Nelligan: “Chapelle de la Morte” (“The Dead Woman’s Chapel”)

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La chapelle ancienne est fermée,
Et je refoule à pas discrets
Les dalles sonnant les regrets
De toute une ère parfumée.

Et je t’évoque, ô bien-aimée !
Epris de mystiques attraits :
La chapelle assume les traits
De ton âme qu’elle a humée.

Ton corps fleurit dans l’autel seul,
Et la nef triste est le linceul
De gloire qui te vêt entière ;

Et dans le vitrail, tes grands yeux
M’illuminent ce cimetière
De doux cierges mystérieux.
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The ancient chapel is closed,
And I drive back by discreet steps
The stones resounding with regrets
Of all a perfumed age

And I conjure you, o my beloved!
Seized by love of mystic charms:
The chapel takes on the traits
Of your soul, that it has inhaled.

Your body flowers at the altar alone,
And the sad nave is the shroud
of glory that clothes you fully;

And in the stained glass, your great eyes
Light up for me this cemetery
Of altar candles soft and mysterious.
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