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History Book

Dry The River


Like faithful oxen through the chalk
With dragging tails of history walk
Soon confuse the compass and the cross
Carefully and cursively we fill our traveling diaries with loss

Beneath an angry Bible flood
Did you and I first learn to love
In my father's car we came to know
And shivered in our painted clothes
and paired like every animal below

As heavy as a history book can be
I will carry it with me, oh Lord
And maybe when the bitterness has gone
There'll be sweetness on our tongues once more

Barefoot in a rowing boat
You lose your shoes and freeze your toes
And say I wear my sorrow like a crown
And throw your arms around my head,
and see it there in gold and red and brown

As heavy as a history book can be
I will carry it with me, oh Lord
And maybe when the bitterness has gone
There'll be sweetness on our tongues once more

We'll soon forget our parents' names
Like dogs will drive the wolves away
And weep with fingertips opposed
Like a church where nobody congregates

But sweetness sings in the pasture
We throw ourselves on the mercy of the earth
If sand and salt have the answer
Then the act itself will be louder than the word

And I'll be on your side

Compositor: Peter Liddle

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