Came So Far for Beauty

©Leonard Cohen and John Lissauer, released on Recent Songs (1979)

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I came so far for beauty

I left so much behind

My patience and my family

My masterpiece unsigned

I thought I'd be rewarded

For such a lonely choice

And surely she would answer

To such a very hopeless voice

I practiced all my sainthood

I gave to one and all

But the rumours of my virtue

They moved her not at all

I changed my style to silver

I changed my clothes to black

And where I would surrender

Now I would attack

I stormed the old casino

For the money and the flesh

And I myself decided

What was rotten and what was fresh

And men to do my bidding

And broken bones to teach

The value of my pardon

The shadow of my reach

But no, I could not touch her

With such a heavy hand

Her star beyond my order

Her nakedness unmanned

I came so far for beauty

I left so much behind

My patience and my family

My masterpiece unsigned

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