Lbeck's Dance of Death

Chapter 2 + 3

See the translation and comments below.

Der he nemant weigert, de se socht mit vlt.
De vefte is de ewige dt to ewiger tt;
Drvor beware uns Jesus unser here
Dorch sinen dt unde siner hilgen vf wunden ere.

De doet       Dat ander capittel

Den dt der natr mote wi angn algelike,
Junk, olt, grt, kln, arm unde rike.
De stunde des dodes is beter wan der gebort,(1)
Wente denne ga wi to dem lone vort,
Dat Cristus uns in der tt vorwerf,
Do he an dem cruce vor uns starf.
In der bort is dat arbeit anstnde,
Dat dr is sorchvoldich mannigerhande.
Drto is dat levent in der joget
Vorvullet mit sunden unde veler undoget.
So we de stunde des dodes alle tt overdachte
Unde sik sulvest hlde un guder wachte
Unde nene dtliken sunde(2) vullenbrochte,
Dr dem duvel welk dnst van schn mochte,
Unde levede in den boden Godes des heren,
Dem queme de stunde des dodes to groten eren.
Schole wi entvangen dat ewige ln dat dr is grt,
So mote wi rst liden den bitteren dt.
Nicht schal men vruchten den natrliken dt,
Men ein qut levent, dat dr bringet in ewige nt.
Dorch den dt entvangen de guden grt ln sunder feil,
Nemant kan drvan tspreken dat minste dl.
Paulus hadde in dem dridden hemmel gewest,(3)
Alse men in siner epistelen lest;
He schrift, dat he sdans dr heft gehrt,
De nn sterflk minsche mach spreken vort.
Hrumme wi armen minschen slim unde breklik
Denken mr up dit gt, dat dr is ttlik,
Wen up dat ewige gt, dat dr is so grt,
Dat Cristus uns vorwerf dorch sinen bitteren dt.
Hrumme moge wi wol doren sin
To achten ttlk dink, dat dr men heft den schin,

Drmede de sele wert belast.
De nu ttlk gt kricht, de holt it vast;
Des kone we nicht gesadiget werden.
Jodoch schole wi nicht lange leven up desser erden,
Dat wette wi seker unde wis;
Desto grotter unse drheit gerekent is.
Ein jewelk denke to rugge korte jr,
Wo vele sint gestorven hr unde dr;
De weren eres levendes jo so vri alse wi in desser tt,
Ok mnden se to bruken dat ttlike gt, dat nu ein ander besit

Dat iii capittel

So we dr nu heft des ttliken gudes vele,
De is grt gerekent in dem spele;
De des nicht en heft, hetet ein armer wicht
Unde wert gerekent mankt den riken weinich efte nicht.
Doch kan de rechte arme bet Godes rike entvangen,
Wan de girige rike mit xxv gulden scholde aflangen.
Men leset van einem riken van gelde, ein uneddel man,
Dr de rechte rkheit noch nu in en quam.
He wart krank unde begunde k to olden.
Do sprak de dr: Got mochte wol sn rike beholden,
Dat wolde ik em gunnen, mochte ik beholden dat mn,
Drmede wolde ik tovreden sn.
Wat schal dat wesen gt unde grt geacht,
Drumme gesorget wert dach unde nacht?
Sus wert it gekregen mit swarem arbeide unde groter nt
Unde wert beseten in anxte unde sorgen grt
Unde wert vorlaten mit pinen, wen wi sterven.
Konde wi denne Gode unse sele erven,
So hadde wi unse ritterschop hr wl geovet.
Denne worde de arme sele nicht bedrovet.
Dat sik ein jewelk wl berede to desser saligen stunde,
So merke he t sines herten grunde
Den speigel des dodes, de hr navolgende is;(4)

[Translation continued from the previous page.]

since he rejects no one who seeks him with diligence.
The fifth is the eternal death for eternal times;
[May] Jesus - our Lord - save us from this
through his death and his holy five wounds.(5).

Original page Original page Click the little pictures to see the original pages.

Footnotes: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

the hour of death is better than the hour of birth.... Ecclesiastes: "A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth".
Deadly sin: A mortal sin is a voluntary act against the law of God and thus an aversion from God - as opposed to a venial sin that may be remitted.

Mortal sin is often confused with the seven capital sins / vices, namely vainglory (pride), envy, anger, sloth, covetousness (avarice), gluttony and lust.

Paul the Apostle's epistle is 2nd Corinthians 12,4, where he describes his meeting with Jesus' spirit in the third heaven: "[...] caught up to the third heaven. [...] and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.".
"Speyghel des dodes" has almost become the alternate title of the book. See the page about the dance of death as a mirror.
See the page about God's wounds. Notice, that the number of sacred wounds corresponds to the 5 Deaths that the preacher has just described.

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