Thursday, 26 January 2012


If it be your will
that I speak no more,
and my voice be still
as it was before;
I will speak no more,
I shall abide until
I am spoken for.
if it be your will.

If it be your will
that a voice be true,
from this broken hill
I will sing to you.
From this broken hill
all your praises they shall ring
if it be your will
to let me sing.

If it be your will
if there is a choice,
let the rivers fill 
let the hills rejoice.
Let your mercy spill
on all these burning hearts in hell,
if it be your will
to make us well.

And draw us near
and bind us tight,
all your children here
in their rags of light;
in our rags of light,
all dressed to kill;
and end this night,
if it be your will.

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen is best known as a singer/songwriter; 'If it be your will' is a song from his 1984 album, Various Positions. A Jew who practises Zen Buddhism, Cohen's interest in Judaism was re-awakened in the 1980s and he began using Hebrew prayer in his songs. This song was inspired by the opening lines of the Kol Nidre service on Yom Kippur eve, which begins, 'May it therefore be Your will, Lord our God, and God of our Fathers, to forgive us all our sins . . . .'

From Poems For The Day   - Two  -


  1. Beautiful!!!
    Leonard Cohen is one of my favorites. Actually, I cannot imagine him not being a favorite of everyone.

  2. I love this poem. I have never seen it before. How very beautiful! Thank you!

  3. Several things of his have merged into my nervous system(in a good way).

  4. It's interesting to read lyrics on their own. These hold up exceeding well as poetry, don't they?

  5. Excellent and interesting post!!!

    And yeah, I checked and both of your blogs are on my follow list.

  6. Well, I love Leonard Cohen, as you probably know. And, yes, it does stand up on its own, without the music. In fact, Cohen read this as a stand-alone poem when I saw him in concert in Nottingham a couple of years ago.


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