Leonard CohenThe Traitor

Now the swan it floated on the english river Ah the rose of high romance it opened wide A sun tanned woman yearned me through the summer And the judges watched us from the other side I told my mother "mother I must leave you Preserve my room but do not she'd a tear Should rumour of a shabby ending reach you It was half my fault and half the atmosphere" But the rose I sickened with a scarlet fever And the swan I tempted with a sense of shame She said at last I was her finest lover And if she withered I would be to blame The judges said you missed it by a fraction Rise up and brace your troops for the attack Ah the dreamers ride against the men of action Oh see the men of action falling back But I lingered on her thighs a fatal moment I kissed her lips as though I thirsted still My falsity had stung me like a hornet The poison sank and it paralysed my will I could not move to warn all the younger soldiers That they had been deserted from above So on battlefields from here to barcelona I'm listed with the enemies of love And long ago she said "i must be leaving, Ah but keep my body here to lie upon You can move it up and down and when I'm sleeping Run some wire through that rose and wind the swan" So daily I renew my idle duty I touch her here and there -- I know my place I kiss her open mouth and I praise her beauty And people call me traitor to my face
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