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Alexandra Leaving

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.

Based on a poem by Constantine P. Cavafy, "The God Forsakes Antony".

Copyright 2001 Leonard Cohen, Sharon Robinson and Sony/ATV Music Publishing  Canada Company.
Posted with permission.

Original poem:

The god forsakes Antony


When suddenly, at the midnight hour,
an invisible troupe is heard passing
with exquisite music, with shouts --
your fortune that fails you now, your works
that have failed, the plans of your life
that have all turned out to be illusions, do not mourn in vain.
As if long prepared, as if courageous,
bid her farewell, the Alexandria that is leaving.
Above all do not be fooled, do not tell yourself
it was a dream, that your ears deceived you;
do not stoop to such vain hopes.
As if long prepared, as if courageous,
as it becomes you who have been worthy of such a city,
approach the window with firm step,
and with emotion, but not
with the entreaties and complaints of the coward,
as a last enjoyment listen to the sounds,
the exquisite instruments of the mystical troupe,
and bid her farewell, the Alexandria you are losing.

Constantine P. Cavafy (1911)

Provided by Leonard Cohen

 

Traduction par Graeme Allwright

Alexandra s'en va

Subitement la nuit est devenue plus froide.
Le Dieu de l'Amour préparant son départ.
Alexandra hissée sur son épaule,
Ils glissent entre les sentinelles du coeur.

Soutenu pas les plaisirs simples,
Ils atteignent la lumière qu'ils enlacent sans forme;
Et rayonnant au delà de votre plus vaste mesure
Ils tombent parmi les voix et le vin.

Ce n'est pas une ruse qui trompe tous tes sens,
Un rêve agité que le matin épuisera --
Dis Adieu à Alexandra qui s'en va.
Puis dis Adieu à Alexandra perdue.

Même si elle dort sur ton satin;
Même si elle te réveille avec un baiser.
Ne dis pas que le moment était imaginé;
Ne t'abaisses pas à des stratégies pareilles.

Comme quelqu'un préparé depuis très longtemps pour cet événement,
Va fermement à la fenêtre. Remplis toi du spectacle.
De la musique exquise. Alexandra riante.
Tes fermes engagements tangibles à nouveau.

Et toi qui as eu l'honneur de sa soirée,
Et de par cet honneur a eu le tien restauré --
Dis Adieu à Alexandra qui s'en va;
Alexandra partant avec son Seigneur.

Même si elle dort sur ton satin;
Même si elle te réveille avec un baiser
Ne dis pas que le moment était imaginé;
Ne t'abaisses pas à des stratégies pareilles.

Comme quelqu'un préparé depuis très longtemps pour cet événement;
En totale commande de chaque plan que tu as détruit --
Ne choisis pas l'explication d'un lâche
Qui se cache derrière la cause et l'effet.

Et toi qui étais ahuri par un sens;
Son code brisé. Le crucifix non signé --
Dis Adieu à Alexandra qui s'en va.
Et puis dis Adieu à Alexandra perdue.

Dis Adieu à Alexandra qui s'en va,
Et puis dis Adieu à Alexandra perdue.


Traduction:  Graeme Allwright

 
"Alexandra Leaving", Album "Ten New Songs", 2001, Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson.
Reproduction interdite sans autorisation
All rights reserved