This is my current translation of the short poem about a Fechtschule, found in this printed illustration by Franz Hogenberg. This transcription is also my own. The image above is hosted by Wikipedia, with a little more information about it, and the licence for reusing the image.
Please note that this translation is released under copyright, and that while I am more than happy for people to use it for their own training and study, you must contact me to request permission to use it in any publication or for any commercial use.
For a change, there are not actually any meaningfully technical terms in this piece of work, so I have done my best to translate everything. My priority has been to ensure that the translation reads well in English.
If you find this translation and its footnotes interesting and useful in your studies, please send me a small donation to help keep the website online and to fund my work and research efforts. I will appreciate it immensely.
Keith Farrell (2019)
Keith Farrell (2023)
|Die Trum die ging geschwindt herumb,
|The drum went around quickly:
|Der meister ist des Schwertz, der kumb
|here comes the master of the sword!
|Am Fursten hoff all auff dem platz
|At the Furstenhoff on the square,
|Ist schöll bestelt in namen Gottz.
|the school was held in the name of God.
|Dar freyt der fechter seine Scholl,
|Then the fencer wowed his school
|Und gab verwar gar guten zoll.
|and gave forth a good toll of
|Haubtschleg, ohrenstreich, und maulschell gudd,
|head-strikes, ear-strikes, and good mouth-slaps
|Braachen den fechtren trutz und mudt.
|to break his opponents’ defiance and bravery.
|Behört zum Tuch alsolche farb,
|To the clothes belong a certain colour,
|Darna handler, darna gewarb.
|for which you act, for which you fight;
|Der geboren ist nach der lufft,
|Whoever is born to the air
|Draget und scharret solche frucht.
|carries and gathers such fruit.
|Anno Domini 1585 am to Tunn.
|AD 1585 in Tunn.
 Jens Peter Kleinau notes that the Fürstenhof was the castle in Düsseldorf and that today it is called the Burgplatz. https://talhoffer.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/1585-fechtschule-in-dusseldorf-at-the-julicher-hochzeit/
 I think this verse means that the clothes become coloured red with blood, and it is for this colouring of your opponents’ clothes that you act and fight. The people who are “born to the air”, which I guess could mean the fencers or a subset of fencers who are choleric in humour (hot and dry), will carry (receive) and gather (give) such fruit (the red blood on the head and clothes).
This is currently version 1 of the work, transcribed in 2019, translated into English in 2023, and released on this website in 2023.