The Offering

Eric Gill, Ibi Dabo Tibi (1925)
Wood engraving on paper
Image from Tate collection

The title 'Ibi Dabo Tibi' is a reference to Song of Solomon 7:12. The relevant sentence reads in Latin as ibi dabo tibi ubera mea. This is generally translated as: 
'there will I give thee my loves' (for instance, see King James version)
But if you go by the literal meaning of ubera, the translation becomes:
'there will I give thee my breasts' (see Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition, which makes more sense to me if you see the context)

The engraving beautifully plays on both these versions. 
Below is the translation by John Cunyus of 7:12 and 7:13

Let us rise up early
and go to the vineyards!
Let us see
if the vine blossoms,
if the flowers
give forth fruit,
if the pomegranate blooms!
There, I will give 
my breasts to you!

The mandrakes
gave their scent
in our doorways!
All my fruits,
old and new,
I saved for you!


F. said…
Interesting. /:)
madcowdisease said…
it's such a true expressionthat this artist captured. beautiful
Anonymous said…
do you know of a hindu philosopher and art historian that Eric Gill held in the highest regard, considering himself his 'disciple'? I've skimmed over some of your writings, and if you look into this hindu sage, I imagine you will be burnt and never see philosophy the same way again.