Extracts from Erotica

or the Banquet of Love
being the Palatine Anthology of King Solomon

Versions by Gordon Jackson

For Solomon I will sing 
the song of all lovesongs:
Let him place on my lips a kiss
   as will put all wine to shame,
As will make the richest tastes and fragrances
   seem plain.
Your very name inebriates, and all the girls
   are madly in love with you. 
Take me wherever you will
   only do it quickly,
Into your royal bedroom,
   There let us share each other,
Our kisses will put all wine to shame.
   No wonder the girls are mad about you.
I went down to the walnut grove 
   to see the valley in bloom, 
The vines in bud,
   the pomegranate blossom.
And what came over me?   
   Love came over me.
And I came home like a prince,
   like a prince with a pride of chariots!
Dancer of Shulem, don't go away; 
   We want an encore,
      we want to see more of you.
What is the dance you would have 
   of the dancer of Shulem?
The dance you danced between two armies,
   the dance that put paid to the fighting.

Set me as a seal on your heart,
   as a ring on your finger;
For love is as unreasoning as death,
   and like the grave
      will not take no for an answer; 
It can burn in secret,
   it can blaze to the skies,
But all the rivers of earth won't quench it,
   all the seas of the world won't put it out. 
If a man were to offer all that he had for love,
    lock, stock and barrel, 
Love would laugh at him.

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