Lbeck's Dance of Death

Des dodes dantz, Chapter 67 + 68

Wo mannich sine sele drmede vordomet;
Wente de sik hr sulven alsus vorhoget,
De wert nedder to der hellen geboget
Mit den duvelen, dede dorch den homt vellen
Van dem hemmel wente nedder to der hellen.

De doet       Dat lxviii ghesette.

Wille wi Godes hofgesinde werden,
So mote wi manliken vechten up desser erden,
Wente des minschen levent is eine ridderschop,
So heft geschreven de hilge duldige Job.
De wech, de to dem ewigen levende geit,
Is gans sml unde enge, alse in dem hilgen ewangelio geschreven steit;
De wech to der hellen is brt, grt, drvor gruwet mi sere.
Vele minschen wanderen den, sprikt unse leve here;
Vele sint geeschet, wenich tvorkoren vorwr;
Dit sint harde worde, de dr stn geschreven openbr.
Hrumme latet ju desse figuren vor ogen stn,
Wente in korten tiden mote gi dran.
De stunde unde de dach is Gode allene bekant,(1)
Wente alle dink heft he in siner hant.
Levet so, alse gi gerne willen sterven,
So gift ju Got dat hemmelrike to einem erven,
Wente de dt sendet ju nenen brf;
He kumt sliken recht so ein df.(2)
De siner selen salicheit mit truwen menet
Unde Gode mit allem vlite denet
Unde de bode Godes heft tvorsn,
Dat he der nicht wil breken nergen nn,
Unde deit bicht, ruwe unde bote vor sine sunde,
Desse de schal sik vrowen to des dodes stunde,
Wente denne kricht he sines arbeides einen ende,
Wan he schedet t dessen jamerliken elende.
Dorch den natrliken dt entvange wi dat ewige ln,
Alse dorch eine dr ga wi dorch den dt in Godes trn.
Scholde Cristus komen in sn rike,
Erst sterf he vor uns algelike.
De knecht is nicht boven sinen heren;(3)

Alsus en kone wi uns des dodes nicht weren,
He kumt, it si uns lf efte leit.
Hrumme waket unde weset alle tt bereit,
Sede Cristus unse leve here;
Eme si lof, dank unde ewige ere.
De dit heft gedicht unde laten sette,
Got mote siner nummermr vorgetten
Unde vorgeve em sine sunde klein unde grt,
Unde helpe uns allen t aller nt,
So wan de dt de sele schedet van deme live,
Dat se denne jo ewich mit Gode blive.
Death with spade A      m      e      n

 

    O mors quam amara est memoria tua homini pacem habenti in substantiis suis. Ecclesiastici xli.(4)

Double eagle Empty plaque

    Gedichtet unde gesat in der keiserliken stat Lubek na der bort Jesu Cristi

3 poppy fruits F and a cross

mcccclxxxix

Last but one page Last page Click the little pictures to see the original pages.

Double eagle The first printer's mark is the double eagle from the city arms of Lbeck.

3 poppy fruits Mohnkopf's logo Mohnkopf's logo The third printer's mark shows the three poppy fruits. The printery was anonymous but since they always displayed 3 poppy fruits they are called Mohnkopf today (Mohnkopf is the German word for poppy fruit). 2 other examples are displayed to the right.

F and a cross The last printer's mark is also typical for the Mohnkopf printery and shows the letter F with a cross.

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

Matthew 24,36: "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." (also Mark 13,32).
This is a quote from the book "Zwiegesprch zwischen Leben und Tod" from ca. 1484:

God sprack mit synem hilgen munde:
Waket unde bedet to aller stunde,
De dod sendet ju neynnen breff,
Mer he kummet slikende alse eyn deff.

See also this note about Death as a sneaking thief.

Matthew 10:24: "The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.".
The book of Sirach (also known as Ecclesiasticus) 41:1: "O death, how bitter is the remembrance of thee to a man that liveth at rest in his possessions[...]".

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