Your cheeks are lovely with rows of jewels, your neck with chains of gold.
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Julian of Eclanum
When the naturally beautiful neck is endowed with the adornment of jewels, such industry undoubtedly increases happiness and, as though they were worthy, the honor of necklaces and the loveliness of necks as well. This is also true with you, therefore, whose generosity is constituted by doctrine, so that discipline would perfect the virtues which nature began. - "Commentary on the Song of Songs, Fragment 9"
Wishing to inspire a spirit of humility in her actions, the Word says this: “Your neck is as if circled with jewels.” For just as he describes “the stiff neck” of the proud as “a sinew of iron” because of its stiffness, so too he describes the neck of a modest person as a necklace [with strings of jewels]. He thus designates the form of the virtue by its shape. For modest persons (even if such people stand tall) are bent down in the manner of a necklace when they think humbly of themselves and restrain the vanity of pride that accompanies virtue, which is a fact of the weakness of human nature. For the memory of earth and the ancient parentage of clay is sufficient to destroy such vainglory even if the honor of the image and the excellence of the actions may cause an inflation of pride.
And the Word does not call the neck of the humble simply a “necklace,” for there are indeed those who by affectation take the appearance of humility while they pursue human glory. To them the Word says,...