The Peasant

The peasant

Ludewig SuhlThomas Nugent

    der Tod
Komm Landsmann an den Tanz von Müh und Arbeit heiß
So schwitzest du zuletzt den kalten Todesschweiß
Laß andre seyn bemüht mit Pflügen, Dreschen, Graben,
Dein saurer Lebenstag soll Feyerabend haben.

    XLII. Death to the peasant.
Sweating with heat and toil all day,
Peasant, I oft have heard you say,
You'd think yourself at ease and free,
Were I to come and visit thee.


    der Bauer
Ich trug mit Ungemach des Tages Last und Noth
Und aß vom Schweiß bedeckt mein schwer verdientes Brodt,(1)
Doch da mein Führer mich zur Ruhe denkt zu bringen
So kan ich wohl vergnügt das Consumatum singen.

    XLIII. The Peasant's answer.
Yes, Death, to thee I made my moan,
To you, kind sir, and you alone;
With labour hard and sweat of brow,
I earn the bread I live on now.(1)
To-day I little thought to see
A friend to ease me, kind as thee.
Then take me, sir, without controul,
And Lord have mercy on my soul.

Suhl follows Jacob von Melle and Nathanael Schlott in starting the dialogue with "Komm": »Komm Landsmann an den Tanz«, whereas the later sources (and the painting itself) writes: »Her, Landsmann, an den Tantz«.

Footnotes: (1)

Genesis 3:19, "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground;".