Love and Luck

The text, ‘Liebe und Glück’ (‘Love and Luck’) tells a typical story of a young man taking a walk and meeting a group of women. One of them – she turns out to be Lady Love – talks to him (she knows he is the poet Wameshafft and greets him by his name) and introduces her friends, all personifications of virtues like steadfastness, luck etc. As the young man wants to leave (this is where our excerpt starts), another man arrives, and Lady Love aks him to stay.

Click here to listen to Liebe und Glück (read by Matthias Meyer).

ich wollt mit urlaüb ffon in gan                         I wanted to take my leave
da walt mich frau lieb nit lassen                      but Lady Love did not want to let me go.
sie sprach ssye dort hin aff die straßen          She said: “Look down the road,
dort her sso cumpt eyn jungelinck                  there comes a young man,
der hat zu myer gar groß geding                     who has high hopes for me
und auch zu den gespyellen myn// 63r          and my dear friends.
wolt im fraü glick behulffen ssin                      If Lady Luck would help him
so wird ssin ssach bald gut                            his life would take a turn to the better.
die sselb im ssullichen schaden duot            But she is doing him such harm
als er dan sselber hat gespruchen                 that he himself has said that she
ssye hat sich woll an im gerochen                  really has avenged herself well, even
vnd het er yr eyn gross getan                          if he would have done her great injustice.”
so kam herczu der junge man                        Thus, the young man arrived.
er grust die fraüen all mit sytten                      He greeted the ladies as he should
idlich yr hant begund ym byetten                    and every lady offered him her hand,
genummen uß fraü glick alda                          except Lady Luck.
deß wart der jünglinck gar unffro                    Thus, the young man became very unhappy
und sprach nü will ichß got clagen                  and said: “Now I want to complain to God!
sul ich myn kümmer lenger dragen                 Shall I carry my sorrow much longer?
will eß nit nemen noch eyn end                       Will it never end?
von leyd so wand er ssine hend                      From pain he wrought his hands,
ssin ffarb im alle da entweych                         his colour left him,
von großem schrecken wart er bleich.            from sheer terror he turned pale.


The end of the story, however, is a happy one, even for the young man whose ambitions in love so far have been thwarted by Lady Luck, for he will in future adhere to the right measure, mâze in Middle High German, and then Luck will relent and love (or Lady Love) will follow.


You could also look at the manuscript pages containing the text.


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