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Transcription by Klaus Grubmüller .

daz genselin | The Gosling

Source Information

daz genselin | The Gosling

by Anonymous

Original Source:

Manuscript E: Munich, University Library, 2° Cod., ms. 731, fol. 91v–93v.

Responsibility Statement:
  • Transcription by Klaus Grubmüller
  • Translation by Kathryn Starkey, Björn K. Buschbeck, Robert Forke, and Mae Lyons-Penner
  • Encoded in TEI P5 XML by Kathryn Starkey, Björn K. Buschbeck, Robert Forke, and Mae Lyons-Penner
Publication Details:

Published by Global Medieval Sourcebook.

Diz mere heizet daz genselin und sagt von einem münche und von einem magedin This tale is called 'The Gosling' and tells of a monk and a maiden
Facsimile Image
Ich hort sagen ein mer I heard a story told
wie ein kloster wer of a splendid
rich unde erbuwen wol and well-built monastery,
als von reht ein kloster sol as a monastery should be.
Facsimile Image
5
ir gasthus und ir spital Their lodgings and their infirmary
heten niht gesatziu mal did not have limited meal times
wan zuo welhen ziten der man for whenever someone arrived
geriten oder gende kan on horseback or on foot
der vant daz ezzen ie bereit he always found a meal prepared.
10
minneclich und unverseit Charitably and willingly
gap man swaz si mohten han. they gave whatever they had.
n
Note:

"Milte" (roughly: "generosity") is regularly portrayed as a key virtue in medieval German courtly literature. Here it is related to the Christian ideal of caritas ("charity").

also solten noch diu klôster stan. Would that monasteries were still this way!
ouch hort ich mer von in sagen I also heard something more about them:
ir kloster daz wer underslagen that their monastery was isolated
15
daz die munich und ir gemach
selten ieman fremder sach
und seit daz selbe mer The same story also tells that
das manic munich da wer there were many monks
der selten fur daz kloster kan that seldom left the monastery.
20
Nu was dar inne ein junc man As it happened, a young man lived there.
der het siniu jar vertriben He had spent all his years there
daz er dar inne was beliben since he was a child,
sit daz er was ein kindelin staying inside the monastery.
des muost im unbekant sin He couldn't have known
25
swaz lebt in dem lande what dwelled in the land.
wen daz er ors nach sage erkande He had only heard tell of horses:
daz man die solde riten that one could ride them.
Do kam ez zuo einen ziten There came a time
daz der apt solt riten when the abbot needed to ride out.
30
des wolt er nicht biten Without delay,
und wolt schaffen des klosters dinc he wanted to attend to the monastery's affairs.
in bat der selbe jüngelinc The same lad asked him
daz er in fuort durch daz lant, to take him along through the countryside
daz im würde erkant so that he would learn about
35
der site von dem lande the land's customs
des er vil klein erkande. of which he knew very little.
der abt der gewert The abbot granted
den münich des er begert, the monk what he desired
wan er in einveltigen sach. as he saw that he was ignorant.
40
in disem sinne das geschach: That transpired for this reason:
er gedâht, wirt im erkant he thought: "Should the lad learn
beide liut unde lant, about both land and people,
sô mac man im enpfelhen wol one could trust him with
swes ein man pflegen sol. the duties that need to be fulfilled.
45
er wirt uns ein vil nützer man. Then he will become a very useful man for us."
alsus fuort er in von dan. With that he led him from there.
sîn knehte niht vermiten, His pages didn't hesitate
mit ir herren sie do riten. to ride with their master.
ir pfert giengen schon enzelt. Their horses cantered nicely along.
50
do si komen an daz velt Once they reached the countryside,
swaz in vihes wider gie the monk never neglected to ask about
der münich nimmer verlie whatever animal crossed his path.
er sprach ie wie ist daz genant "What's that called?" he would ask.
der abbet der seit imz zehant The abbot readily told him
55
swie sin name sölt sin what its name was.
ez wer rint schaf oder swin Whether cattle or sheep or swine,
daz tet er im zuo rehte kunt he informed him correctly.
Do komen sie in kurzer stunt After a short while they came
zuo einem hove do sie hin wolten to a farmstead to which they were headed
60
und ouch da beliben solten and intended to stay.
do sie der meier gesach When the reeve saw them,
er lief gein in unde sprach he approached them and said:
got wilkommen lieber herre min "God bid you welcome, my dear Sir,
und alle die mit iu hie sin and all those here with you."
65
als man in die ors empfie After the horses had been taken care of,
der abte unt der münich gie the abbot and the monks went
zuo einem fiur an ir gemach to rest by the fire.
alsô schier daz geschach, Right away,
man zôch in abe sa zehant someone promptly took
70
ir schuohe unde ir obergewant. their shoes and coats.
Nu het der wirt ein schoenez wip Now, the host had a beautiful wife
und ein tochter, der lip and a daughter whose body
was ze wunsche wol gestalt, was everything one could wish for.
sie was wol zweinzic jar alt, She was about twenty years old.
75
die ouch dort her giengen, The two women also came there and
die herren sie empfiengen. welcomed the gentlemen.
der abbet hiez sie sitzen nider. The abbot asked them to be seated.
da warn si niht wider. They were not averse to this.
sie sazen nider an die stat. They sat down on the spot.
80
der münich den abbet aber bat But the monk asked the aboot
Facsimile Image
daz er in wizzen lieze to tell him
wie diu creature hieze what these creatures were called.
do sprach der abbet zuohant: The abbot replied readily:
"diz sint gense genant." "These are called geese."
85
dô sprach der münich: "crêde mich, The monk said: "My goodness!
sô sint die gense siuberlich. Geese are lovely.
wie kumt daz wir niht gense hân? Why don't we have geese?
die möhten sich vil wol begân They would fit in nicely
an unser klôsterweide." on the pasture at the monastery."
90
des lachten si dô beide
des wirtes tohter und sîn wîp.
si wundert sêre daz sîn lîp They were very surprised that he
was sô rehte minneclich was so handsome,
unt daz er niht verstüende sich yet didn't know
95
wie ein wîp er genant. what a woman was called.
den apte vrâgten si zehant Straight away, they asked the abbot
ob der herre sinnic wer. whether the gentleman was right in the head.
dô seit er in diu mer, Then he told them the story
als ir ê hant vernumen, that you have just heard
100
wie der münich dar was kumen about how the monk had come to the monastery
n
Note:

