How beautiful and how lovely you are.
Love flows through your tender affection.
This—your stature—is like a palm tree,
and your breasts are like clusters of fruit.
I say, “I will climb the palm tree,
I will take hold of its stalks of dates.
May your breasts be like clusters of grapes,
and the fragrance of your breath like apples.
Song of Solomon, 7.6-8.
Yet their lovemaking is not merely mutual delight in physical beauty. Shulamith delights to give pleasure because she loves Solomon. And he delights to give pleasure because he loves her. The language of their bodies is the language of their hearts. “Soul meets soul on lovers’ lips,” the poet Shelley wrote. Solomon would agree. So he thankfully whispers to Shulamith, “Love flows through your tender affection.” Her body is a passionate instrument, playing a song of love from her heart to his.
As he draws back from Shulamith to admire the willowy grace of her body, her hair once draped around him now floats down upon her breasts. She is as inexpressibly graceful as a palm tree swaying in the wind. Her naked breasts beckon him through her long silken hair like clusters of fruit protruding from overshadowing palm leaves. At a distance her breasts seem like clusters of dates on the palm tree. But held close, they are like supple, juicy clusters of grapes, inviting him to enjoy their delicious taste.
As he looks at her beautiful breasts, he feels a surge of desire to hold them and place them in his mouth. So he playfully tells her he will “climb the palm tree” of her body “to take hold of its stalks of dates” so her breasts can be “like clusters of grapes.” Then he tenderly takes them in his hands and eagerly enjoys them, his mouth-watering kisses moistening her breasts then his face like juice overflowing from grapes hungrily eaten.
As Solomon continues to celebrate this erotic feast, he enjoys the fragrance of her breath like apples, a scent he has come to know well. And after tasting all the fruits, he drinks deeply of his favorite wine—the kisses of Shulamith. Her mouth is like the best wine—fragrant, delicious, and intoxicating. Solomon’s Song of Love, pp. 126-127.