The woman, either in conjuring up her lover in her mind or reporting of a previous encounter, now recalls what her lover said through the lattice. His words are basically these: “Let’s escape into the flowery areas or let’s find ourselves a cave.”
What do I most like here? The grandeur of his love-language. Here’s a man who woos a woman, and he woos with delightful images — and this language works (she’s the one reporting it!) because he loves her, she loves him, and they trust one another — and delight in one another’s presence and bodies.
First, he praises her as “my love” and “my fair one.” And asks her to escape with him.
10 My beloved speaks and says to me:
“Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away;
Why now? He begins his seduction with this: the season is perfect. No more winter rains — the flowers are in bloom; singers are singing; the turtledove’s gentle cooing echoes throughout the land. Spring, ah yes, is the time for love. All the senses are ramped up: smell, sound, and sight. He wants her to awaken to love as has nature.
11 for now the winter is past, [mid-April]
the rain is over and gone.
12 The flowers appear on the earth; [May-June]
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.
The seasonal theme continues with the motif of fertility in fruit, blooms, and fragrance.
13 The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Now that he’s painted in poetry the love-dance all around them, he requests once more that she come away with him.
Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away.
Now he speaks of seclusion rather than springtime:
14 O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
in the covert of the cliff,
And now he turns to face her and his fullest disclosure of love emerges from his heart and mouth:
let me see your face,
let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is lovely.”