The official

The official

Death to the official

Gy kluge wyse man her official
jw tidebuck ys yo dat decretal
got hadde jw vele wilkor gheuen
muchte gy nu hir ewichliken leuen
wat helpet dat gy vele appellyeren
gy muthen met my im dantz hauiren

You shrewd, wise man - Mr Official(1)
Your book of hours is truly the decretal.(2)
God had given you much authority.
Would you now live here forever?
What does it help that you appeal a lot?
You must make merry with me in the dance.

The official

Och dot ik hebbe dat wol eer gelesen
dat dynes richtes nymant kan ghenesen
dy richter ys so hoch besetin een man
dat van em nymant wol appellyren kan.
wat helpet dat ik vele blase den wynt
sunder help my nu jhesu marienn kynt

Oh Death, I have well read already,
that your law court no one can evade.
The judge is a man so highly placed
that to him no one can appeal.
What does it help that I blow the wind a lot?(3)
But help me now, Jesus, Mary's child.

Footnotes: (1) (2) (3)

Official . . .: A deputy for the Catholic bishop at the church court.
Decretal . . .: A papal decree (or a collection of papal decrees).
To blow the wind . . .: An expression designating a pointless act.

Compare with Brant's Narrenschiff: Wer bett, und weiszt nit was er bett, der bloszt den wint und slecht den schet i.e. "He who prays and know not what he prays for, he is blowing the wind and beating the shadow".