Sunday, 6 April 2008


Robert A(nson) Heinlein (1907-1988)

Prolific American writer, one of the grand masters of science fiction with Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. Heinlein produced during his career fifty novels and collections of short stories. Heinlein admired highly motivated men of action - like Howard Hawks in his movies - and attacked religious hypocrisy and corporate power games. His later works, in which his right-wing views mixed with fast-moving stories and fascination with with the paranormal, earned him the reputation of being a militarist, even a "fascist". However, a number of his book gained cult status among members of the counterculture.

"Furthermore, although a flaming liberal during the war, Heinlein became a rock-ribbed far-right conservative immediately afterward. This happened at just the time he changed wives from a liberal woman, Leslyn, to a rock-ribbed far-right conservative woman, Virginia... I used to brood about it in puzzlement (of course, I never would have dreamed of asking Heinlein - I'm sure he would have refused to answer, and would have done so with the uttermost hostility), and I did come to one conclusion. I would never marry anyone who did not generally agree with my political, social, and philosophical view of life." (from I, Asimov: A Memoir, 1994)

Robert A. Heinlein was born in Butler, Missouri, into a family of seven children. He attended public school in Kansas City and graduated from Central High School in 1924. In 1929 he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, and served in aircraft carriers and destroyers. During this period, he married Leslyn McDonald. In 1934 he was invalided out for tuberculosis. Heinlein started to study physics at the graduate school of U.C.L.A. He left the school without completing his studies and worked in odd jobs in mining and real estate without real success. At the age of thirty-two, he turned his hand to the writing science fiction. Heinlein's first published stories appeared in action-adventure pulp magazine Astounding Science Fiction in 1939. It was edited by John W. Campbell, who has been credited with moving science fiction toward its modern form. Under his influence writers started to examine how technology might affect the everyday life of ordinary people and society in general.

Heinlein never got over his navy discharge. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he tried to enlist but was rejected. During World War II years from 1943 Heinlein published no stories, but worked as an engineer at the Naval Air Experimental Station, Philadelphia. His first novel, ROCKET SHIP GALILEO (1947) paved way to childrens' science fiction. After divorce he married in 1948 Virginia Doris Gerstenfeld. From 1947 to 1959 Heinlein produced sixteen novels.

Heinlein's early works emphasized adventure and were aimed at young readers. In 1959 he received the Boys' Clubs of America Book Award. In these novels Heinlein avoided open didacticism, although his young protagonists learned lessons in courage, tolerance, and military virtues during the course of the story. Often Heinlein's male protagonist has to go through rites of passage - he meets a guru or somebody who has superior wisdom, and after a period of learning he has to earn his place in a group and prove his skills. CITIZEN OF THE GALAXY (1957), dedicated to Fritz Leiber, was actually Oliver Twist in space. In the story a young boy, Thorby, is bought from an inter-galactic slave market by a mysterious beggar, a benefactor, who later turns out to be a secret agent. Thorby learns to speak Finnish and after all kinds of adventures he turns out to be from a wealthy corporate family from the Earth.

In STARSHIP TROOPERS (1959) Heinlein showed his fascination with the glamour of high-tech weaponry. The book earned him again the prestigious Hugo Award. Starship Troopers first appeared in abridged form in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1959. The hero is Juan "Johnnie" Rico, a son of a wealthy merchant who has enlisted in the army to impress the beautiful Carmen. After tough training he joins Rasczack's Roughnecks to battle against the "Bugs", intelligent arthropods. Johnnie's mother is killed in a bombing, Carmen becomes a starship pilot, and their mutual friend Carl dies in a battle in Pluto. Heinlein's militaristic novel attacks corruption and distorted views of democracy - only those willing to sacrifice their lives for the state may govern and vote. The social system of the Bugs represent "total communism", Heinlein's regular publisher, Scribner's refused to publish the book and it eventually appeared under the Putnam imprint. The film adaptation from 1997 played with the themes of fascism and militarism, but the comic book characters did not interest adult movie goers. "Whereas Heinlein's novel was punctuated by quotations from apocryphal books about warfare and social order, the movie has chosen to interpolate into the action a wearisome series of newscasts, media bulletins, and commercial advertisements. These interruptions serve no dramatic or satirical purpose whatsoever; they are merely annoying and, at best, sophomoric in their obvious humor." (from Novels into Film by John C. Tibbets and James M. Welsh, 1997)From the late 1950s Heinlein started write expressly for adults and deal with such topics as cloning, incest, religion, free love and mysticism. Heinlein's religious views in direct opposition to the literal interpretation of biblical scripture: "The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history." (from Time Enough for Love, 1973)

