The Dance of Death in London

Carthusian & Sergeant.
Carthusian & Sergeant

Dethe to the Chartereux

Gefe me ȝowre honde / with chekes dede & pale
Caused of wacche / & longe abstinence
Sire Chartereux / & ȝowre selfe a-vale
Vn-to this daunce / with humble pacience
To stryue aȝen / mai be no resistence
Lenger to lyve / sette not ȝowre memorie
Thowgh I be lothsome / as yn apparence
Above al men / deth hath the victorie.
Gefe me ȝowre honde: Give me your hand

stryue aȝen: fight against

The Chartereux answereth

Vn to the worlde / I was dede longe a-gon
Be my ordre / and my professioun
Thowgh eueri man / be he neuer so stronge
Dredeth to dye / be kyndeli mocioun
After his flessheli / Inclynacioun
But plese hit to god / my sowle for to borowe
From fendes myȝt / & fro dampnacioun
Somme ben to dai / that shul not be to morowe.

hit: it
from the Fiend's might and from damnation
[there] are some [people] today who shall not be here tomorrow

Dethe to the Sergeaunt

Come forthe Sire Sergeaunt / with ȝowr stateli mace
Make no defence / ne no rebellioun
Not may availe / to grucche in this cace
Thowgh ȝe be deynous / of condicioun
For nowther peele / ne proteccioun
Mai ȝow fraunchise / to do nature wronge
For ther is noon / so sturdi Champioun
Thowgh he be myȝti / a-nother is as stronge.

deynous: disdainful
peele: appeal
fraunchise: make free

The Sergeant answereth

How dar this dethe / sette on me a-reste
That am the kynges / chosen officere
Whiche ȝesterdai / bothe este & weste
Myn office dede / ful surquedous of chere
But now this dai / I am a-rested here
And mai not fle / thowgh I had hit sworne
Eche man is lothe / to dye ferre and nere
That hath not lerned / for to dye a-forne.

surquedous: proud, chere: face, mien