment. It may describe gentleness or softness. Let me see your face The second half of this verse contains striking poetic parallelism: two requests (face, voice) are followed by two descriptions (voice, face). The man expresses his desire to look upon the woman’s lovely face and listen to her sweet voice.

Scripture Reflection

The soul desires that nothing should diminish the delights of love it feels within, a love which is the flower of the soul’s vineyard—not the envious and evil demons, nor the body’s wild desires, nor the vagaries of the imagination, nor the attractions of created things; it calls upon the angels, asking them to root out all these things or prevent their growth, so that they cannot hinder the flowering of interior love; for the sweet taste and delight of that love is the joyful sharing of the virtues and graces that pass between the soul and the Son of God.

– St John of the Cross

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.