Copenhagen's Dance of Death, Part 33
Haffde du end flere Embede(1) lerd
det hielper dig dog intet i denne ferd
Hielp nu Gud oc Sancte Loye
I aar skulde ieg skiude Papegoye
Døden giffuer mig ingen tid
hand bruger met mig sin største flid
O Gud, giff mig aff din miskund
der beder ieg om aff hiertens grund
Ieg vil nu strax gaa aff stæd
du vorder alt at følge mæd
Her Domine Baccalaurie, ieg siger saa
du skalt icke lenger til studium gaa
Haffuer du Studeret til Christi ære
en god hielp monne det dig nu være
Du skalt alt for den retuise dom
haffde du end Studeret i Rom
Nequaquam, Expectate, det er icke tid
ieg acter at Studere met større flid
I de siu fri konster vel geffue
at ieg maatte her effter ærlige leffue
Maatte ieg met døden disputere
om ieg kunde fri for hannem være
Ieg formercker det hielper mig icke nu
O Herre Gud, kom mig i hu
Even if you had learned more crafts(1)
it still helps you nothing in this travel.
The craftsman(1) Answers.
Help now God and Saint Loye(2)
This year I should shoot parrot.(3)
Death gives me no time
he uses his greatest diligence with me.
Oh God, give me of your mercy
I am praying from the bottom of my heart.
I will now immediately go away
you are going to follow along.
Death to the Student
Mr Domine Baccalaurie(4), I say thus:
you shall no longer go to the study.
Have you studied to Christ's honour,
it might now be you a good help.
You must now [go] before the fair judgment
even if you had studied in Rome
The student Answers.
Nequaquam, Expectate, it is not time.
I intend to study with greater diligence
in the well-respected seven free arts(4)
so I might live honestly after this.
Might I dispute with Death,
whether I could be free of him.
I sense it doesn't help me now.
Oh Lord God, remember me.
Click the little pictures to see the original pages.
Embede / Embitzmand. . . :
It will probably surprise a few Danes that these words mean "craft" and "craftsman".
In the Low German dances of death he's called "amptman",
and one can see from Des Dodes Dantz
that "craft" should be understood in a very broad sense: Death mentions 98 crafts such as
writer, day-labourer, musician, sawbones etc. etc.
Saint Eligius (or Loye) was goldsmith
before he became bishop of Noyon-Tournai in 642.
For this reason he's considered the patron saint of goldsmiths, blacksmiths, and all workers in metal.
Shoot parrot. . .:
Bird shooting or "Popinjay / Popingo"
was a popular sport where members of the guild would shoot at a painted, wooden bird.
Even today in Danish "having shot the parrot" means to have become unexpectedly successful,
although few Danes know the origin of the phrase.
Baccalaurie / the seven liberal (free) arts . . .:
Septem artes liberales were studies
taken by free
men at the university for the sake of studying as opposed to those
studies that were pursued for monetary reasons, such as handicrafts and law.
The first part of the study was grammar, rhetoric and
dialectic, collectively known as trivium (Latin: three roads). These language studies
build the foundation for further study. Even today trivium means
"something that's easy to get to".
The students were now known as
baccalaureus, (like today's
bachelors). The original meaning of the word was "squire"
or "young knight". The etymological root
is unknown but since it sounds like bacca lauri
(Latin for laurel berry), it became a tradition to "crown" the students
with laurel leaves (even if it should have been laurel berries).
The next part of the study was the mathematical branches:
astronomy, geometry, arithmetic and music - known as kvadrivium, four roads.
After this the students became Magister artium liberalium
or "master of arts".