a play by Caleron de Barca

Sheba and Solomon
seem to be as one;
of genius and beauty
she's a divine prodigy
and he a human miracle
of glory and wisdom,
so that in upholding
glory and prudence
the twain seem as one.

a dramatic dialogue in verse 
by Arthur Symons

"She, the one whiteness of the earth,
For whom the ardent valley grows
A flame, an odour, and the rose
Finds in the world but wisdom worth
The trouble of the soul's repose."

"When thou are I, and I am thou,
Time is no more...Beloved, come
Into the garden dim with spice;
Let us forget that we are wise,
And wisdom, though it be the sum
Of all but love, is love's disguise."

from Handel's Oratorio: SOLOMON
But to hear fair truth distilling
In expression choice and thrilling
From that tongue so soft and killing
That my soul does most delight...
And now, illustrious prince, receive
Such tribute as my realm can give.

from ON WOMAN 
by William Butler Yeats

Though pedantry denies,
It's plain the Bible means
That Solomon grew wise
While talking with his queens,
Yet never could, although
They say he counted grass,
Count all the praises due
When Sheba was his lass.

by William Butler Yeats

Sang Solomon to Sheba,
And kissed her dusky face,
"All day long from mid-day
We have talked in the one place.
All day long from shadowless noon
We have gone round and round
In the narrow theme of love..."

Sang Solomon to Sheba,
And kissed her Arab eyes,
"There's not a man or woman
Born under the skies
Dare match in learning with us two."

by William Butler Yeats

And thus declared that Arab lady:
"Last night, where under the wild moon
On grassy mattress I had laid me,
Within my arms great Solomon,
I suddenly cried out in a strange tongue.

Maybe the bride-bed brings despair
For each an imagined image brings
And finds an imagined image there;
Yet the world ends when these two things
Though several, are a single light,
When oil and wick are burned in one;
Therefore a blessed moon last night
Gave Sheba to her Solomon."...

Maybe an image is too strong
Or maybe is not strong enough.
The night has fallen; not a sound
In the forbidden sacred grove
Unless a petal hit the ground,
Nor any human sight within it
But the crushed grass where we have lain;
And the moon is wilder every minute.
Oh Solomon! let us try again.

Calderon de Barca: LA SIBYLLA DEL ORIENTE, quoted in Watson in Pritchard, p.135.

Symons, Arthur, THE LOVER OF THE QUEEN OF SHEBA quoted in Watson in Pritchard, 143-44.

Handel's Oratorio: SOLOMON quoted in Watson, Paul F., "The Queen of Sheba in Christian Tradition,"  quoted in Pritchard, James B., editor, SOLOMON AND SHEBA, Phaidon Publishers, London, 1974, p.134.

Yeats, William Butler, POEMS OF WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, edited by Richard Finneran, MacMillan, New York, 1968. "Solomon and Sheba," "On Woman," "Solomon and the Witch".

Copyright 1990 by Tracy Marks
(Torrey Philemon at Ancient Sites)
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