clear = sheba

banquet

“I am black but comely,
O ye daughters of Jerusalem,
As the tents of Kedar,
As the curtains of Solomon,
Look not upon me because I am black
Because the sun hath scorched me.”
“My Lord, how happy I am. Would that I could
remain here always, if but as the humblest of
your workers, so that I could always hear your
words and obey you.

“How happy I am when I interrogate you! How
happy when you answer me. My whole being is
moved with pleasure; my soul is filled; my
feet no longer stumble; I thrill with delight.

“Your wisdom and goodness,” she continued, “are
beyond all measure. They are excellence itself.
Under your influence I am placing new values on
life. I see light in the darkness; the firefly
in the garden reveals itself in newer beauty. I
discover added lustre in the pearl; a greater
radiance in the morning star, and a softer
harmony in the moonlight. Blessed be the God that
brought me here; blessed be He who permitted your
majestic mind to be revealed to me; blessed be the

One who brought me into your house to hear your voice.”
“You have broken your oath that you would not
take anything by force that is in my palace.
The Queen protested, of course, that surely
the promise did not cover something so
insignificant and plentiful as water, but
Solomon argued that there was nothing in the
world more valuable than water, for without
it nothing could live. Makeda reluctantly
admitted the truth of this and apologized for
her mistake, begging for water for her parched
throat. Solomon, now released from his promise,
assuaged her thirst and his own, immediately
taking the Queen as his lover.”

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