The literal translation of the Middle High German would be: "how the monk had come there". This refers to his youth at the monastery. To clarify the reference, we specified the "there" in our translation.

und wie er erwahsen wer. and grown up there.
als dô daz selbe mer
des wirtes tohter bevant,
dô gedâhte si zuohant: she immediately thought:
105
"er ist ein sô hêrlich man, "He's such a gorgeous man.
dêst wâr, ob ichz gefüegen kan, Truly, if I can make it happen
ich versuoch ob er diu wîp I will test whether he knows women
erkenne ir namen under ir lîp." in name and in the flesh."
der rede si gedagt, She kept her musing to herself;
110
ir gedanc si niemen sagt she told no one of the thoughts
des si gedâht hete. that she had formed.
Nû wart ez alsô spete It was now so late
daz die herren slâfen solten gân: that it was time for the gentlemen to go to bed.
nû wolt der meier des niht lân The reeve now insisted
115
er hiez in betten nâch irm sît: that beds be prepared for them as was befitting.
dô was ouch sîn tohter mit; His daughter was also present.
si schuof daz disem jungen man She arranged it so that the young man
wart gebettet wol hin dan had his bed
von den andern verre, far from the others
120
dar umbe daz der herre so that his master
möht haben sîn gemach. could be comfortable.
nâch sînem willen daz geschach. It was done according to his wishes.
Dô man die herren geleit, Right after the gentlemen had been shown to their beds
der wirt hiez gereit the host commanded
125
allez daz gesinde slâfen gân, that all of his household should go to sleep
den herren ir gemach lân. so that the gentlemen would be left in piece and quiet.
der münich niht slâfen mahte; The monk was not able to sleep.
er het manige ahte, He had many thoughts
wie ieglich dinc wer genant about what each thing was called
130
daz im des tages wart erkant. that he had encountered that day
diu juncfrowe ouch ungeslafen lac She also lay awake
mit gedanken der si pflac turning over in her mind
wie daz würde vollebrâht how to accomplish
daz si dâ vor hete gedâht. what she had thought of earlier.
135
dô die liute entsliefen über al, After all the people around them had fallen asleep,
dô stuont si ûf ân allen schal she got up without a sound
und sleich zuo sînem bette dar. and snuck over to his bed.
als ir der münich wart gewar. When the monk noticed her,
er sprach zuohant: "waz mac daz sîn?" he said straight away, "What might that be?"
140
Si sprach: "Ich binz, daz junge genselîn, She said: "It's me, the little gosling.
und hân vrostes vil erliten: I've been suffering dreadfully from the cold.
herre, ich wolt iuch gerne biten Sir, I would really like to ask you,
daz ir hin under liezet mich,
in der minne, daz ich
145
iht ervrüer, wan hie ist ez kalt." so that I don't freeze to death."
dô waz der münich einvalt The monk was so naive
daz er si zuo im hin under lie. that he let her slip under the covers.
in der minne daz ergie That was done out of kindness.
dô si dar under zuo im kam, When she joined him under the blanket,
150
dô konde dirre junge man this young man knew
mit ir lützel noch vil next to nothing
daz man do heizzet bettespil. about how to play so-called bed games with her.
dô konde siz ein wênic baz. She knew a little bit more.
mit guoter fuoge schuof si daz With great skill she
155
daz er in kurzer stunde quickly got him
des selben spiln begunde. playing the same game.
der münech die gans brûht The monk dealt with the goose
mit flîze, wan in dûht eagerly, because it seemed to him
im were wol und dennoch baz. that he was feeling good and would soon feel even better.
160
alsô lange treip er daz He carried on with it
Facsimile Image
unz si des tages sich versach. until she noticed the break of day.
dô stuont si ûf unde sprach: Then she got up and said:
"nu sült ir nimmer verjehen "You must never tell anyone
des von uns zweien ist beschehen. what has happened between the two of us.
165
würde ez dem abte kunt, If the abbot ever found out,
man tet uns beide sâ zestunt we would both immediately suffer
