The Evil Monk

Evil monk
Figuren, Figuren: Evil monk

    Der doit
MOnch ich enweyß dych nit zu nennen
Ich eynen vor dem ander nyt erkennen
Uwer vetter anders gekleydt waren
Anders gestalt anders geschoren
Noch wer du bist oder wye du heyst
Aber(1) was ordens dich bewist
Du must dynen geyst off geben
Du kanst eynen dag nyt lenger leben.

    Death
Monk, I do not know what to call you.
I cannot tell one from another.
Your fathers were differently shaped,
different shape, different [hair]cut.
Neither [do I know] who you are, or what you're called,
nor(1) to what order you belong.
You must give up the ghost;
You cannot live a day longer.

 

    Der bose monich
ICh fůilen an mynem alter woill
Das ich sterben müß vnd soll.
Vnd das [ich] ye kap an mych genam
Aber eygen heller ye gewan.
Das wirt mych vmmer rüwen
Vnd alle monch sollen daz schuwen
Vijll beßer were in armůdt tzu leben
Dan in dem orden bose exempel tzu geben.

    The Evil Monk.
I notice well from my age
that I must and shall die.
And that I have put on a [monk's] cape
but preferred my own gain.
This I will regret forever
and all monks shall see it.
Much better would it have been to live in poverty
than to set a bad example in the [monk's] order.

Holbein: The monk
Holbein Alphabet, Holbein: O

The evil monk is of the Dominican Order.

In contrast to the good monk, the evil monk tries to escape from Death.

Compare with the monk and the nun in Holbein's dance of death alphabet.

Footnotes: (1)

Aber . . .: here is another case where "aber" is used in what Rieger calls "a Hessian way", and means "or" (German: "oder") and especially in the sense "noch", nor. Just like at happens with the knight.

In this case it says "aber" in the 1488-edition and the 1492-edition, but "oder" in the 1520-edition and the manuscript in Kassel.


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