Dødedans i London, Vossius VGG Q 9

Dette manuskript blev i det 17. århundrede købt af boghandleren Isaac Vossius (1618-1689). Efter hans død gik hans samling i arv til universitet i Leiden, hvor manuskriptet i dag er katalogiseret som "Vossius Germ. Gall. Q 9".

Manuskriptet, der som så mange andre manuskripter er en samling af flere tekster, er i tæt familie med Lansdowne 699. Afsnittet med The Daunce of Machabree er dog endnu tættere i familie med et tredje manuskript kaldet Lincoln Cathedral C 5 4.

I alle tre manuskripter starter dødedansen: »Incipit Macrobius«, og alle deltagerne har latinske titler (med enkelte undtagelser som "Sergeant of lawe" og "Iurour"). Det andet vers i introduktionen udtales af en engel, »angelus«, ligesom de latinske tekster i Danse Macabre i Paris.

Teksten er en af de såkaldte B-tekster, der afviger meget fra den parisiske Danse Macabre både med hensyn til deltagerne og deres rækkefølge. Se siden om Lansdowne 699 for detaljer.

Manuskriptet er beskrevet af Dorsten i 1960 (se eksternt link). En af hans observationer var, at de mange buer og streger, der normalt indikerer forkortelser, ser ud til at være uden formål: »They, therefore, were clear instances of a kind of adornment without any genuine significance« (side 323).

I nedenstående transskription tager jeg dog ofte højde for en hale efter bogstavet r (f.eks.: "scriptur" -> "scripture"). Bogstaverne "u" og "n" er som altid umulige at skelne, og derfor kan man blive i tvivl, om man f.eks. skal læse et ord som: »dañce«, hvor stregen over n'et skal betragtes som "pynt uden formål", eller som »daūce«, der skal opløses til »daunce«. I forbindelse med ord, der rimer på »daunce«, vælger jeg ofte det sidste af hensyn til værkets titel.

Der er en fejl i linie 40: »That lordis gret haue litil avauntage«, der er en gentagelse af linie 48. Linjen skulle have været noget lignende den i Lansdowne- manuskriptet: »Adamis children / all thei must deye«.

Her kommer teksten i den rækkefølge, manuskriptet angiver. I det omfang danserne er med i Ellesmere-manuskriptet, er der hyper-linket til den relevante side. Illustrationerne er fra La Danse Macabre i Paris.

Incipit Macrobius

Macrobius, or
the power of death over all.



O Creature / that byn resonable
The lyff desyryng / which is eternall
Ye may seen here / doctryne ful notable
Your lyff to lede / the which is mortall
5 Ther by to lerne / in especiall
Howe ye shal trace / the daunce which that ye see
To man & woman / that be naturall
For deth ne spareth / hih nor lowe degre

In this merour / euery man may fynde
10 That hym be houeth / to gon vpon the daunce
Who goth beforne / & who goth behynde
Al dependit in goddis ordynaunce
Werfor ech man / lowly take his chance
Deth sparith nouthir / pore nor blod roiall
15 Ech man ther for / haue this in remembraunce
Off oon mater / god hat forgid all.

Døden til paven
Døden til paven

Døden til paven

Ye that be sett / hih in dignyte
Of all estatis / in erthe spirituall
And lyke to peter / haue the souerente
20 Ouer the cherch / most in especiall
Opon this daunce / ye first begynne shall
As most worthy lord & gouernour
For all the worship / of your astat papall
And of lordship / to god is the honour


25 First me behoueth / this daunce with deth to lede
Which sat in erthe / heyest in my see
The estat perilous who so take hed
To ocupye seynt petris dignyte
But for al that / fro deth I may nat flee
30 Vpon this daunce / with odir for to trace
For such honour / who cam preudently can see
Is lytil worth / that doth so sone passe.