den vil grimmeclîchen tôt." a gruesome death."
vil tiure si im daz gebôt With great urgency she commmanded
daz erz geseite nimmer man. that he never tell anyone about it.
170
daz lobt er und gie si von dan He swore to that and she then retired
an ir heimlîch. to her chamber.
ir muot was fröudenrîch She was full of joy
daz si was dannân kumen unt dar that she had gone there and back
daz ir dâ nieman wart gewar. without anyone noticing.
175
Dô si kam an ir gemach,
dar nâch vil schier daz geschach
daz ûf begonde gân der tac. the day began to dawn.
das nâch ouch vil unlange lac The abbot and the monk
der abte und der münich dâ. did not stay in bed much longer.
180
si schuofen ir dinc iesâ They dealt with the affairs
durch daz si wârn kumen dar. for which they had come there.
dô si daz geschuofen gar, As soon as they had done this
zuohant si wider heim riten. they rode home again.
die klôsterliute niht vermiten, Once they had arrived home,
185
dô si heim wârn kumen, the brothers could not resist
der münech wart her genumen taking the monk aside
und frâgten in zehant and eagerly asking him
wie im geviel daz lant. how he had liked the country.
dô begunde er in verjehen He began to tell them
190
daz er wol hete gesehen that he had actually seen
vil dinge in dem lande many things in the country
des er ê niht erkande. that he hadn't known before.
des gelachten si vil, They laughed a lot at that.
sîn rede was ir aller spil. His tale entertained them greatly.
195
doch pflac er der kündekeit He was clever enough
daz ir keinem wart geseit that he didn't tell any one of them
wie im des nahtes ûf der vart
diu junge gans ze teil wart.
daz hal er sêre, als si in hiez; He didn't say a word, as she had told him.
200
nieman er daz wizzen liez. He let no one know about that.
Nû was ez vor der hôchzît Now at that time, it was before the feast day
die in dem winter gelît, which takes place in winter
diu wîhennaht ist genant. and which is called Christmas.
der abte besant zuohant The abbot immediately summoned
205
kelner unde koche. cooks and cellarers.
er sprach: "uns nâhet ein woche He said: "There is a week approaching
daz wir singen müezen und lesen. when we must sing and read.
nû sült ir der herren flîzic wesen Now, you should be attentive to the gentlemen
daz ir uns ein wirtschaft gebent. by preparing a banquet for us.
210
sô die liute mit arbeit lebent, The more tedium in people's lives,
so sol man ir pflegen dester baz." the better they should be taken care of."
die herren lobten alle daz. The gentlemen all praised that.
Der junge münich stuont dâ bî. The young monk stood there with them
Er sprach: "sît daz iuwer wille sî, and said: "Since you wish us
215
daz wir vollez ampt süllen hân, to hold full high mass, my dear master
sô sült ir nimmer verlân, you should not fail
müge ez an iuwern staten sîn, if it is in your power
so schaffet, lieber herre mîn, to provide
daz iedem man ein gans werde: every man with a goose.
220
sô wart ûf der erde Then no one on earth
nie keinen liuten baz." will ever have had it better."
der abbet vienc der rede haz: The abbot became angry at these words.
er hiez in swîgen. daz geschach. He bade him to be silent, and the monk was silent.
dar nâch er aber schier sprach: But a second later he said:
225
"gense daz ist ein wirtschaft, "Geese! That's a feast!
ob aller wirtschaft ein überkraft The most almighty of feasts
die in der werlt ieman gewan." that anyone in the world has ever enjoyed."
der abt sprach zuo dem jungen man: The abbot said to the young man:
"bruoder, tuot die rede hin. "Brother, be silent!
230
wâ hin haben ir iuwern sin Where have you left your sense
und iuwer witze getân? and your reason?
nû mügt ir iuch doch wol verstân Now, you should know
daz wir niht fleisches ezzen. that we don't eat meat.
ich will mich des vermezzen I will demand
235
ir müezt der rede buoz enpfân." that you do penance for your words."
er hiez in balde dannan gân. Immediately after that, he ordered him to leave.
