The Carthusian monk

The Carthusian
The Carthusian

The Carthusian

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Death answers the Carthusian

Nu tret vort, di helpet nen klagen,
Du most din Part sulven dragen,
It sal di wesen swar,
Di mach nicht volghen nar,
Wen dine Werke gut ofte quat,
Din Lon is na diner Dat,
Nemant mach di des vorbringen,
Men, kum an, ik wil di singhen.

Now step forward, no lament will help you,
you must bear your fate yourself.
It will be difficult for you.
Nothing can follow you
except your works [be they] good or bad.
Your reward is after your deed.(1)
No one can take this from you.
Man(2), come here, I will sing for you.

The red area shows the location in the chapel in Lübeck
Location
The painting in St. Mary's Church in Lübeck.
Lübeck #4

This is where the text begins that Jacob von Melle wrote down in 1701. We'll probably never learn, what excuses the Carthusian had for not participating in the dance, but apparently they weren't good enough.

Footnotes: (1) (2)

Reward after deed: popular theme in the Bible. Compare with 1st Corinthians, chapter 3,8: "[…] and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour".
Man, come here . . .: Normally Death uses a more specific title (king, pope etc.) instead of simply saying "man". It should be noted that Jacob von Melle very rarely indicates the absence of single letters or words. Most of the time Jacob von Melle either writes a whole line or nothing. So we might guess that some of the letters were obliterated and that the text originally was "Nobleman, come here …".

At any rate it's too bad that it had to happen here where the verses are in a wrong order (as we will see on the next page).