Copenhagen's Dance of Death, Part 19


FlowerDøden til Cannicken

Her Canon, Proficiat, Bona dies.
bliffuer det forglemt her vorder nogit nyes(2)
Fem Sogne kircker haffde du
De skulle ille bekomme dig nu

Death with scythe

Du holt stor Grauiteet offuer dit bord
du ville icke Predicke ith Guds ord
De fattige ville du inthet giffue
der fore vil ieg hart met dig kiffue
Din graaskinde kappe skalt du aff legge

Death to the Canon(1)

Mr Canon, Proficiat, Bona dies.
If it becomes forgotten - here will be something new(2)
You had five parish churches
because of them it will go hard with you now.

You held great decorum over your table;
you wouldn't preach a [single] God's word;
you wouldn't give anything to the poor;
therefore I will fight hard with you.
You shall lay off your grey fur cloak …

The Physician Death with scythe Click the little pictures to see the original pages.

Holbein's dance of death. The canon's cape is made of square pieces of fur laced with animals' tails.
Holbein Proofs, Canon
Holbein's dance of death alphabet
Holbein Alphabet, Holbein: L

Apparently canons(1) often wore almuces of fur. Death makes a comment on the canon's »grey fur cloak« — presumably a cloak that's furred with grey fur. In particular the Siberian squirrel was called grey fur.

In London's dance of death, Death mentions the canon's »Amys of gris« (i.e. almuce of grey [fur]). And look at Holbein's hunt-happy canon and Holbein's initial L: Both of the canons wear cloaks fringed with animals' tails (pictures left and right). The same thing is true for the canon in Basel's dance of death.

Footnotes: (1) (2)

Canon . . .: a priest attached to a cathedral. The canons are so called because they lead a rule bound life, "vita canonica".
nyes / new . . .: Low German rhyme that the Danish author has copied directly from Dodendantz.

The strange statement is explained here.