Lbeck's Dance of Death

The Student

The student

De Studente

Non non expectate(1), beide wat, it is noch nein tt.
Ik hebbe studeret mit grotem vlt;
Dr en wolde ik nein gelt ane sparen,
Up dat ik vor einen gelrden man mochte varen.
In den seven vrien kunsten(2) plach ik jo to wunderen,
Unde ik hebbe geleret eine islike bisunderen.
Vaken hebbe ik gekregen scharpe correxien,
So wan ik jo plach to vorsumen de lexien.
Up der bursen sat ik tavende wat so lange,
Wi drunken scharpe, drvan is mi so bange
Im dem hovede unde k in dem magen.
Schal ik alrede sterven in minen jungen dagen,
Dat do ik nicht gerne unde gans node.
Ach mochte ik appelleren mit dem dode,
Dat desse sake worde vele jr vorlenget,
De mit mi so ernstliken is betenget.
Ach leider nein, dat is impossibile,
Wente mi is in alle minen ledematen we,
In dem rugge, in den siden unde k in dem magen,
In den benen, in dem halse wente to minem bragen.
Hrumme spreke ik: miserere mei deus,(3)
Vorlt mi nicht, wente du bist mn here et redemptor meus.

Death with arrow

De doet

Ja, ja, her domine efte Johannes, wo ik di schal heten,
Miserere mei sechstu to dem heren, des machstu geneten,
Wente van siner groten barmherticheit
Mach di dat ewige levent wesen bereit
Unde nicht van diner kunst, de du hefst geleret,
Wente dine werke hefstu vaken vorkeret.
De lere des hilgen ewangeliums hefstu nicht vlitichlk gesocht,
Men sunder Godes vruchten dn levent alsus hengebrocht.
Dat gelt, dat di dine elderen int studium hebben gesant,
Dat hefstu ein dl nicht wl bewant,
Vortrt unde togebracht mankt wilder partie,
Ein dl in der bursen, in krogen unde k up der corlie.
Dorch Got dedestu di nein grt ungemak,
Men du haddest eine conciencien so rume alse ein hoppensak.
Alsus woldestu dorch Got nouwe ein wort vordregen,
Men di mste men placebo seggen(4) unde dn alderwegen.
Geschach di ichteswat entegen, so woldestu vort to Rome laden
Mit ban, up dattu dinen evenminschen brochtest to schaden.
Mit drinken, spelen hefstu den hilgen dach hengebracht,
Des vasteldages vaken gegetten hefstu klene geacht,
Drto vorboden spise, sunder e gelevet,
Drmede gi halfpapen den leien quade exempel gevet.
Bistu unschuldich, so is van di dit nicht geschreven;
Umme dine rechtverdicheit wert di Got den hemmel wol geven.

The student Death to the student Click the small pictures to see the original pages.

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

Non non, expectate...: Latin for "no, no, wait!".
correxien...: Latin for "reprimands".
lexien...: Latin for "lessons".
redemptor meus...: Latin for "my Redeemer".
dominus...: Latin for "master".
The seven liberal (free) arts...: Septem artes liberales were studies taken by free men at the university for the sake of studying as opposed to those studies that were pursued for monetary reasons, such as handicrafts and law.

The first part of the study was grammar, rhetoric and dialectic, collectively known as trivium (Latin: three roads). These language studies build the foundation for further study. Even today trivium means "something that's easy to get to".

The students were now known as baccalaureus, (like today's bachelors). The original meaning of the word was "squire" or "young knight". The etymological root is unknown but since it sounds like bacca lauri (Latin for laurel berry), it became a tradition to "crown" the students with laurel leaves (even if it should have been laurel berries).

The next part of the study was the mathematical branches: astronomy, geometry, arithmetic and music - known as kvadrivium, four roads. After this the students became Magister artium liberalium or "master of arts".

Miserere mei deus is the beginning of Psalm 51 and means "Have mercy upon me, O God".
placebo seggen...: "seggen" is Low German for "to say".

The death mass started with "Placebo Domino in regione vivorum" (I shall please the Lord in the land of the living). To "say placebo (Domino)" means to say whatever people wants to hear. Even though placebo only means, "I will please" (please and placebo share the same etymological root) it soon came to mean, "I will please through deception" - a meaning it still retains in today's medical business.


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