Lübeck's Dance of Death

The Hermit

The hermit

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,
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,
De ik de to love unde to eren hebbe bewiset,
Dat is de 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
To allen stunde 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,(1)
Unde alse du entwidedest den guden konink Ezechiam!(2)
Nim mi, here, ūt dessen elende;
Mine sele bevele ik in dine hende.

Death with scythe

De doet

Ja broder Konrāt, efte wo dīn name is geheten
Diner guden werke werstu altohant geneten.
Got wert di lonen dorch siner groten barmherticheit,
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
Unde van allen dōtliken sunden(3) 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,
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,
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 barmhertichliken in dat bōk des ewigen levendes gescreven.

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

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

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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