Copenhagen's Dance of Death, Part 22

Broder Siluanus, eller huad du heder
dig er, der ieg saa fast effter leder
Din Klosters regel oc falsk kyskhed
hielper dig icke til salighed
Kom nu strax och dantz met mig
en sorgfuld Afftensang kiender ieg dig

Flower Muncken

O Deus huor vnderlig lyde disse ord
dem hørde ieg aldrig offuer vort bord
I Kloster haffuer ieg rolige leffuit
oc megen vnderlig ting bedreffuit
Ieg haffuer och verit i Termen wde
och trøglid fra Bonden, øxen och stude
Ville nu døden vere mig saa blid
ath ieg motte leffue en stackit tid
Ieg ville fyllest for synden gøre
Nu vil icke døden slig snack høre

Flower Døden suarer

Hør her til nu broder Tuul
læg nu aff din Ordens Kuul
Ieg vil dig heden til mørckit sende
I sorg och drøffuelse skalt du dig vende
och all din Ordens glæde haffue ende

Death on the lion

FlowerDøden til Ridderen

Streng Ridder, fød aff edel stæmme
kom hid, ieg vil dig icke glæmme
Gack nu frem i denne dantz
din macht, verdens ære, oc din finantz

Brother Siluanus, or what you are called
it is you I'm searching so determinedly for.
Your convent's rule(1) and false chastity
doesn't help you to salvation.
Come now immediately and dance with me.
I announce to you a sorrowful evening song.

The Monk

O Deus, how wondrous these words sound;
I never heard them over our table.
I have lived quietly in convent
and committed many wondrous things.
I have also been out in the terminus(2)
and begged oxen and steer from the peasant.
Would Death now be so gentle
that I might live a brief time
[then] I would give satisfaction for the sin.
Now Death doesn't want to hear such talk.

Death answers

Listen to this now, Broder Tuul:
lay off now the cowl of your order
I will send you away to the darkness.
You shall turn yourself in sorrow and sadness,
and all the happiness of your order shall have an end.

Death to the Knight

Stern Knight, born of noble stock
come hither, I will not forget you.
Go forward now in this dance.
Your power, worldly honour and your deceit …

The monk Death on the lion Click the little pictures to see the original pages.

The monk is evidently a mendicant monk. In the Middle Ages the monasteries were among the greatest landowners but in contrast, mendicants like the Franciscans and the Dominicans would establish their convents within the cities and then go around in the neighbouring area — the so-called "terminus" — spreading the word of God and collecting alms.

On the picture of the monk (on the previous page) you can see him clutching his little bag of alms.

Footnotes: (1) (2)

rule . . .: Chapter (Latin capitulum) designates certain corporate ecclesiastical bodies in the Roman Catholic, Anglican and Nordic Lutheran churches.

The word is said to be derived from the chapter of the rule book: it is a custom under the Rule of Saint Benedict that monks gather daily for a meeting to discuss monastery business, hear a sermon or lecture, or receive instructions from the abbot, and as the meeting begins with a reading of a chapter from the Rule, the meeting itself acquired the name "chapter," and the place where it is held, "chapter house" or "chapter room." (from WikiPedia).

terminus . . .: The limit or district of the convent, in which brothers made regular visits to solicit alms.

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