Heinlein's short stories were independent of one another but related in the author's 'Future History: 1951-2600' AD time line. Some of his characters periodically appear in different novels, among the Lazarus Long from METHUSELAH'S CHILDREN (1958). In TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE (1973) Lazarus has a number of sexual adventures, travels back in time, and has sex with his own mother. "A "pacifist male" is a contradiction in terms. Most self-described "pacifist" are not pacifist; they simple assume false colors. When the wind changes, they hoist the Jolly Roger." (from Time Enough for Love, 1973) The life of Maureen Johnson, Lazarus's mother, is dealt in TO SAIL BEYOND THE SUNSET (1987). Nearly all of Heinlein's work fit into a specific time period within this larger scheme. The idea was later imitated by several writers, with considerable success by Poul Anderson and Larry Niven. Also Isaac Asimov developed similar scheme, and claimed imaginative copyright on the imagined future.

Among Heinlein's best known works is the pre-Hippie STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, published in 1961. A few years later it was adopted by the 'Peace and Love' generation. This work became the most successful science-fiction novel ever published. The protagonist is Valentine Michael Smith, a child of two members of the first expedition to Mars. He is born there and raised on by brillinatly advanced Martians after humans have died. A second Mars expedition discovers him and Michael comes to Earth without much knowledge of sex. He is shertered and educated by Jubal Harshaw, and old doctor, lawyer, and writer. Helped with psi powers he establishes a new religion and starts his transformation into a Messiah-figure. Michael is eventually killed by a mob, but his disciples, called "water brothers," continue his work. Again, like in many Heinlein's works, a small elite rises above the masses and show the way to future. Stranger in a Strange Land was one of the favorite books of the mass murderer Charles Manson. "When he started his "family" in Berkeley, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, Manson borrowed some of the terminology and ceremonies from the book. It is reported that his followers held water-sharing ceremonies as well as group sex orgies. He referred to his parole officer as "Roger Smith Jubal," after Jubal Harshaw, Mike's mentor. When Mary Theresa Brunner, one of Manson's followers, gave birth to a baby boy in 1968, Manson named the child Valentine Michael Manson." (from Chronology of Twentieth-Century History: Arts & Culture, volume II, ed. by Frank N. Magill, 1998)

GLORY ROAD (1963) has been decades one of Heinlein's most popular books, written in the tradition of Edgar Rice Burroughs's Mars stories. The protagonist is Oscar Gordon who experiences a series of adventures with a beautiful woman, Star, and an old man, Rufo, who have their secrets. MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS (1966) was set in an exploited penal colony, Luna. All dissident and other unfits have been sent there and soon the best brains invents new forms of marriage due to shortage of women. The protagonist has an artificial left arm, or several of them for special purposes. In I WILL FEAR NO EVIL (1971) a dying tycoon, Johann Smith, has his brain transplanted into the body of Eunice, a young black woman. Johann has her body impregnated with his frozen sperm. CAT WHO WALKS THROUGH WALLS (1985) was about alternate histories and time travels. Colonel Colin Campbell, alias Senator Richard Johnson, alias doctor Richard Ames, is a warrior, philosopher, and wanderer, who saves the history and future of multiversum. Also Schrödinger's cat has an important role in the story.

Usually Heinlein spent some three months with his writing and travelled widely for the rest of the time. In 1973 he taught as James V. Forrestal Lecturer at the U.S. Naval Academy. He was awarded the first Grand Master Nebula in 1975. Heinlein was repeatedly voted as 'the best all-time author' in reader's polls held by the magazine Locus in 1973 and 1975. He died on May 8, 1988.

