And now he is standing on the other side of this very wall; now he is looking through each window in turn, peering through every chink. I can hear my true love calling to me, Rise up, rise up quickly, dear heart, so gentle, so beautiful, rise up and come with me. (Sg. 2:9-10; Knox Translation)
Ronald Knox takes a rather curious literal interpretation of the Song of Songs, but one that solves a number of difficulties. Joe Zepeda’s brilliant TAC thesis argues for it rather persuasively. The interpretation is roughly this: the bride has been taken to Solomon’s court, but she is still faithful to her beloved from the country. Her beloved follows her to the city, and (in the above text) he is standing outside the wall of Solomon’s palace calling her. In his sermon “The Window in the Wall” Knox gives a figurative interpretation of the passage: Solomon’s court is the world of sensible, the beloved is of course our Lord, and the ‘window in the wall’ is the Blessed Sacrament.
It’s the irony of fallen existence that the sensible world, which should be a mirror of God’s glory, ends up being an ersatz for it. Just as Solomon (the ‘son of David’) is supposed to be the representative of God and the type of His Son, but ends up being His rival. In the Blessed Sacrament the Beloved comes to us without any sensible glory, calling us to leave the ‘gilded cage’ of our enslavement to creatures, and come out into the fresh air of the Divine Life.
References: R. Knox, The Window in the Wall and Other Sermons on the Holy Eucharist (London: Burns and Oates, 1956) pp. 1-6. Joseph Raphael Zepeda, Fruits New and Old in the Song of Solomon; God’s Covenants symbolized (Senior Thesis; Santa Paula: Thomas Aquinas College, 2004).