Mr. Canon,(1) proficiat! bona dies!
If you were forgotten - that was something new!(2)
Hold on! Dance along in death.
Your prebends(3), interests, small and great
- all that is temporal - will you become rid of know
but God will reward good deeds in eternity.
Mr. Vicar, cum licentia, I come to you,
hold on quickly - and follow me.
You have been entrusted with the church - God's temple -
to give your congregation a good example.
Are you a good shepherd - a real prelate(4),
Then you will go forth, right now, to great state.
Oh, I know it well - I'm aware of this -
that I am bound to much ecclesiastical
that I haven't yet started.
Now I'm being tormented by Death;
I hadn't really believed in this.
Now I'll be bereft of all my office income.
Oh Christ, you died for me all willingly.
I implore you through your holy [men's] merits -
for all the good deeds that are being done:
look mercifully at me poor [man] -
let your holy wounds(5) and bitter death
help me now out of all distress.
The parish priest does not participate in Des Dodes Dantz so there is no wall-and-hilly-landscape-picture of him. Notice to the two shields in the frame below Christ. The first one shows three poppy fruits and for this reason the printery is called Mohnkopf today (High German "Mohnkopf" = poppy fruit). The other one is also typical for this printery and shows the letter T with a cross.
The frame and the picture are two different wood blocks. The four pictures below are but a small sample of instances where the Mohnkopf printery has used the same frame.
The woodcut itself — with John and Mary standing beside the crucified Jesus — is one that could easily have been used in the devotional books published by the Mohnkopf printery, but in fact Dodendantz is the only surviving book to contain this woodcut.
It's probably just a coincidence, but having a crucifixion scene in the middle of the dance is reminiscent of the dance of death in Berlin. This might be another example of the close relationship between Berlin's dance of death and Dodendantz. There was also a crucified Jesus in the middle of the dance of death in Kleinbasel.
Footnotes: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)