The Song of Solomon in Poetry


It was the custom of Jewish men to recite parts of the Song of Songs to their brides on their wedding night.  Now you can too!  Entice your lover with chapter 6, verses 4-12 or another tantalizing part of this inspired love song.



Order of Contents

The Song of Solomon in Poetry  (25+)
Expositions of the Song in Poetry  (2)



The Song of Solomon in Poetry


Baldwin, William – The Canticles or Ballads of Solomon, phrase-like declared in English Meter  1549

Drayton, Michael – The most excellent Song which was Solomon’s, wherein is declared the true and unfeined love between Christ and his Church  1591



Ainsworth, Henry – The Song of Songs in Prose, Verse and Commentary  †1622

Ainsworth was one of the leading separatists from the Church of England and a scholar.  He wrote a fine commentary on the Torah, Psalms and the Song of Songs.  In this edition, first the chapter text is given, then it is given in meter, then his commentary follows.  Then it does the same for the next chapter. 

Wither, George – The Hymns and Songs of the Church, p. 31 ff.  1623

Sandys, George – A Paraphrase upon the Song of Solomon  1641  

Quarles, Francis – Sion’s Sonnets  d. 1644

Boyd, Zachary – The Song of Solomon made in praise of Christ and his Church  1648

Boyd was a minister in the Church of Scotland.

Sterry, Peter -‘A Paraphrase on the Canticles in Verse’  in The Appearance of God to Man in the Gospel, and the Gospel Change, together with Several Other Discourses...  (d. 1672; London, 1710), 2nd Part, Letters

Sterry was a Westminster divine.  This paraphrase on the Canticles is mentioned in the table of contents to the work, but it is not included in the volume, as the volume cuts off before it.

T.S. – The Book of the Song of Solomon in Meter, with some brief observations from the text, something pleasant, but more profitable to the unprejudiced reader who loves the knowledge of God and has his heart inflamed with the love of the Lord Jesus  (London, 1676)

Barton, William – The Song of Solomon Paraphrased, in Six centuries of select hymns and spiritual songs collected out of the Holy Bible together with a catechism, the canticles  d. 1678, pp. 723-741  Search the webpage (control-f) for ‘Song of Songs’ and you will find it

The English Barton also composed a much used psalter in his day.

Woodford, Samuel – A Paraphrase upon the Canticles  1679

Fleming, Robert – The Mirror of Divine Love Unveiled, in a Poetical Paraphrase of the Song of Solomon  1691  †1716

Mason, John – The Song of Songs in Verse and Paraphrased  †1694

The work cycles through each chapter giving first the chapter in verse and then in a paraphrase.  Mason was reformed in his soteriology, though, sadly, being mentally ill, later in life he became obsessed with prophetic visions.



R.S. – The Song of Solomon Rendered into English Verse  (Edinburgh, 1700)

Stennett, Joseph – A Version of Solomon’s Song  †1713  in Works, vol. 4, p. 19

Stennett was an English baptist.

Gifford, Mr. – A Dissertation on the Song of Solomon  (London, 1751)

Erskine, Ralph

A New Version of the Song of Solomon  d. 1752, in Works, vol. 10, p. 546 ff.

Erskine was reformed and one of the founders of the Secession Church in Scotland.

A Paraphrase, or Large Explicatory Poem, upon the Song of Solomon  d. 1752, being p. 307 ff. of his Works, vol. 10

Francis, Ann – A Poetical Translation of the Song of Solomon from the original Hebrew, with a preliminary discourse and notes, historical, critical, and explanatory  PoD  1781



Frederick Naghten – A Metrical Version of The Song of Solomon  1845

McClure, Samuel – The Song of Solomon in Meter  1849

Ramsaeus, T. Ramsay – A Metrical Version of the Book of the Song of Solomon  18??

Anonymous – Metrical meditations on the Sacred Book of Canticles [with text]  Ref  1856, London

Anonymous – A Metrical Translation of the Song of Solomon from the original Hebrew, compared with the ancient versions: to which is added an introduction explanatory of its literal and spiritual signification  Ref  1858  This is a revised version of The Song of Solomon, translated into English Verse, published anonymously in 1853.

Yates, Edward – The Song of Solomon rendered into English Verse  1863

Bush, Joseph – The Canticles of the Song of Solomon: a Metrical Paraphrase with explanatory notes and practical comments  1867

The author splits the Song of Solomon into 12 canticles.  He cycles through each one first with a sketch of each canticle, then he gives the KJV and RSV versions, and then his own poetic paraphrase (non-metrical), then explanatory notes and lastly practical comments.  The first poetic paraphrase starts on p. 21. 

Rentoul, William Skinner – A Metrical Version of the Song of Solomon  (Philadelphia, 1869)  appended to Alexander Moody Stuart, The Song of Songs, an Exposition of the Song of Solomon  (Philadelphia, 1869)

Rentoul (1812-1898) was an ARP / UP bookseller and publisher.  He published A. Moody Stuart’s exposition of the Song of Solomon.

Mitchell, P.M. – The Song of Solomon in Meter  Ref  1880 

Pratt, James – The Song of Solomon rendered into English Verse  1881

Anonymous – Selections from the Song of Solomon, translated from the German metrical version of Heinrich Stadelmann  Ref  n.d.

Rolleston, F. – Metrical versions of Early Hebrew Poetry, with a Metrical Version of the Canticlesp. 7 ff.  n.d.  The page numbering is irregular.  The Song starts after p. xxv



Schmidt, Nathaniel – The Messages of the Poets : the books of Job and Canticles and some minor poems in the Old Testament, with introductions, metrical translations, and paraphrases, p. 239 ff.  1911

The work cycles through sections of the Song in verse and then the passage’s exposition.

Anonymous – The Song of Songs: a New Metrical Translation arranged as a drama, with introduction and notes  Ref  1914, Oxford 

Donn, T.M. – The Allegory of Divine Love: being a Metrical Version of the Song of Songs  Ref  1965



Expositions of the Song in Poetry

Anonymous – Metrical Meditations on the Canticles  1856

***“Exceedingly well rendered: noteworthy both from a literary and religious point of view.  The author seizes the meaning of the Song, and repeats it in well-chosen words.” – Spurgeon

Irons, Joseph – Nymphas.  Bride and Bridegroom Communing.  A Paraphrastic Exposition of the Song of Solomon in Blank Verse  1841

Irons (1786-1852) was a Calvinistic congregational minister in London who wrote numerous poetic works and hymns.

*** – “Outside his own circle we fear that this work by the late Joseph Irons is little known.  It is a paraphrase in blank verse [poetry without rhymes], rendered in a very spiritual manner.  We confess that we look upon the little book with admiring eyes, though we know that the critics will sneer both at us and it.” – Spurgeon




Related Pages


The Bible in Poetry

The Poetry of the Westminster Divines

Psalm Singing

Personal Godliness