Døden til kejseren

Sir Emperour / lord of al the gronde
Most souereyn prince / surmountyng of nobles
35 Ye most forsake / of golde your appil rounde
Septre & swerd / & all your hih prowesse.
Behynd you / late tresour & richesse
And with othir / to my daunce obeye
Ageyn my myth / vaileth non hardinesse
40 That lordis gret / haue litil avauntage


I not to whom / I may appele
Whan deth me saileth / that doth me constrayne
Ther is no geynne / to socour my quarele
But spad & picoys / my graue to atteyne
45 A symple shete / ther is no more to seyne
To wrappen in / my body & my visage
Whe[r] vpon I me sore compleyn
That lordis gret haue litil avauntage

Døden til kardinalen
Døden til kardinalen

Døden til kardinalen

Ye be abaissht / it semeth & in drede
50 Sir Cardinall / it semeth be your cher
But for al that / ye folwe shal in dede
With othir estatis / this daunce to lere
Your gret araye / al shal leuyn here
Your hat of red / your vesture of gret cost
55 All thes thynges / rekynyd will I fere
In gret worshep good auys is lost


I haue gret cause / treuly it is no fayle
To byn abaissht / & gresly to dredyn me
Sith deth is comen / me sodynly tossayle
60 That [I] shal neuer [here] after / clothid be
In Grys nor Ermyn lyk to my degre
Myn hat of red / leuyn here in distresse
Bi the which / I haue lernyd will & see
How that all Ioie / endith in heuynesse

Døden til kejserinden

65 Lat se your hand / my lady dame emperesse
Haue no disdyn / with me for to daunce
Ye may a side / leyn al your richesse
Your fressh attyres devises of plesaunce
Your solyn cheres / your straunge contenaunce
70 Your clothis of gold most vnkouthly wrouht
Hauyng of deth ful litil remembrance
But now I see well / all is come to nouht


What availeth / gold richesse or perre
Or what availeth / hih blood or gentylnes
75 Or what availeth / fresshnesse or beute
Or what is worth / hih port or straungenesse
Deth sith chek mate to al such veyn nobles
All bodyly power now may me not availe
Raunsoun kynred frenshep nor worthynesse
80 Syn deth is come / my hih estat to assayle

Døden til patriarken
Døden til patriarken

Døden til patriarken

Sir patriarch full sad and humble of cheer
Ye mot with othir / gon on this daunce with me
Your double crosse of goold / & stonys clere
Your power hol / & al your dignyte
85 Som other shall / of trowth and equite
Be possessid in hast / as I rehers can
Trust neuer that ye / shal pope be.
For foly hope / deseyueth many a man


Wordly honour tresour & richesse
90 Hath me disseyued sothfastly in dede
My Ioies olde / be tourned to distresse
What availeth [it] such honour to possed
Hih clymbyng vp / a fall hath to his mede
Gret estat folk waste out of noumbre
95 Who so mountith hihest / stondith most in drede
Such heuy berden / doth hem oftyn encoumbre.

Døden til kongen

Ryth noble kyng / most worthy of renon
Com forth anon / for all your worthynesse
That somtyme had / so gret possession
100 Rewmys obeyeng vnto your hih noblesse
Ye most of nature / to this daunce you dresse
And fynally / your crowne & sceptre lete
For who so most / haboundith in gret richesse
Shal ber with hym / but a sengle shete.


105 I haue not lerned / here afforn to daunce
No daunce in soth / of fotyng so savage
Wherby I see / ful clerly in substance
What pride is worth / force or hih parage
Deth all fordoth / this is his vsage
110 Gret & smal / that in this world soiourne
Who that is most mek / hath most avauntage
For we shall all / to dede asshis tourne

Døden til ærkebiskoppen
Døden til ærkebiskoppen

Døden til ærkebiskoppen

Sir Archebisshop why do ye so withdrawe
Your lok your face / as it wer bi disdeyne
115 Ye most obeye / to your mortal lawe
It to constreyn / it wer but a veyne
For day be day / be rith wyll certyn
Deth at hond / pursueth euery cost
Prestis & deth may not be holdyn ageyn
120 For at oon hour / men countyn with ther hoste


Allas I wot nat / what party for to fle
For drede of deth / I stand in such distresse
Tescape his power / I can no refute see
But who that kneuh / his constreynt & duresse
125 He wold take reson to maistrasse
And seyn ad[i]eu / pomp & pride also
My paynted pales / my tresour & richesse
Thyng that behouyth / nedys must be do

Døden til connétablen

Ryth myht[y] prynce / be rith wyll certyn
130 This daunce to you / is myschessable
For more mythy / than euer was Charlemeyn
Or worthy Arthour / in prowesse ful notable
With al his knyhtys / of the rounde table
What dede ther platys / ther armour or ther mayle
135 Ther strong corage / ther sheldys deffensable
Ageyns deth availe / whan he hym dede assaile.


