Berlin's Dance of Death, Part 6

Berlin's dance of death, part 6
Duke, knight, mayor and usurer

Duke

Her hertoch mechtich duchtich tho velde
(den ar)men ye vordruckede gy med gewelde
(unde d)en riken liethe gy bethemen
ik wil iw ock by deme liue nemen
ik laden jw snel an den dodendantz
des gy iw noch schalen gewanen gantz

Och barmhertige...........
.........sent.........
wat helpet my.....des duchticheit
sint......groter druffheit
.............wol gebaren
.................
Mr Duke - mighty, skilful in the field.
The poor you suppressed with power
and the rich you let have their own way.
I will also take the life from you.
I bid you quickly to the dance of death,
which you shall be totally wont to.

Oh merciful............
.......................
what does it help me.........skill
are..........great sadness
................wellborn
.................

Knight

Her ritter med juweme krewete stolt
hir hebbe gy gedragen dat rode golt
hebbe gy iwer ere hir genuch gedhan
so moge gy nhu froliken mede my ghan
legget dat scarpe swert van iwer siden
gi muthen med my an den dodendantz gliden

Och wat schal ik arme........en
wente nymant...........
................
................
...............
................
Mr Knight with your proud armour,
here have you worn the red gold.(1)
Have you done enough for your honour here
then you may go happily with me.
Put that sharp sword from your side;
you must accompany me in the dance of death.

Oh, what shall I poor............
when nobody.........
................
................
...............
................

Mayor

Her borgermeister van grotheme stade
gy sint die upperste in deme rade
dat gemeine beste stunt in jwer gewalt
dar thu dat recht der armen wol dusentfalt
hebbe gy den allen wol vor gewesenn
so moge gy desses dantzes genesen

Och gude doeth ick kan die nicht entwiken
du halest den armen vnde den riken
wen sie hebben gelewet wol dusent jar
so muthen sie noch volgen diner schar.
nimant is diner gewalt anich io ghewesen
O criste jhesu help my nhu dat ick genese
Mr. Burgomaster of high station,
you are the uppermost in the council.
The common good is in your power
and furthermore the rights of the poor a thousandfold.
Have you taken well care of all this
then this dance will not hurt you.

Oh good Death - I cannot avoid you.
You take the poor and the rich.
[even] if they had lived thousand years
they still had to follow your band.
No one has ever been out of your power.
Oh Christ Jesus - help me now [so] that I'll be saved.

Usurer

Her wukerer med jwen blawen sacke
vor gelt were gy van gudeme snacke
gy deden den armen ein schock vor twe
dar vmme muthe gy nhu liden groth we
legget van jwer siden den swedeler
gy muthen al mede jn dath olde her

Ach war schal ik arme nhu bliuen mhan
sint ik wuker nicht meyr ma(ch dr)iuen
mine kindere scholen dath wed(der) gewen
so mogen die med gade ewich lewen
des helpe my ok jhesus dhu ewige goth
wente van erden to scheydin is neyn spoth
Mr Usurer with your blue sack,
you have always spoken nicely about money.
You gave the poor a Schock for two;(2)
therefore must you now suffer great agony.
Lay [down] the purse from your side
You must now [go] along in the old army [of the dead].

Alas, where shall I poor man now be
since I cannot practise usury no more?
My children shall give it back
then they may live forever with God.
Help me too, Jesus, you eternal god,
because to separate from Earth is no joke.

The mayor was damaged because of water from a window above.

Footnotes: (1) (2)

worn the red gold...: According to Hermann Baethcke in Des dodes danz from 1876, only knights were allowed to wear golden spurs and to decorate their armour, helmet and shield with gold.
Schock . . .: German coin equalling 3 Guilders = 60 Groschen.

In other words, the usurer has given the poor people 60 Groschen while expecting to get 120 back.


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