Lübeck: The craftsman

The craftsman
The craftsman

The craftsman

Ach leider, wat schal mi bescheen?
Ovel hebbe ik mi vorgeseen,
Unde hebbe mi ser ovel bedacht,
Min Hantwerk so truwe nicht na getracht.
Dat Gut prisede ik sere;
Nu bidde ik di, leve Here,
Du mi de Sunde wilt vorgheven,
Unde late mi in din ewige Leven.

Oh woe, what shall happen to me?
I have foreseen badly
and have taken very bad care of myself.
I did not do my handicraft honestly
I was very fond of goods.
Now I ask you, Dear Lord,
that you will forgive me my sins,
and let me into your eternal life.

Death answers the craftsman

Gi Amtes Lude alghemeine,
Achten vele Dinges kleine,
Dat gi einen anderen bedreghen,
Unde vaken darinne leghen.
Up sterven hebbe gi nicht gepast,
Juwe Sele ser belast,
Dat wil juwer Sele wesen swar,
Klusenaer, volghe naer.(1)

You craftsmen - all of you -
pay [too] little heed to many things
[so] that you cheat each other
and furthermore often lie.
You did not waste any [thoughts] on dying
and you strained your souls.
It will be difficult for your souls.
Hermit, follow after.

The red area shows the location in the chapel in Lübeck
The painting in St. Mary's Church in Lübeck.
Lubeck #7

The craftsman and the merchant have been interchanged in the new text from 1701. This means that this person is erroneously called the merchant.

See the page about Jakob von Melle for details.

Footnotes: (1)

. . . wesen swar, Klusenaer, volghe naer: Two of the words in this triple rhyme are really Dutch and not Low German. In Low German "klusenaer" would have been "klusenere" and "naer" would have been "na".

"Misspellings" like these indicate that the text was translated from a Dutch original in the same way that the Copenhagen's Dance of Death contains a lot of Low German words.