The Nobleman

Nobleman
Figuren, Figuren: Nobleman

    Der doit.
HEr Jungher furt myr(1) mußen dantzen
Hofyeren vnd houelichen schwantzen.
Kompt tzů stunt ich kan nyt beyden.
Züm dantze will ich uch leyden
Uwern schonen hoiff mußet yr nu laißen
Vnd in der stat dye schonen straißen.
Wollofft tzum dantz ys ist nů tzijt
Das yr goit von vwern werken antworten sijt.

Death
Mr. Nobleman, forward, we(1) must dance,
court(2) and strut courtly.
Come at once, I cannot wait.
I will lead you to the dance.
You must now leave your lovely court
and the lovely streets of the city.
Well then, to the dance. Now it is time
that you answer Gud for your works.
 

    Der iunckher
O Richer goit wannen kommet der doit
Der mich brenget in soliche noit
Sal ich ytzundt antwort geben.
Von all mynem sundtlichem leben
So betrube ich mych in den doit
Das ich nyt hyelde das gots geboit
Ich han wollüst gesucht off erden
Myn sele wolle goide zu deyl werden.

    The nobleman,
Oh, rich God, from whence comes Death,
who brings me in such distress?
Shall I now answer
for all my sinful life?
Then I regret in death
that I did not keep God's commandments.
I have sought pleasures on earth.
[If only] my soul might be taken by God.

Footnotes: (1) (2)

myr . . .: doesn't make sense. In the 1492-edition and in the manuscript in Kassel it says "wir".

In the 1520-edition it says »jr müeßt danntzen«.

to court . . .: to flatter in order to obtain favours. In the original meaning it was not just to flirt with the opposite sex.

The point here is that "to court" originally meant to act as at the (royal) court. The words »hofyeren« and »houelichen« point forward to the »hoiff« that the nobleman is told in line five that he must abandon.


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