Copenhagen's Dance of Death, Part 3
They should all guard against this Death
if he would avoid the distress of Hell.
And hear God's words and believe them
and be perfect and not indifferent.
The fourth Death, he is so bad
no other thing is so terrible.
There is no other like it
because he will last eternally.
Because everybody who die in their sins(1)
and are not helped out of this misery.
If anybody dies in such infidelity
then he must live in Hell forever.
Therefore I advise both man and woman
who wants to win eternal salvation.
That you most not go hence negligently
But - on the contrary - stay in your faith
and arrange your life accordingly.
Then God will be praised and you'll be happy.
Then the natural death cannot hurt you
but will instead benefit and help you.
Therefore, be ready, at any place
when Death comes, to follow
That's the way it must be, let us not be afraid.
Christ has warned us, with his teachings.
In the Gospel it's written
that we should all think of it
We should be ready day and moment
because Death doesn't hesitate in any way(2)
If the goodman knew at what time
the thief(3) would come, he would guard with diligence.
With that watchfulness you should understand
that you shouldn't be so indifferent
but should always remain in your faith.
Then you can fight Death freely.
Therefore pay attention to this play(4)
where Death will catch everybody.
But this you should also learn now:
how he is going to scare all the infidels.
But for those who pin their hope on God's mercy
Death will be a great boon.
I mean that he will linger no more
but will quickly strangle us all
Therefore, stand still to see and hear
what Death has to bring
I believe I see him coming now(4)
for the harm of some and for the benefit of some.
If you want to see the original pages, click the little pictures.
If you want to read
the page in the original medieval Danish,
select the Danish section by clicking the red-and-white flag at
the top right corner of this page.
You don't want to die in your sins - John 8,24:
»I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins:
for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins«.
In Des Dodes Dantz
these 4 lines go like this:
In dem ewangelio, dār alsus gescreven steit:|
Waket unde bedet, weset alle tīt bereit,
Wente gi wetten nicht de stunde noch den dach,
Dat Cristus juwe sele van ju nemen mach.
In the gospel it is thus written:|
Watch and pray, be prepared at all times,
For you do not know the hour nor the day,
that Jesus will take your souls from you.
Apparently this is a reference to Jesus' words in Matthew 24:36:
"But of that day and hour knoweth no man,
no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only"
(also Mark 13:32).
Matthew chap. 24:43:
"But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what
watch the thief would come,
he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up
The preacher then proceeds to interpret the word "watch".
See also the notes about Death as a thief.
Copenhagen's Dance of Death appears, to a far higher degree
than the German counterparts, to have been meant to be performed as a play.