The Maid

Figuren, Figuren: Young woman

    Der doit.
IR iůnckfrauwe in dem groißen swantze
Ir gehoret auch an mynen dantze
Vijll hoiffart hant yr gedrieben
Beßer were yß in demůdikeyt blieben
Ir hant vff uwerm haubt gedragen
Hohe můdt der nyt steet tzů sagen.(1)
Kummet her nach ich uch nü lere
In allen dentzen dye leste kere.(2)

You, Maid, with the long train,
you too also belong in my dance.
You have shown a lot of arrogance.
It would have been better to stay in humility.
You have worn arrogance upon your head.
This cannot be gainsaid.(1)
Come on here, I'll now teach you
the latest turns in all dances.(2)


    die iunckfrauwe
ICh müß nu dye warheyt sagen
Ich wollt der werlt tzü maill behagen.
Myt dantzen vnd myt spryngen
Vnd auch myt sußem syngen
Vijll genůgden hain ich beseßen
Vnd der gebode gottes vergeßen
O mütter der barmhertzikeyt
Hijlff myr myn sunde synt myr leydt.

    The Maid.
I must speak the truth now.
I wanted to please the world very much(3)
with dancing and with jumping
and also with sweet singing.
I have had many pleasures
and forgotten the commandments of God.
Oh Mother of Mercy,
help me, my sins are hurting me.

Footnotes: (1) (2) (3)

The translation is a bit uncertain. Gert Kaiser (Der tanzende Tod) says that she has adorned her head with arrogance "without compare": »Ihr habt das Haupt geschmückt mit Hochmut sondersgleichen«.

Regardless of the exact words, the meaning is clear enough.

In the manuscript in Kassel Death doesn't just offer to learn the maid the latest dance steps, but the best: »In allen dantzen die beste kere«.
Pleasing the world is a bad thing from a Christian point of view.

Paul said: »If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ« (Galatians 1:10), James called for enmity with the world: »Adulterers! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God« (James 4:4), while Jesus demanded that his disciples hated their families: »Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple« (Luke 14:26).

Compare with Death's words to the young man in Lübeck: »Had you been hated by the world, it would be better for you […]«-