Copenhagen's Dance of Death, Part 12

Kom edle herre velbyrdig och skiøn
til dantzen est du megit kiøn
Du begerer end nu mere herredom oc land
oc beskatte oc plaffue mangen mand
Naar du skalt aff Verden gaa
din store rigdom kant du ey met dig faa
Gud haffuer giffuet dig megen mact
haffuer du vel giffuet der paa act
Da kand det komme dig til gaffne
naar Gud vil alle for dommen saffne
Men, huad det er, da kom met mig
til dødens borg da følger ieg dig

FlowerHertogen Suarer.

Hielp de hellige iii konger aff kolne stad
vil nu døden giøre mig wglad
End nu ath dø er icke min tid
ieg haffuer nu først til verden stor lid
Nu er ieg saa siug ieg kand mig ey røre
døden vil mig aff verden køre
Ieg maa nu lide denne nød
Gud frelss mig fra den euige død

FlowerDøden Suarer

The Duke

Gack hid strax och sig icke ney
ieg vil gaa met och vise dig vey

FlowerDøden til Cardinalen

Her Cardinal, met din lange suantz
gack nu hid i denne dantz

Come noble master, highborn and handsome.
You are very skilled for the dance.
You desire even more dominion and land,
and you tax and bully many a man.
When you are going from this world
you can't get your great riches with you.
God has given you much power;
if you have paid good attention to this
then it may benefit you
when God gathers all for the judgment.
But whatever it is, come with me
to Death's castle, then I'll follow you.

The Duke Answers.

Help! The holy iii kings of the city of Cologne.(1)
Will Death now make me unhappy?
It is not yet my time to die,
I have great confidence in the world
Now I am so ill that I cannot move,
Death will drive me off the world.
I must now suffer this distress.
God save me from the eternal death.(2)

Death Answers

Go hither at once and don't say "no".
I will go along and show you the path.

Death to the Cardinal

Mr Cardinal, with your long tail(3)
go hither now in this dance.

The duke The duke Click the little pictures to see the original pages.

Footnotes: (1) (2) (3)

The three wise men in Cologne
Relics in Cologne
Holy 3 kings in Cologne . . .: According to the legend, the three kings - Melchior, Balthazar, and Jasper - returned home and were baptized by St. Thomas (otherwise they would still have been heathens). Three hundred years later, empress Helena moved their earthly remains to Constantinople, and then on to Milan.

Emperor Barbarossa conquered Milan in the year 1164 and let his chancellor, Rainhald von Dassel, take the relics to Cologne / Köln, where Dassel was archbishop. The relics are stored today in the cathedral (together with bones of the apostles and fragments of St. Peter's cross), where the shrine is considered the church's greatest work of art and the most outstanding goldsmith work of the Middle Ages.

It should be noted, that the Bible doesn't say anything about 3 holy kings, let alone their names. Matthew 2:1 only tells us that »there came wise men from the east« and since they brought 3 presents (gold, frankincense and myrrh) it is assumed that there were three men. The legend about their baptism and their life originated in the 6th century.

the eternal death . . .: See the note on a previous page about the many kinds of death.
tail . . .: coat tails / train.