Copenhagen's Dance of Death, Part 6

See now how it will go,
here you see Death stand before you.
Can you now come in Heaven -
then do your best and all you can.
You still have to dance with me first
even if you had four strings of pearls.
Now I will push you into my castle
she is full of sighs and sorrow.

The Pope Answers.

Mary have mercy, Miserere mei
help now St. Peter, Oui Ohei(1)
Eya aauih, am I now about to die
then help me now Mary maiden.
Although I'm chosen for a high rank
I'm still lost now.
I should have kept all Christians together
and led them into the right pastures
so that their souls could feed.
No, I was far too indifferent.
I have certainly invented much
that isn't based on the scripture.
All this followed me - was haughtiness and boast.
Eya,(2) now I fear for great shame.

The Pope

The holy fathers who were before me
bore good morals and great holiness.
and have shone in the temple of God
as an example to me and my successors.
I let myself believe I was a master

Death speaks to the pope The pope Click the little pictures to see the original pages.

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.

Footnotes: (1) (2)

Miserere mei . . .: Miserere mei deus is the beginning of Psalm 51 and means "Have mercy upon me, O God".

Notice that the Danish author has added a twist to the story: In both Des dodes dantz and Dodendantz the pope says "God have mercy upon me" in Low German - followed by "Miserere mei deus" - but in the Danish version the (Catholic) pope "forgets" God and prays to Mary and St. Peter instead.

Oui Ohei Eya aauih is some kind of exclamation. If you replace them with "Oh me, oh my, oh me, oh my", you'll retain both rhyme and rhythm.

Eya . . .: Exclamation of surprise.