Todt zum Ritter:
HErr Ritter ihr sind angeschrieben,
Ritterschafft die müssen ihr treiben,
Mit dem Tode und seinen Knechten,
Es hilfft weder streitten noch fechten.
Death to The Knight|
Mr. Knight, you have been written down
that you must practice chivalry
with Death and his servants.
It helps you neither to struggle nor fight
ICh alß ein strenger Ritter gut
Hab der Welt dient mit hohem Muth:
Nun bin ich wider Ritters Orden
An diesen Tantz gezwungen worden.
I - as a stern knight -
have served the world well with noble mind.
Now I've been - against knights' order -
coerced to this dance.
The dialogue is taken almost verbatim from Heidelberg's block book and other versions of the high German dance of death.
Death has put on an armour. It's not unusual for Death to imitate his victim, but if we look at the mural in Kleinbasel (to the left), Death is stark naked. The idea with Death putting on an armour in Basel must then have been a more recent addition from some later renovation.
|English translation from Beck, 1852|
|Death to the Knight.||The Knight's reply.|
Sir Knight, your name is in my list
As true and valiant Knight I've served
|Translation from Hess, 1841|
|Death to the Knight.||Answer of the Knight.|
Lord knight you are written down,
I as a good and severe knight,