Basel: The Peasant

The Peasant
Basel's dance of death, The peasant

Todt zum Bawren:
DV hast g'habt dein Tag Arbeit groß,
   Früh vnd spathe ohn vnterloß,
Dein Bürde wil ich dir abheben,
   Korb, Flegel, Dägen thu mir geben.

Death to The Peasant
You have had great daily work,
early and late without cease.
Your burden I will take from you.
Give me basket, flail and sword.

Der Bawr:
O Grimmer Todt gib mir mein Hut,
   Mein Arbeit mir nicht mehr weh thut,
Die ich mein Tag je hab gethan,
   Was zeihst mich armen alten Mann.

The Peasant.
Oh ugly Death, give me my hat.
My work doesn't pain me anymore,
the [work] that I have done every day.
Why are you dragging me poor, old man?

Büchel, THe peasant is missing his hat
Büchel, Peasant

Death loves to rip the hat off his victims. Just look at the abbot, the councilman and the painter's wife.

In Büchel's watercolor there is only a single feather in the farmer's hat.

English translation from Beck, 1852
Death to the Peasant.The Peasant's reply.

You've had your day of toil and sweat,
And laboured hard from morn till late;
Now from your load I'll set you free,
Basket, flail, sword, give all to me.

O Death. give me my hat again
To me my work no more gives pain.
'Tis but my task of every day;
Why drag me poor old man away?

Translation from Hess, 1841
Death to the Clown.Answer of the Clown.

Every day thou hadst labour great
Continually, soon and late,
Thy burthen, I take upon my word
Give me thy basquet flail and sword.

O terrible death my hat give me,
My Labour no more troubles me
Which all my time of life I had
To drag me so, is very bad.


Various Artists

Merian (1621)
Merian 1621: Peasant
Chovin (1744)
Chovin 1744: Peasant
Büchel (1768)
Büchel 1768: Peasant
Büchel (1773)
Büchel 1773: Peasant
Fragment (1805)
Fragment 1805: Peasant
Feyerabend (1806)
Feyerabend 1806: Peasant
Hess (1841)
Hess 1841: Peasant
Beck (1852)
Beck 1852: Peasant
Stuckert (1858)
Stuckert 1858: Peasant