Copenhagen's Dance of Death, Part 4

Death on the lion

Death to the congregation.

Hello hello, you may all stand.(1)
would all of you help me
and walk with me along an unknown path.

It doesn't help you to say no.
Be it pope, bishop, and cardinal
canon, priest, monk, or official.
Be it student, or schoolmaster wise
I mean everybody who reads books.
Furthermore both emperor and empress
King, duke and duchess
Knights and swains, maiden and maids
Mayor and those who belongs to the council.
What is necessary now calls more and more,
you must all step forward in this dance
Come here, come here, you must go along
it doesn't help to resist now
be you all prepared in this time
and come all of you here in my fight
I will stretch you all on the ground
and make you all one foot longer(2)
Be it old, young, poor or rich
I mean all of them
Man's life is in the youth
full of sin and is very impious
The youth I give no peace
I dance with him till he drops down

Death on the lion Death speaks to the congregation If you want to see the original pages, click the little pictures.

If you want to read the page in the original medieval Danish, click the red-and-white flag at the top right corner of this page.

Footnotes: (1) (2)

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.
One foot longer . . .: Meyer has found several examples from the same period where Death is known to stretch the dying.

Anyway, it's a verbatim translation of Dodendantz from 1520.


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