Copenhagen's Dance of Death, Part 31
Helsel Kornute, Søster Bægine ,
Huad du heder, Vibicke eller Kirstine.
Da skalt du færdis en Vey saa lang,
Saare mørck oc meget trang.
Dit knudede Belte det hielper icke dig,
Du maat alt nu strax følge mig.
Min fader nødde mig i Kloster fra sig,
For hand vilde icke dert hielpe mig.
Der haffuer jeg lært at sy oc veffue,
Oc andet arbeide met mine Neffue.
Haffde min Fader hafft ret Forstand,
Hand haffde giffuet mig en Dannemand.
Det haffde værit behageligere for Gud,
End som jeg leffuit effter Menniskens Bud.
Thi jeg haffde aldrig ret kyskheds gaffue,
Jeg frycter nu megit for stor plaffue.
Thi Døden vil nu sin mact bruge,
Oc mig aldelis heden sluge.
Jeg er nu sted i megen vaade,
O Gud, hielp mig nu met din Naade.
Kom lad mig icke met dig trette,
Vi skulle nu strax gaa i Rætte.
Death speaks to the Beguine(1),
or the Nun.
Hello Auntie(2), Sister Beguine.
what[ever] you're named, Vibicke or Kirstine,
you shall travel a road so long, …
… very dark and very narrow.
Your knotted belt won't help you,
you must now immediately follow me.
The Beguine Answers
My father pressed me into convent,
because he didn't want to help me much.
There I have learned to sew and weave,
and other works with my hand.
Had my father had a good mind,
he would have given me a respectable man;
this would have more pleasing to God,
than if I lived according to human commandments.
Because I never had the right gift of chastity
I fear much for great torment,
because Death will now use his power
and totally swallow me away.
I am now in much trouble.
Oh God, help me now with your grace.
Come, don't let me quarrel with you.
We should now immediately go before the court.
Both pages are missing from Copenhagen's Dance of Death, so
the text has been taken from Dødedantz.
The picture of the beguine is from Des dodes dantz.
Beguine . . .: A member of one of various ascetic and philanthropic communities of women
not under vows founded chiefly in the Netherlands in the 13th century
Kornute / Auntie . . .: Bathcke translates Cornute as
"genossin, gevatterin, muhme" i.e. woman friend, little old woman, female cousin/aunt.