My purpos was / & myn entencion
To assegid castelis / & mythy porteressis
Rebellys to bryng / vnto subieccion
140 To seke worshepis / fame & worthyhesse
But I see wil / that all wordly prowesse
Deth can abate / whereof I haue despyt
To hym all oon / sorwe & swetnesse
For ageyn deth / is founde no respyt

Døden til biskoppen
Døden til biskoppen

Døden til biskoppen

145 Com ner sir bisshop / with your myter & Cros
For al your richesse / soth I [yow] ensure
For al your tresoure / so long kepte in clos
Your werdly goodis / & goodis of nature
And of your shep / the gostly dredful cure
150 With charge committid / to your prelacye
For the counte / ye shal be brouht to lure
Nouht is sure / that clymbith on hihe


Off thes tydynges / I am no thyng glad
Whych deth to me / so sodeynly doth bryng
155 It makit my face / & countenaunce ful sade
That for disconfort / me list no thyng to syng
O world contrary / to me in werkyng
Whych al estatis / can so dis[h]erite
And nedis we must / vnto our departyng
160 And shal passe / sauff oonly our merite.

Døden til ridderen/baronen

Comes & Baro
Erle & baron / which that thoruh regiouns
Haue sore labourid / for w[o]rshep & renon
Forget your trompetis / & your clariouns
This [is] no drem / nor symulacion
165 Somtyme your custom / & your entencion
Was in estat / & wordly worship to glade
But oft tymes it happith in conclusion
Oo man brekyt that a othir made


Ful often tymes / I haue ben autorised
170 To hih emprise / & thyng of gret fame
Off gret estatys / me thank also devisid
Chersshid with / princes / & lordis gret of name
Nor neuer on me was put no defame
In roiall courtis / which that were notable
175 But deth on warly / al power makit lame
And vndir heuyn / in erthe is no thyng stable

Døden til abbeden
Døden til abbeden

Døden til abbeden

Abbas & Prior
Sir Abbot & prior with your brod hatt
To byn abaissht / ye haue a maner riht
Gret is your hed / your body round & fatt
180 Ye most com daunce / thouh ye be nat lyth
Leuyn your lordship / to som othir wiht
You heyer is of age / the stat to ocupye
Who so is fattist / to hym I haue behiht
In his graue sonnest / shal putrefye


185 Of thy manace / I haue no gret envye
That I shall leve / al maner gouernance
But that I shal / as a cloisterer dye
This doth to me / somwaht the les gravance
My libertes / nor my gret haboundance
190 What may they availe in any maner wise
Yit aske I mercy / with devout repentance
Thouh toforn deth / to late men them avise

Døden til abbedissen

And ye my ladye / gentil dame abbasse
With your mantyl / furrid large & wyde
195 Your veil your wymple / your ryng of gret richesse
And beddis soffte / ye must now ley on syde
For to this dance / I must be your guyde
Thouh ye be tendre / borne of gentyl blod
Will that ye leff / your self provide
200 For affter deth / no man hath [no] goode


Allas that deth / hath so for me ordeyned
That in no wyse / I may nat hym eschew
Vnto this [daunce] / of rith I am constreyned
That here with othir / I must this trace sew
205 This pilgrymag / to euery man is dewe
An ernest mater / a mater of no Iape
Who that is alwey redy / shal neuer rewe
The hour abydyng / that god hath to hym shape

Døden til Iudex

That hand of your / my lord Iustyce
210 That have rewlid / so long the lawe
Wyll may men hold you / war & wyse
So that this drawht / be well drawe
Escape shal ye nat / wold ye neuer so fawe
Such doom to haue / as ye hau youen in soth
215 Wherfor men seyn / of an old sawe
Well is hym that alwey well doth


