Mors de la Pomme, Soldiers

Mors de la Pomme, Soldiers
Holbein: Soldier
Holbein, Soldier

Death participates in the war with her dart and her parchment scroll. A soldier is hit by a lance, and Death gives him the death blow.

Half a century later, Holbein created a scene with Death attacking a soldier in the middle of the battlefield. Death attacks with a bone, but in many of the copies, e.g. those by Birckmann's heirs, Death is instead armed with a giant dart.

    The Soldier

I cannot defend myself against Death.
Her sting is sitting on top of me.
I would prefer that I fought
316 now with five or with six.

The winner, "Le champion", is not too happy either:

    The Warrior

Since this is how I will die,
I had better pay attention to Fate.
But as long as I am able to fight,
320 in all right, I will defend myself.


    La mort

Cil qui dist qui viue qui viue
Penser doit que premier morra
Cestui en debat et estriue
312 Mais de ce coup morir porra
Dissipa gentes que bella volunt

    Lomme darmes

De mort ne me puis descombatre
Son dard est dessus moy assis
Jeusse plus chier a me combatre
316 Maintenant a cing ou a six
Si exurgat aduersum me prelium in hoc ego sperabo

    Le champion

Puis que ainsi est que je morray
Lauenture me fault attendre
Mais tant que batillier porray
320 En bon droit me vouldray deffendre
Benedictus dominus deus israel qui docet manus meas ad prelium