The Bishop
Heidelberg's dance of death, Cardinal

Death to The Bishop

Ewr wirde vnd ere hot sich vorkart
Her byschoff weyze vnd wol gelart
Ich wil euch an den reyen czyen
Da ir den tot nicht mogit entpflyen
Your dignity and honour have turned wrong,
Mr. Bishop, wise and well learned.
I will draw you to the dance,
where you cannot flee Death.
 
Ich byn wirdiglich geerit wurden
Dy weyle ich lebete yn byschofs orden
Nw czyen mich dy vngeschaffen
Czu dem tode als eynen affen
I have been worthily honoured
while I lived in a bishop's office.
Now the misshapen are drawing me
to Death as a monkey.

This dialogue is a prime example of how The High German Four-lined Dance of Death differs from other dances of death - like those in Lübeck and Berlin.

The biskop is picked up by a corpse who drags him into a "reye", a German word which has several meanings such as row, series, line, (chain)dance, round dance and noisy merriment.

The corpse says that in this "row" the bishop will not be able to flee Death. The corpse then is not Death himself, and he's not alone: Apparently several beings are dragging the bishop, who refers to them as "the misshapen".

For further details, see Death's Dance, or Line of the Dead.


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