Füssen, The pope

The pope
Hiebeler, Pope

Death to the pope

    der Todt.
Hailig seÿt ihr auff erdt genant,
Ohn Gott der höchst ist euer standt,
Doch kan ich warlich nit vmgon
Ich mueß mit euch den vortanz hon.

    Døden.
You are called holy on earth,
Next to God you have the highest position.
But I really can't avoid it
I must have the first dance(1) with you.

The pope

    der Bapst.
O Adam Adam vatter mein,
Vnß hast gebracht in dise pein.
Ietz mueß ich tantzen allen vor
Kompt allhernach zum todten thor.

    the Pope.
O Adam Adam, my father,
You have brought us into this torment.(2)
Now I have to dance before(1) everyone.
Come all after me to the gate of death.

Basel: pope. Note the letter of indulgence lying on the ground.
Merian, Pope

The first two lines of death are from the pope's words in Basel:

Basel: The Pope

HEilig war ich auff Erd genandt,
Ohn GOtt der höchst führt ich mein Stand:
[…]

As Rolf Paul Dreier points out, the dance in Füssen is Catholic, and the Pope gets a far better treatment than he received in Basel. Death speaks in the present tense, so the Pope is (still) called holy, even now that he is about to die.

The next line was very ambiguous in Basel. Does »Ohn Gott« mean next to God? Or godless / without God? Here in Füssen, the text can only be read positively.

The Pope's third line in Basel was repentance over his sale of indulgences. This was more difficult to give a Catholic spin, so the author instead lets Death utter a platitude: "But I really can't avoid it".

The fourth line about the opening dance is from Death's speech in Basel: »Ein Vortantz müßt jhr mit mir han«.

Füssen: pave.
Füssen, Pave
Pave Clement VIII
Clement viii

The Pope himself is in control of the situation. He is the one who opens the dance ("tantzen for") for the others in the row, and his words, "Come all after me" are exactly the same as those that finish the dance.

When the dance was painted in 1602, Clement VIII (1536-1605) was Pope.

Footnotes: (1) (2)

Opening dance. . .: A "Vortantz" is a dance at the beginning by the first (leading) couple, who open the dance.
Adam . . .: See the page about The Original Sin.