For further reading: World Authors 1900-1950, ed. by M. Seymour-Smith, A.C. Kimmes (1996); The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, ed. by John Clute, Peter Nicholls (1995); Robert A. Heinlein Cyclopedia by N.B.A. Downing (1989); Robert A. Heinlein by L. Stover (1987); Yesterday or Tomorrow? The Work of Robert A. Heinlein by R. Reginald (1984); Robert A. Heinlein by P. Nicholls (1982) Robert A. Heinlein by H.B. Franklin (1980); Robert A. Heinlein, ed. by J.D. Clander and M.H. Greenberg (1978); The Classic Years of Robert. A. Heinlein by G.E. Slusser (1977); Robert A. Heinlein by G.E. Slusser (1977): Heinlein in Dimensions by A. Panshin (1968) - Note: Heinlein's social Darwinist view - 'the survival of the fittiest' - is seen among others in his works The Puppet Masters (1951), Starship Troopers, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. - For further information: The Heinlein Society

Selected works:

LIFE-LINE, 1939 (first short story) - Elämänlanka
OF WORLDS BEYOND, 1947 (with others)
BEYOND THIS HORIZON, 1948 - Yli-ihmisen aika
SPACE CADET, 1948 - basis for the television series 'Tom Corbett: Space Cadet' - Rakettilaivan kadettiRED PLANET, 1949
SIXTH COLUMN, 1949 (reissued as THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW) - Seitsemän miehen sota
THE MAN WHO SOLD THE MOON, 1950 - Mies joka myi kuun
screenplay: DESTINATION MOON, 1950 - based on Rocket Ship Galileo, with Rip Van Ronkel and James O´Hanlon
REVOLT IN 2100, 1953 - Kapina 2100
screenplay: PROJECT MOONBASE, 1953
DOUBLE STAR, 1956 (Hugo Award) - Panoksena tulevaisuus
television plays: TOM CORBETT: SPACE CADET, aired from 1951-56
CITIZEN OF THE GALAXY, 1957 - Galaksin kansalainen
METHUSELAH'S CHILDREN, 1958 - Maan hylkimät
STARSHIP TROOPERS, 1959 (Hugo Award) - film 1997, dir. by Paul Verhoeven, written by Ed Nuemeyer
THE SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL, 1959 (with others)
THE UNPLEASANT PROFESSION OF JONATHAN HOAG, 1959 (reissued as 6 x H)STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, 1961 (Hugo Award, complete version in 1991)
PODKAYNE OF MARS, 1963 - Taistelu VenuksessaGLORY ROAD, 1963
THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS, 1966 (Hugo Award) - Kuu on julma
preface: HIGH FRONTIER, 1983
JOB: A COMEDY OF JUSTICE, 1984 - Tuomiopäivän komedia
TRAMP ROYALE, 1992 (travel, book, written between 1953 and 1954)


Picture yourself in boat on a river,
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly,
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes.

Cellophane flowers of yellow and green,
Towering over your head.
Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes,
And she's gone.

Lucy in the sky with diamonds,

Follow her down to a bridge by a fountain
Where rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies,
Everyone smiles as you drift past the flowers,
That grow so incredibly high.

Newspaper taxis appear on the shore,
Waiting to take you away.
Climb in the back with your head in the clouds,
And you're gone.

Lucy in the sky with diamonds,

Picture yourself on a train in a station,
With plasticine porters with looking glass ties,
Suddenly someone is there at the turnstile,
The girl with kaleidoscope eyes.

Lucy in the sky with diamonds.


It was twenty years ago today.
that Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play
They've been going in and out of style
But they're guaranteed to raise a smile.
So may I introduce to you
The act you've known for all these years,
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

We're Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,
We hope you will enjoy the show,
We're Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,
Sit back and let the evening go.

Sgt. Pepper's lonely,
Sgt. Pepper's lonely,
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

It's wonderful to be here,
It's certainly a thrill.
You're such a lovely audience,
We'd like to take you home with us,
We'd love to take you home.

I don't really want to stop the show,
But I thought you might like to know,
That the singer'sgoning to sing a song,
And he wants you all to sing along.
So may I introduce to you
The one only Billy Shears
And Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.


I look at you all see the love there that's sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps.
I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping
Still my guitar gently weeps.