Allas ne were that myne entent
Was wel dresside / thouh I other while erred
Now shold I wetterly / be shamed & shont
220 For many causis / that I haue oftyn deferred
Sauff mercy oonly / now were I marrid
Blissid therfor is euery wyht
As bi holy scriptur / may ben averred
That in all tyme / doth law & kepyth riht

Døden til Doctor vtriusque Juris

Doctor vtriusque Iuris
225 Com forth doctor / of Canon & Cyvyle
In bothe the lawys / with long contynuaunce
Your tyme hau spent / bewar ye ded no guyle
In your maters / for to hau fortheraunce
Now must ye lerne / with me for to daunce
230 Al your law may you nat avayle
Gyff me your hand / & mak no perturbance
Your hour is come / this is withouten fayle

Doctor vtriusque Juris

A merci Ihesu / how mankynd is feel
And litil tyme in this world abydyng
235 No man of his lyff / hat nouther charter nor sel
Therfor it may be likned in al thyng
Vnto a flour / so amerously florshyng
Which with a frost / riht sone bigynnet to fade
Whan creuel deth / his massag list to bryng
240 All lyffly thyng / he bryngeth in the shade.

Døden til adelsmanden

Miles et Armyger
Knyht or squere / riht fressh of your araye
That can of daunces / all the new guyse
Thouh ye bar armys / well horsyd yesterday
With sper & sheld / at your vnkouth devise
245 And take vpon you / many strang emprise
Dansith with vs / it well no better be
Ther is no socour / in no maner wyse
For no man may / fro dethis power fle


Sith that deth / me holdit in his lace
250 Yet shal I spek a word or I passe
Ad[i]eu al merth / adieu now al solace
Adieu my ladies / somtyme so fresshe of face
Adieu beute / that lastith but short space
Off dethis chau[n]g euery day is pryme
255 Thynk on your sowles / or that deth manace
For [all] shal rote / & no man wot what tyme

Døden til borgmesteren

Com forth sir Mayr / which had gouernaunce
By polycie / to rewle this Cete
Thouh your [power] / wer notable in substaunce
260 To fle my daunce / ye haue no liberte
Estat is non / nor worly dygnyte
That may escape / out of my daungeris
To fynd rescew / exaumple ye may see
Nouthir bi rechisse / nor forsse of officers


265 What helpith now / the stat in <the> which I stod
To rewle Citeis / or comouns to gouerne
Plente of richesse / or incres of god
Or old wynnyng / that comet to me so yerne
Deth all deffaceth / who so list to lerne
270 Me for tareste / he cometh on so fast
Ech man therfor / shold a forne discerne
Prudently / to thynk vpon his last

Døden til Canonicus Regularis

Canonicus Regularis
Lat see your hand sir chanon reguler
Somtyme I shorne / to religion
275 As humble soget / & obediencer
Chastly to levyn / lik your proffession
But ther may be / no consolacion
Ageyn my sawes / sodein & creuell
Except oonly / for short conclusion
280 Who levith in vertu / mot nedis deye well

Canonicus Regularis

Why shold I gruchch / or dissobye.
The thyng the which / of verray kynly riht
Was I ordeyned / and borne [for] to dye
As in this world / is euery maner wyht
285 Which to remembre / is no thyng liht
Prayeng the lorde / that was sprad on ye rode
To medle merci / with his eternall myht
And save the sowles / that he bouht wiht his blod

Døden til kannikken
Døden til kannikken

Døden til kannikken

Sir dean or chanon / with many gret prebend
290 Ye may no lenger / hau distribuciouns
In gret aray / your tresour to dispende
With al your riches / & your pocessiouns
For kynd hath sett / her revoluciouns
Ech man som daye / to daunce on dethis brynk
295 Therof ye may / hau no dilacioun
For deth cometh / ever whan men list on hym [thynk]


My dyvers curis / my rich personages
Allas ful litil / they may me now conforth
Deth vpon me / hat gotyn his awantages
300 All my richesse / can make me now no sport
Amys of Grey / they must ageyn resort
Vnto the world / with many a gret prebende
For which trewly / as clarkis can report
To deye well / ech man shold entende

