Alexandra Leaving

©Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson, released on Ten New Songs (2001). Based on The God Abandons Antony, a poem by Constantine P. Cavafy.

.

Suddenly the night has grown colder.

The god of love preparing to depart.

Alexandra hoisted on his shoulder,

They slip between the sentries of the heart.

.

Upheld by the simplicities of pleasure,

They gain the light, they formlessly entwine;

And radiant beyond your widest measure

They fall among the voices and the wine.

.

It's not a trick, your senses all deceiving,

A fitful dream, the morning will exhaust –

Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving.

Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost.

.

Even though she sleeps upon your satin;

Even though she wakes you with a kiss.

Do not say the moment was imagined;

Do not stoop to strategies like this.

.

As someone long prepared for this to happen,

Go firmly to the window. Drink it in.

Exquisite music. Alexandra laughing.

Your firm commitments tangible again.

.

And you who had the honor of her evening,

And by the honor had your own restored –

Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving;

Alexandra leaving with her lord.

.

Even though she sleeps upon your satin;

Even though she wakes you with a kiss.

Do not say the moment was imagined;

Do not stoop to strategies like this.

.

As someone long prepared for the occasion;

In full command of every plan you wrecked –

Do not choose a coward's explanation

that hides behind the cause and the effect.

.

And you who were bewildered by a meaning;

Whose code was broken, crucifix uncrossed –

Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving.

Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost.

.

Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving.

Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost.

.

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