Lübeck's Dance of Death

The Hermit.

The hermit

De klusener
God de du in marien mynsche byst entfangen
Vnde letest dy an eyn bytter crutze hangen
Ick bydde dy vmme de marter de du vor my ledest willighen
Vnde vmme vordenstes willen al diner leuen hyllighen
Umme alle der guden werke wyllen de in der cristenheyt werden ghedaen
So see my armen sunder barmhertichliken an
Dat dyn durbar lydent vnde de merter swere
Mote my io nu helpen to der ewyghen ere:
Wente de guden werke dar ick my hebbe an ghepryset
De ik de to loue vnde to eren hebbe bewiset
Dat is dy allene bekant efte se ok gud werden ghericht:
Wente dyt wed ik dat se ieghen dyne gudheyt synt ghewert altes nicht
Van dyner rechtuerdicheit hebbe ik vele ghelesen vnde ghehort
De vyent heft my ghans vaken ernstliken bekort
To allen stunden beyde den dach vnde ok de nacht
In arbeyde vnde armode hebbe ik myn leuent to eynem ende ghebracht
Des wes here andechtich nu in desser myner lesten stund
De du iammerliken vnde sere vmme mynen willen wordest vorwunt.
O here erlose my alse du dedest den hylghen heliam(1)
Vnde alse du entwidedest den guden koninck ezechiam(2)
Nym my here vth dessen elende
Myne sele beuele ik in dyne hende.

Death with scythe

De doet
Ja broder conrat efte wo dyn name is gheheten
Dyner guden werke werstu altohant gheneten
Got wert dy lonen dorch syner groten barmeherticheyt
So vern du in dy neene ghuddunckelheyt
Hefst ghehad vnde ok nene glytzerie
Men bouen al othmodich also de vaders plegen in der wostenye
De ere leuent myt allen dogheden hebben ghetziret
Vnde van allen dotliken sunden(3) vlitichliken gheviret
De synt dy al ghesath vor eyn exempel
Ok holt men se grot in gotes hylgem tempel
Alse paulus. antonius. iheronimus vnde macharius
Siluanus. benedictus. eusebius vnde hilarius
Myt al den anderen vaders der er name gode is bekant
Der ere sele in dessem leuende heft gheholden de oueren hant
Vnde den licham vndergheholden in groter spengycheyt
Vnde hebben alsus den hemmel ghekregen myt ghewalt vnde strengycheyt
Guder werke gode to loue leten se syk nicht vordreten
Ritterliken ieghen alle sunde ghevecht des let ene got ewich gheneten
Bystu ene ghelik dat sulfste lon gyft dy god in dem ewygen leuen
Vnde werst barmehertichliken in dat boek des ewigen leuendes ghescreuen.

The Hermit Death to the Hermit The staff of the hermit Click the small pictures to see the original pages.

Notice the little crucifix at the end of the hermit's staff (enlarged in the picture to the right).

Baethcke's transcription

         XXXV. DE KLUSENER.
         Got, de du in Marien minsche bist entvangen
         Unde letest di an ein bitter cruce hangen,
         Ik bidde di umme de marter, de du vor mi ledest willigen,
         Unde umme vordźnstes willen al diner leven hilligen,
   835 Umme alle der guden werke willen, de in der cristenheit werden gedān,
         So se mi armen sunder barmhertichliken an,
         Dat dīn dūrbār lident unde de merter swere
         Mote mi jo nu helpen to der ewigen ere,
         Wente de guden werke, dār ik mi hebbe an gepriset,
   840 De ik di to love unde to eren hebbe bewiset,
         Dat is di allene bekant, efte se ōk gūt werden gericht,
         Wente dit wźt ik, dat se jegen dine gūtheit sint gewźrt altes nicht.
         Van diner rechtverdicheit hebbe ik vele gelesen unde gehōrt;
         De vient heft mi gans vaken ernstliken bekōrt
   845 To allen stunden beide den dach unde ōk de nacht;
         In arbeide unde armode hebbe ik mīn levent to einem ende gebracht.
         Des wes, here, andechtich nu in desser miner lesten stunt,
         De du jammerliken unde sere umme minen willen wordest vorwunt.
         O here erlose mi, alse du dedest den hilgen Heliam,
   850 Unde alse du entwidedest den guden konink Ezechiam!
         Nim mi, here, ūt dessem elende;
         Mine sele bevele ik in dine hende.

         XXXVL DE DOT.
         Ja broder Konrāt, efte wo dīn name is geheten,
         Diner guden werke werstu altohant geneten.
   855 Got wert di lonen dorch siner groten barmeherticheit,
         So vern du in di nene gūtdunkelheit
         Hefst gehat unde ōk nene glītzerie,
         Men boven al ōtmodich, also de vaders plegen in der wōstenie,
         De ere levent mit allen dogeden hebben geziret
   860 Unde van allen dōtliken sunden vlitichliken geviret.
         De sint di al gesat vor ein exempel,
         Ok holt men se grōt in Godes hilgem tempel,
         Alse Paulus, Antonius, Jeronimus unde Macharius,
         Silvanus, Benedictus, Eusebius unde Hilarius,
   865 Mit al den anderen vaders, der źr name Gode is bekant,
         Der ere sele in dessem levende heft geholden de overen hant
         Unde den līcham undergeholden in groter spengicheit,
         Unde hebben alsus den hemmel gekregen mit gewalt unde strengicheit.
         Guder werke Gode to love leten se sik nicht vordreten,
   870 Ritterliken jegen alle sunde gevecht, des let ene Got ewich geneten.
         Bistu ene gelīk, dat sulfste lōn gift di Got in dem ewigen leven,
         Unde werst barmehertichliken in dat bōk des ewigen levendes gescreven.

Footnotes: (1) (2) (3)

Elijah was in for VIP treatment when he died: " And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven " (2nd Kings 2,11).
Hezekiah got a respite and a helping hand: " [...] the word of the LORD came to him, saying, Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD. And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake. " (2nd Kings 20, 4-6)
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.


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