Døden til munken
Døden til munken

Døden til munken

305 Thouh ye be barbid / & clad in clothis blake
Chastly receyuid / the mantil & the ryng
Ye may nat the coursse of nature forsake
To daunce with othir / now at my comyng
In this world / is non abydyng
310 Nouther of mayde / widwe nor wyff
As ye may seyn here / clerly be wrytyng
That ageyns deth is founde no preseruatiff


It helpith nat / to stryve agayn nature
Namly whan deth / begynneth to assayle
315 Wherfore I consail / euery creature
To byn redy / ageyns this fel bataile
Vertu is siwer than othir plate or mayle
Also nothyng / may help at such ned
Than to provide / a sur acquytayle
320 With the hand of almasse / to loue god & drede

Døden til karteuseren
Døden til karteuseren

Døden til karteuseren

Yeue me your hand / with chekis ded & pale
Causid of watch / & long abstynence
Sir Chartreux / doth your chyne vale
Vnto the daunce / with humble paciens
325 To stryve ageyn / may be no resistens
Lenger to lyve / set nat your memorye
Thouh I be lothsom / outward in apperance
Above all men deth hat the victorye


Vnto this world / I was ded ago ful long
330 Bi my ordre / & my profession
Euery man be he neuer so strong
Dredit hym to dye / bi natural mocion
After his flesshly / inclynacion
Plese it my lorde / my sowle for to borwe
335 Fro fendis myht / & fro dampnacion
Som arn today / that shal not be tomorwe.

Døden til Sergeant in lawe

Sergant of lawe
Com ner sir sergante / short processe to make
Ye must com plete / affor the Iustice on hih
Many a quarel / thouh ye haue vndirtake
340 And for lucre / don ful gret remedye
Ther shal your sotil wittis / be demyd ful hih
Yeff slayhte & covetise / be nat exiled
Be war betymes / & labor for merci
For they that most trust them silf ar sonnest biguyled

Sergeant in lawe

345 Off rith & reson / bi natures of lawe
I can aleggen / nor make no defence
Nor be sleihte / nor statut me withdrawe
Tescape away / from this dredful sentens
For all my wit / nor gret prudence
350 No thyng in erth may no thyng preserue
Ageyns hys myht / to make resystence
But god quyth men / better than th[e]y desserue

Døden til Generosa

Com forth mastras / of yeris yong & grene
Which hold your selfe / of beaute souereyne
355 As fayre as [ye] was somtyme Pollicene
Penolope or the queen Eleyne
Yet on this daunce / they went both tweyn
And so shal ye for all your straungenesse
Thouh deynous / daunger long hat led your reyn
360 Vnto this daunce / ye mot your fotyng dresse


O cruel deth / that sparist non estat
To old & yong thou art indefrent
To my beute thou hast seyd chek mate
So hasty is thi mortal Iugement
365 For in my youthe / this was myn entent
To my servise / many a man to haue lurid
But she is a fool / shortly in sentensse
That in her fayrnesse is to mych assurid

Døden til astrologen
Døden til astrologen

Døden til astrologen

Magister in Astronom[i]a
Com forth [mayster] / that lokyn vp so ferre
370 With instrumentis / off astronomye
To take the grees / & hihte of euery sterre
What may availe / all your astrologie
Sith of Adam / all the genologie
Mad first of god / to walkyn vpon [the] grond
375 Deth doth arest / thus sith theologye
And [all] shul dye / For an appil ronde


For al my crafft / konnyng or sience
I can fynd / no provision
Nor in [the] sterris / serche out no deffence
380 Bi domefyeng / or calculacion
Sauff fynally in conclusion
For to descryvyn / our konnyng euery del
Ther is no mor / bi sentence of reson
But he that well levith / most nedis deye well

Døden til franciskaneren
Døden til franciskaneren

Døden til franciskaneren

385 Com forth thou Freer / to ye myn hand is rauht
Vpon this daunce / the to conveye & lede
Which in thi techyng / hast ful oft tauht
How that I am / gastful for to drede
All thouh that folk / take therof non hed
390 Yet is ther non so strong nor so hardye
But [I] dar arrest hym / & lette for no mede
For deth ech hour / is present & redeye


What may this be / that in this world no man
Heer for tabide / may hau no surete
395 Strengthe nor riches / nor what that he can
Or wor[dly] wesdam / al is but vanyte
In gret estat / nor in pouerte
Is no thyng founde / that may fro deth deffende
For which I sey / to hih & lowe degre
400 Wysse is the synner / that doth his liff amende.

