AS I STOOD AT THE WINDOW of my house
looking out through the shutters,
Watching the mindless crowd stroll by,
I spotted a young man without any sense
Arriving at the corner of the street where she lived,
then turning up the path to her house.
It was dusk, the evening coming on,
the darkness thickening into night.
Just then, a woman met him—
she’d been lying in wait for him, dressed to seduce him.
Brazen and brash she was,
restless and roaming, never at home,
Walking the streets, loitering in the mall,
hanging out at every corner in town.
She threw her arms around him and kissed him,
boldly took his arm and said,
“I’ve got all the makings for a feast—
today I made my offerings, my vows are all paid,
So now I’ve come to find you,
hoping to catch sight of your face—and here you are!
I’ve spread fresh, clean sheets on my bed,
colorful imported linens.
My bed is aromatic with spices
and exotic fragrances.
Come, let’s make love all night,
spend the night in ecstatic lovemaking!
My husband’s not home; he’s away on business,
and he won’t be back for a month.”
Soon she has him eating out of her hand,
bewitched by her honeyed speech.
Before you know it, he’s trotting behind her,
like a calf led to the butcher shop,
Like a stag lured into ambush
and then shot with an arrow,
Like a bird flying into a net
not knowing that its flying life is over.
So, friends, listen to me,
take these words of mine most seriously.
Don’t fool around with a woman like that;
don’t even stroll through her neighborhood.
Countless victims come under her spell;
she’s the death of many a poor man.
She runs a halfway house to hell,
fits you out with a shroud and a coffin.
Cannot even give a full comment on this one…I don’t know which is more insulting: that women are portrayed as harlots when they are anything other than quiet and submissive, or that men are portrayed as dumb mules who are ruled by their allegedly out-of-control sex drives, and “oh shucksy-darn, just can’t help muhself”. Blech. Leave me with something wiser next time friend – like how young men should not be made to feel like weaklings because they refuse to sell out to socially constructed gender norms that tell them they should be ruled by their dumb stick and then blame the woman as having some kind of vagina voo-doo.
Stephen M. Miller
Thanks Erin. Come to think of it, it’s probably hard to give cautions about sexual attraction without stereotyping or offending one sex or another. Given that Proverbs was most likely written as advice from older men to young men (scholars say), it’s a pretty fair guess which gender would end up with the short end of the stick, so to speak. Still, I could have picked a better topic. I’ll try harder next time.