The Bridegroom’s Voice

Canticles 2:10-13

  Hark! ’tis the voice of my Belov’d that breaks
        From yonder hills;
  Thro’ verdant valleys, and from golden peaks
        It softly thrills
  My soul; which through the long night, deep and lone,
  The sorrow of a hope deferred has known.

  He speaks! that voice! O how could I mistake,
        When there is none
  So strong, so sweet, to bid my heart awake?
        Only that One
  In heaven or earth my soul delights to hear;
  Again it falls upon my listening ear:—

  “Arise, my love, my fair one, come away!
        The night is past;
  The sun has climbed the mountains, and the day
        Has dawned at last;
  The frosts and snows of winter are no more;
  Stilled are the tempests, and the rain is o’er.

  The flowers appear upon the earth, and shed
        Their perfume far.
  Deceit, oppression, hatred—all are fled,
        And waste of war.
  The birds awake the echoes, and their song
  Throughout the welkin thrills the whole day long.

  The forest trees with precious fruit replete
        Stretch out the hand;
  The vines with tender grapes give odours sweet,
        And fill the land;
  And earth delivered from the curse is gay—
  Arise, my love, my fair one, come away.”