I don't know why nobody told you
How to unfold your love,
I don't know how someone controlled you
They bought and sold you.

I look at the world and I notice it's turning
While my guitar gently weeps.
With every mistake we must surely be learning,
Still my guitar gently weeps.

I don't know how you were diverted
You were perverted too.
I don't know how you were inverted
No one alerted you.

I look at you see all the love there that's sleeping,
While my guitar gently weeps.
I then look at you all,
Still my guitar gently weeps.


She lives on Love Street
Lingers long on Love Street
She has a house and garden
I would like to see what happens

She has robes and she has monkeys
Lazy diamond studded flunkies
She has wisdom and knows what to do
She has me and she has you

She has wisdom and knows what to do
She has me and she has you

I see you live on Love Street
There's this store where the creatures meet
I wonder what they do in there
Summer Sunday and a year
I guess I like it fine, so far

She lives on Love Street
Lingers long on Love Street
She has a house and garden
I would like to see what happens

La, la, la, la, la, la, la


Love hides in the strangest places.
Love hides in familiar faces.
Love comes when you least expect it.
Love hides in narrow corners.
Love comes to those who seek it.
Love hides inside the rainbow.
Love hides in molecular structures.
Love is the answer.


Song of Songs

Chapter 1

1 THE SONG of songs, which is Solomon's.
Chapter 2

1 I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.

2 As a lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.

3 As an apple-tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. Under its shadow I delighted to sit, and its fruit was sweet to my taste.

4 He hath brought me to the banqueting-house, and his banner over me is love.

5 'Stay ye me with dainties, refresh me with apples; for I am love-sick.'

6 Let his left hand be under my head, and his right hand embrace me.

7 'I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles, and by the hinds of the field, that ye awaken not, nor stir up love, until it please.'

8 Hark! my beloved! behold, he cometh, leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills
9 My beloved is like a gazelle or a young hart; behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh in through the windows, he peereth through the lattice.

10 My beloved spoke, and said unto me: 'Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.

11 For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;

12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;

13 The fig-tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines in blossom give forth their fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.

14 O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the covert of the cliff, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.'

15 'Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vineyards; for our vineyards are in blossom.'
16 My beloved is mine, and I am his, that feedeth among the lilies.

17 Until the day breathe, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a gazelle or a young hart upon the mountains of spices.
Chapter 3

1 By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth; I sought him, but I found him not.

2 '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.

3 The watchmen that go about the city found me: 'Saw ye him whom my soul loveth?'

4 Scarce had 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.

5 'I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles, and by the hinds of the field, that ye awaken not, nor stir up love, until it please.'

6 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?

7 Behold, it is the litter of Solomon; threescore mighty men are about it, of the mighty men of Israel.

8 They all handle the sword, and are expert in war; every man hath his sword upon his thigh, because of dread in the night.

9 King Solomon made himself a palanquin of the wood of Lebanon.

10 He made the pillars thereof of silver, the top thereof of gold, the seat of it of purple, the inside thereof being inlaid with love, from the daughters of Jerusalem.

11 Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and gaze upon king Solomon, even upon the crown wherewith his mother hath crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart.
Chapter 4

1 Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thine eyes are as doves behind thy veil; thy hair is as a flock of goats, that trail down from mount Gilead.

2 Thy teeth are like a flock of ewes all shaped alike, which are come up from the washing; whereof all are paired, and none faileth among them.

3 Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy mouth is comely; thy temples are like a pomegranate split open behind thy veil.

4 Thy neck is like the tower of David builded with turrets, whereon there hang a thousand shields, all the armour of the mighty men.

5 Thy two breasts are like two fawns that are twins of a gazelle, which feed among the lilies.

6 Until the day breathe, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.

7 Thou art all fair, my love; and there is no spot in thee.

8 Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, with me from Lebanon; look from the top of Amana, from the top of Senir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards.

9 Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my bride; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one bead of thy necklace.

10 How fair is thy love, my sister, my bride! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all manner of spices!

11 Thy lips, O my bride, drop honey--honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.

12 A garden shut up is my sister, my bride; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.

13 Thy shoots are a park of pomegranates, with precious fruits; henna with spikenard plants,
14 Spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices.