Døden til sergenten

Com forth sergant / with thi statly maas
Make no defence / nor no rebellion
It may not availe / to gruchchen in this caas
Thouh thou be deynous / of condicion
405 For nouthir appil / nor protection
May the franches / to do no man wrong
For ther is non / so sturdy a champion
Thouh he be mythy / I am more strong.


How darst thou deth / on me set arest
410 Which am the kyngis officere
And yesterday / waIkyng est & west
My office dede / with ful spitous cher
But now this day / I am arestid here
And may not fle / thouh I had it sworn
415 Ech man is loth / to deye ferr or nerr
That hath not lerned / to dey afforne

Døden til nævningen

Maister Iurour / which that at assises
And at shires / questis didist enbrace
Departyd lond / after thi devises
420 And who most gaff / most stod in thi grace
The pore man / lost both lond & place
For gold thou koudist / folk disherite
But lat se now / that withyne so short a space
By for the Iuge how thou canst the aquite


425 Somtyme I was / callid in my contre
The bellewedder / & that was nat a lyte
Nat lovyd but dred / of hih nor lowe degre
For as me list bi crafft I could endyte
Hang the trewe / & the theffis aquite
430 Al the contre / bi my word was lede
But I dar sey / shortly for to wryte
Off my deth / many on wold be ful glad

Døden til troubadouren

Gentil menstrel / shew now thi witt
How thou canst pley / or fote the daunce
435 I dar wel say / [that] an harder fytt
Than this fel neuer to thi chaunce
Loke therfore / what may best avaunce
Thi sowle as now / & vse that I rede
Reffuce nyce play / & veyn plesaunce
440 Bettir late than neuer / to do good dede


Ey benedicite / this world is frel
Now glad now sory / what shal men vse
Harpe lute & fidel / fareweell
Sawtre sitol & shalmuse
445 All wordly merth / I here refuse
God graunt me grace / of such penaunce
As may my old synnes excuse
For all be nat mery / that other while daunce

Døden til Famulus

Seruant or officer / in this office
450 Yeff haddist ben / as god wold & riht
To pore & rich / don pleyn Iustice
Fled extorcion / with al thy myth
Than mayst thou / in this dance go lyth
Or ellis ful hevy / shalt you be than
455 Whan al domys / shal fynally be dytht
Go we hens / the tyde abydith no man


Shal I so sone / to dethis daunce
That wend to haue levid / yeris many
And sodenly forsake / all my plesaunce
460 Of offices / & profitis that long ther too
Yet o[on] thyng I consel or I goo
In his office / lat no man don outrage
For dred of god / and peyne also
Also servyce is non heritage.

Døden til lægen
Døden til lægen

Døden til lægen

465 Ye phisiciens / for many that lokyn so fast
In othir mennys wateris / what the eyle
Lok well to your self / or atte the laste
I wot what your medicynes / or craft wol availe
For deth comyng / sodeynly doth assayl
470 As wel lechis / as othir that shal ye knowe
Atte last Iugement / withouten any fayle
Whan al men shal repe / as they hau sowe


Allas to long / and to mych in phisik
For lucre I plye / al my besinesse
475 Bothe in speculacion / and in practik
To knowe & konne / al bodyli siknesse
But of gostly helthe / I was reklesse
Wherfor may help / nouther erbe nor rote
Nor no medicyne / sauff goddisse goodnesse
480 For ageyns deth / is fynally no bothe

Døden til købmanden

Come rich marchant & lok hiddirward
Wich hat passid many dyuerse lond
On hors & fote / havyng most reward
To lucre & wynnyng / as I vndirstond
485 But now to daunce / thou most yeff me thyn hond
All thyn old labour / whe[r] is [it] become nowe
Adieu veynglory both of fre & bonde
Non more coverth / than he that hat Inow.


