The Empress
Heidelberg's dance of death, Empress

Death to The Empress

Ich tancze euch vor frawe keysereyn
Springt mir noch der rat yst meyn
Die sperbrechir sint von euch gewichen
Der tod hot euch alleyne dirslichen
I dance before you,(1) Mrs. Empress.
Spring after me, that's my advice.
The warriors(2) have left you
Death has come sneaking(3) to you alone.
 
Wollust hatte meyn stolczer leib
Do ich lebete als eyns keysers weib
Nw hot mich der tod czu schanden brocht
Daz mir keyn frund yst mer irdocht.
My proud body had sensual pleasures,
while I lived as an emperor's wife.
Now has Death destroyed me,
so that no friend(4) can be found for me anymore.

dance before . . .: German "Tanzen vor" means to execute the steps of the dance, so the partner or the audience can learn the dance.
warriors . . .: the literal meaning of "sperbrechir" is spear-breakers.
You may want to see the page about the Judgment Day and Death as a sneaking thief.
keyn frund. . .: In the other versions of Oberdeutscher vierzeiliger Totentanz like CPG 314 the empress says "kein frewd" / "dehain fröd" - no happiness.

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