15 Thou art a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and flowing streams from Lebanon.

16 Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his precious fruits.

Chapter 5

1 I am come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk. Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.

2 I sleep, but my heart waketh; Hark! my beloved knocketh: 'Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled; for my head is filled with dew, my locks with the drops of the night.'

3 I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?

4 My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my heart was moved for him.

5 I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with flowing myrrh, upon the handles of the bar.

6 I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had turned away, and was gone. My soul failed me when he spoke. I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.

7 The watchmen that go about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my mantle from me.

8 'I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, what will ye tell him? that I am love-sick.'

9 'What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? What is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so adjure us?'

10 'My beloved is white and ruddy, pre-eminent above ten thousand.

11 His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are curled, and black as a raven.

12 His eyes are like doves beside the water-brooks; washed with milk, and fitly set.

13 His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as banks of sweet herbs; his lips are as lilies, dropping with flowing myrrh.

14 His hands are as rods of gold set with beryl; his body is as polished ivory overlaid with sapphires.

15 His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold; his aspect is like Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.

16 His mouth is most sweet; yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.'
Chapter 6

1 'Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? Whither hath thy beloved turned him, that we may seek him with thee?'

2 'My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.

3 I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine, that feedeth among the lilies.'

4 Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners.

5 Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me. Thy hair is as a flock of goats, that trail down from Gilead.

6 Thy teeth are like a flock of ewes, which are come up from the washing; whereof all are paired, and none faileth among them.

7 Thy temples are like a pomegranate split open behind thy veil.

8 There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and maidens without number.

9 My dove, my undefiled, is but one; she is the only one of her mother; she is the choice one of her that bore her. The daughters saw her, and called her happy; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.

10 Who is she that looketh forth as the dawn, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, terrible as an army with banners?

11 I went down into the garden of nuts, to look at the green plants of the valley, to see whether the vine budded, and the pomegranates were in flower.

12 Before I was aware, my soul set me upon the chariots of my princely people.
Chapter 7

1 Return, return, O Shulammite; Return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulammite? As it were a dance of two companies.

2 How beautiful are thy steps in sandals, O prince's daughter! The roundings of thy thighs are like the links of a chain, the work of the hands of a skilled workman.

3 Thy navel is like a round goblet, wherein no mingled wine is wanting; thy belly is like a heap of wheat set about with lilies.

4 Thy two breasts are like two fawns that are twins of a gazelle.

5 Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes as the pools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bath-rabbim; thy nose is like the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.

6 Thy head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thy head like purple; the king is held captive in the tresses thereof.

7 How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!

8 This thy stature is like to a palm-tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.

9 I said: 'I will climb up into the palm-tree, I will take hold of the branches thereof; and let thy breasts be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy countenance like apples;

10 And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine, that glideth down smoothly for my beloved, moving gently the lips of those that are asleep.'

11 I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me.

12 Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages.

13 Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see whether the vine hath budded, whether the vine-blossom be opened, and the pomegranates be in flower; there will I give thee my love.

14 The mandrakes give forth fragrance, and at our doors are all manner of precious fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.
Chapter 8

1 Oh that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! When I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, and none would despise me.

2 I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother's house, that thou mightest instruct me; I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine, of the juice of my pomegranate.

3 His left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me.

4 'I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem: Why should ye awaken, or stir up love, until it please?'

5 Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? Under the apple-tree I awakened thee; there thy mother was in travail with thee; there was she in travail and brought thee forth.

6 Set me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thine arm; for love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as the grave; the flashes thereof are flashes of fire, a very flame of HaShem.

7 Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it; if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, he would utterly be contemned.

8 We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts; what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?

9 If she be a wall, we will build upon her a turret of silver; and if she be a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar.

10 I am a wall, and my breasts like the towers thereof; then was I in his eyes as one that found peace.

11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon; he gave over the vineyard unto keepers; every one for the fruit thereof brought in a thousand pieces of silver.

12 My vineyard, which is mine, is before me; thou, O Solomon, shalt have the thousand, and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred.

13 Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken for thy voice: 'Cause me to hear it.'

14 Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a gazelle or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices.
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