By the Rivers Dark

©Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson, released on Ten New Songs (2001)

.

By the rivers dark

I wandered on.

I lived my life

in Babylon.

.

And I did forget

My holy song:

And I had no strength

In Babylon.

.

By the rivers dark

Where I could not see

Who was waiting there

Who was hunting me.

.

And he cut my lip

And he cut my heart.

So I could not drink

From the river dark.

.

And he covered me,

And I saw within,

My lawless heart

And my wedding ring,

.

I did not know

And I could not see

Who was waiting there,

Who was hunting me

.

By the rivers dark

I panicked on.

I belonged at last

To Babylon.

.

Then he struck my heart

With a deadly force,

And he said, "This heart:

It is not yours."

.

And he gave the wind

My wedding ring:

And he circled us

With everything.

.

By the rivers dark,

In a wounded dawn,

I live my life

In Babylon.

.

Though I take my song

From a withered limb,

Both song and tree,

They sing for him.

.

Be the truth unsaid

And the blessing gone,

If I forget

My Babylon.

.

I did not know

And I could not see

Who was waiting there.

Who was hunting me.

.

By the rivers dark,

Where it all goes on:

By the rivers dark

In Babylon.

.

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