The Abbot

The abbot

It is unclear on which side of the gateway the abbot was located after the duke was cut out in 1799. The photo on the left was taken across the railing into the dance of death chapel, and you can glimpse a tower and Death with a white shroud on his head.

The chapel Abbot

As you can see, there was not enough room for the whole abbot and his shepherd's crook to the right of the door.

Ludewig SuhlThomas Nugent

    der Tod
Hör, Abt! die Glocke schlägt die dich zu Bette ruft,
Nun tanze fort mit mir zu der bestimmten Gruft
Inzwischen laß die Furcht der Einsamkeit verschwinden
Dort wirst du ein Convent von tausend Brüdern finden.

    XVI. Death to the Abbé.
The clock now strikes that summons thee
To bed, strange bed, where all must lie;
Small spot of ground, where you must dance
With me; you think it dire mischance.
Of solitude be not afraid,
For there you'll find your comrades laid.


    der Abt
Zu steigen war mein Wunsch bis daß ich Ehren satt,
Ach aber! ach! wie bald kehrt sich das Hoffnungsblatt!
Indem ich Tag und Nacht nach hohen Tituln schnappe,
Erhascht ein schneller Tod mich bey der schwarzen Kappe

    XVII. The Abbé's answer.
O human hopes, how frail, how vain!
I thought ere long to be a dean:
Promotions, titles, all my view,
my dreams by night and mid-day too.
But hasty death has quite confounded
Those hopes, with which my dreams abounded.

Suhl, Jacob von Melle and Nathanael Schlott write: »nach hohen Tituln schnappe«, but the more recent sources (as well as the painting itself) say: »nach stoltzen Titeln schnappe«.