Bi many an hil / & many a strong vale
490 I haue travailed / with many marchaundisse
Bi strong seis / I caried many a male
In sondri ylis / mo than I can devise
My hart inward / evir fret with couetise
But all for nouth / deth doth me constreyne
495 For which I sei / be record of the wyse
Who so enbrasith / he litil shal restreyn

Døden til Artifex

Yeue hiddir thyn hand / thou artificer
For ther is founde / no subtilite
But witt of man / that fro my daunger
500 To saue hym selfe / can haue no liberte
My strok is sodeyn for the which no man may flee
Bi corioust / nor konnyng of fressh devise
Kynd hat ordyned / it wil non othir be
Ech man mot passe / whan deth settith assyce


505 Ther is no craft / cerchid out nor souht
Cast nor compasid / bi old nor new entayle
I see ful well withyne my owne thouht
Ageyns deth / ther may nothyng availe
She pershith sheldis / she pershith plat & mayle
510 Ageyns her strok / konnyng nor siensse
Whan that her list mortally tassaile
Allas allas / ther may be non defence

Døden til bonden

Thou laborer / which in sorwe & peyne
Hast lad thi liff / & in gret travaile
515 Thou must here daunce / & ther to nat disdeyn
For thouh thou do / it may the nat availe
And cause whi / that I the assayle
Is oonly fro the / for to disseuer
This falce world / that causith folk to fayle
520 For he is a fool / that wenyth to leff evir

Bonden / arbejderen

I haue wisshid / affter deth ful offte
Althouh I wold / ha fled hym now
I had lever / to haue lyen vnsoffte
In wynd & reyn / & go forth to the plouh
525 With spade & picoyse / labourid for my prouh
Dolvyn & diked / & at the carte gon
For I may seyn / & pleynly avowe
In this world here / rest is ther non

Døden til barnet

Lytil childe / that wer but lat borne
530 Shape in this werld / to haue no plesaunce
Thou must with othir / that gon here toforne
Be lad with hym / with sotil ordynaunce
Lerne of new / to gon vpon this daunce
Ther may non age / in soth scape ther fro
535 Late euery wiht / ha this in remembraunce
Who so lyngest levith / most shal soffer woo


A. A. A. a word I can nat speke
I am ful yong / I was born yesterday
Deth is ful hasty / on me to be a wrek
540 And of his st[r]ok / I list make no delay
I cam but now / and now I go my way
Off me no more / no tale shal be told
The wyll of god / no man withstond may
For as sone dieth / a yong shep as an old

Døden til eremitten

545 Ye that ha levid / long in wyldernesse
And continyd / long in abstynence
Tyme is com / that ye mot you dresse
Off my daunce / to haue experience
For ther ageyns / is no resisstence
550 Take now leve of thyn hermytage
Wherfor ech man / aduertise this sentens
That this lyff her / is but a pilgrymage


Lyff in desert / callid solatori
May ageyns deth / hau no respit nor spas
555 At vnset hour / his comyng doth not tarye
And for my part / wilcom be goddis grace
Thankyng my lord / with humble cher & face
Off his yefftis / such as I haue assaide
Fynally / affermyng in this place
560 No man is rich / but he that halte hym payd

Den døde konge
Den døde konge

Den døde konge

Ye folk that lokyn / vpon this scripture
Conceyueth here / that al estatis daunce
Seth what ye be / & what is your nature
Mete vnto wormys / nat ellis in substaunce
565 And haue this myrour / ay in remembraunce
Before your mynd / abovyn al thyng
To alle estatis a trew / resemblaunce
That wormys fode / is end of your lyffvyng

What is manys lyff / but a contenaunce
570 Or as a puff of wynd / that is transitorie
As may be well perseyued / bi this daunce
Therfor ye that redyn this storye
Kepe thentent / in your memorye
And it shal steer you / into gostly lyff
575 To eschew peyn / & com vnto glorye
And be your socour / in al gostly striff

Be nat afferd this scripture in tyme of play
In your mynd / to revolue & rede
For trust verily / ye shal neuer the sonner dye
580 But it shal you synne for to drede
The which refusid / ye shal hau gret mede
Therfore among / haue mynd on this letter
And vse vertu / prayer & allmese dede
And than I dar sey / ye shal don the bettir

Explicit Macrabiorum