Copyright © 1969 Leonard Cohen
and Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada Company


Lady Midnight


I came by myself to a very crowded place;
I was looking for someone who had lines in her face.
I found her there but she was past all concern;
I asked her to hold me, I said, "Lady, unfold me,"
but she scorned me and she told me
I was dead and I could never return.

Well, I argued all night like so many have before,
saying, "Whatever you give me, I seem to need so much more."
Then she pointed at me where I kneeled on her floor,
she said, "Don't try to use me or slyly refuse me,
just win me or lose me,
it is this that the darkness is for."

I cried, "Oh, Lady Midnight, I fear that you grow old,
the stars eat your body and the wind makes you cold."
"If we cry now," she said, "it will just be ignored."
So I walked through the morning, sweet early morning,
I could hear my lady calling,
"You've won me, you've won me, my lord,
you've won me, you've won me, my lord,
yes, you've won me, you've won me, my lord,
ah, you've won me, you've won me, my lord,
ah, you've won me, you've won me, my lord."


Traduction de Jean Guiloineau :

La dame de Minuit

Je suis allé seul dans un endroit plein de monde. Je cherchais
quelqu'un avec des rides sur le visage. Je la trouvai mais rien
ne l'intéressait plus. Je lui demandai de me prendre dans ses bras;
je lui dis : révèle-moi, mais elle me méprisa et me répondit que
j'étais mort et que je ne reviendrais jamais.

Je discutai toute la nuit, comme tant d'autres avant moi, disant :
tout ce que tu me donnes, j'en ai tant besoin. Puis elle tendit le doigt
vers moi, agenouillé par terre. Elle dit : N'essaie pas de te servir
de moi ni de me refuser adroitement, tu dois me vaincre ou me perdre -
c'est à cela que sert l'obscurité !

Je m'écriai, O Dame de Minuit, j'ai peur de te voir vieillir;
les étoiles dévorent ton corps et le vent te rend froide. Si nous pleurons
maintenant, dit-elle, on l'ignorera simplement. Aussi je suis parti
dans le matin, la douceur du petit matin, et je pouvais entendre ma dame
qui criait : Tu m'as vaincue, tu m'as vaincue, mon seigneur.