The Chartres Melody


Twas’ for her that he abandoned the pure,
Catching undulations that he thought would cure.
Of a nun’s garments – a tempest of folds,
And for heavenly sweet love, his heart is sold.
An unholy debasement staining priestly vestment,
Filthy and fouled, for a beloved whose beauty is torment.
Celibacy ruined, but human he became,
His soul transfigured in the love he obtained.
These enactments, though subtle, were shamed.
For as love is sought, our normative minds are maimed.


1.1  Enter ACHILLE TRAVER, and the UNKNOWN MAN. Achille Traver stands beside an oak tree, gazing at the unknown man. Achille Traver, a priest, wears disheveled and filthy clothing. The unknown man stands beside a tavern. He’s oblivious to the priest.



I peer towards a man’s apparel, whose looks I distinguish,

It disgusts me profoundly, morbid as it is, that I am languished.

My knees grow weak at this sight: the apparel of his, exquisite and alight,

That I am stricken with envy, seared to the core, as grief overwhelms me.


To the left, there permeates wondrous delicacies,

Scents so delicious, and sights so appealing; my senses hunger in their perceptivity.

Transfixed, I am upon sauces and spices, pheasant and boar,

My teeth grind, my tongue drains, my fists clench at what allures.


Achille Traver steps towards the well-dressed man and speaks to him.



Monsieur, allow me to share my speech,

Tis’ but a long one, so I’d implore you to heed me.

I am but a priest, sworn to service at the Chartres Cathedral.

And I come to speak, with which is of much importance.


I had thought out of the corner of my eye,

I caught sight of a withered corpse that did naught but sigh.

When it approached me, from sighs to speech, and demanded my reply,

My response is to not heed to a creature who is not sent from on high.


The unknown man throws out his arms as though to shield himself from Achille Traver. His eyes close, his face grimaces and lips purse, as though in terrible pain.



Monsieur, open your ears to hear my speech,

It is dear to me; for you to hear it, I beseech,

When you hearken, you may laugh and cackle,

Though this speech will free me from shackles.

An eternal slavery, though only months had past,

When at first I saw Minette, and I was aghast.

Frightful is her beauty, and enchanting is her song,

That rains from a balcony, the melody I listened long.

From below, my sight is inferior, and small;

Where I espy tresses peeking through shawl.

ACHILLE TRAVER (continued):

Monsieur, her voice is the calling of a songbird,

Asking all to hear, with a desire to entrance.

In idle moments, I speculate over a marvel so vivid,

Scrawling on parchment, with quill and ink,

And yearn to fathom her voice like wine,

And her rich beauty with luster and resplendence.

To see the ivory surface that is her visage,

Dark eyes, and wonder picturesque in its image.

Clothed by a purified habit, without claws, or touch.

Singing the enchanting melodies of hymns as such.


The unknown man, now listening to Achille Traver, puts a finger to the priest’s lips to silence him. His eyes close and reopen once, and then he speaks.



My faith in recent years has risen;

I am amazed that a few priests have escaped from their prison.


The unknown man gracefully bows and leaves the scene. Achille Traver stands in silence with his head bowed appearing disgraced.

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