As the Appletree among the Trees of the Wood, So is My Beloved among the Sons. I Sat Down under the Shadow of Him whom I Desired, and his Fruit was Sweet to My Taste.
How much simplicity is there in this comparison! The beloved beholding herself persecuted by such spiritual persons as do not understand her experience, addresses herself to them and to her Well-beloved at the same time. As the appletree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons; that is, among those most pleasing in the sight of God, whether saints in heaven or the righteous upon the earth. Be not surprised, then, if I sit down under His shadow, and remain at rest under His protection. I am only under the shadow of the wings of Him by whom I have greatly desired to be possessed; and although I have not yet arrived at so desirable an attainment, yet I can say that His fruit -- that is, crosses, pain and abasement -- is sweet to my taste. It is not sweet to the taste of the flesh; for the inferior part finds it bitter and ill-flavored; but it is sweet to the mouth of the heart, after it is once swallowed, and by me, whose taste is that of my Well-beloved, it is more to be desired than all other delights.