des getorst der münich lâzen niht. The monk didn't dare to object,
er sprach iedoch: "waz mir geschiht, but he spoke: "No matter what happens to me,
guot weren gense, der sie mac han, geese would be good. For him who is able to have them,
240
guot unde wolgetan." they are good and fine."
hie mit wart er hin vertriben. At these words, he was thrown out.
die andern alle dâ beliben The others all stayed there
und schuofen um ir lîpnar. and busied themselves with their nourishment.
dar nâch satzten si gar Afterwords they agreed on
245
beide ir singen unde ir lesen, their chanting and readings
wer des meister sölt wesen. and who should be responsible for them.
dî daz allez wart gesat, When this was all agreed upon,
der abt im gewinnen bat the abbot asked for
aber disen jungen man. the young man to be brought to him.
250
er fuort in von den liuten dan He took him away from the others
an sîn heimlîch. to his room.
er bat in flîziclîch He asked him fervently
daz er im verjehe to tell him
dâ von diu rede geschehe the reason why he said
255
daz er der gense begert. that he desired geese.
der münich in des gewert. The monk granted him that.
Facsimile Image
dô er sô tiur wart gemant, When he was so strongly urged,
dô verjach er im zehant he told him without hesitation
reht der gense wârheit, the whole truth about geese
260
als ich iu ê hân geseit, as I have told you before:
wie er die gans hin under lie how he lay with the goose
und sich die naht mit ir begie. and spent the night with her.
dô daz der abbet bevant, When the abbot discovered this
trûreclichen er sprach zehant: he replied right away with sadness:
265
"leider mir, ir sît betrogen: "Alas, you have been betrayed.
ich hân iu selbe verlogen. I myself have deceived you.
crêde mich ez was ein wîp. Believe me, that was a woman.
iuwer sinnelôser lîp Your ignorant body
hât bî wîben gelegen. has lain with a woman.
270
ich solt iuwer baz hân gepflegen, I should have taken better care of you,
sô het ich reht getân." then I would have behaved dutifully."
buoze hier er in empfân. He commanded him to do a penance.
daz geschach nâch siner bet. The monk did as he was ordered,
doch wen ich er im unreht tet: but I think he was treated unfairly.
275
wan swaz er sünden dâ gewan, For, whatever sins he committed there,
dâ was der apt schuldic an. the abbot was to blame for them.
het er im die wârheit If he had told him the truth
ungelogen und âne spot geseit, honestly and without lies,
er het sich lîhte baz behuot. the monk would have guarded himself better.
280
spot und lüge ist selten guot: Mockery and lying are seldom good;
si sint sünde und ouch ân êre. they are sins and they are also without honour.
waz sol ich dâ von sagen mêre What more shall I say about this
denne ich hân alhie getân? than what I have already said?
ez ist mîn geloube und hân den wân It is my belief and my assumption
285
daz ze Swâben noch der münich sî that in Swabia there might still
vil lîht zwên oder drî easily be two or three monks
die diu wîp erkennent baz. who have a better understanding of women.
gedienten die ir meister haz, If they annoy their superiors,
die büezen ouch, daz ist mîn rât. they should also do penance. This is my advice.
290
hie mit die rede ein ende hât. Here the story ends.
Diz mere heizet daz genselin und sagt von einem münche und von einem magedin This tale is called 'The Gosling' and tells of a monk and a maiden
Facsimile Image
Ich hort sagen ein mer I heard a story told
wie ein kloster wer of a splendid
rich unde erbuwen wol and well-built monastery,
als von reht ein kloster sol as a monastery should be.
Facsimile Image
5
ir gasthus und ir spital Their lodgings and their infirmary
heten niht gesatziu mal did not have limited meal times
wan zuo welhen ziten der man for whenever someone arrived
geriten oder gende kan on horseback or on foot
der vant daz ezzen ie bereit he always found a meal prepared.
10
minneclich und unverseit Charitably and willingly
gap man swaz si mohten han. they gave whatever they had.
n
Note:

"Milte" (roughly: "generosity") is regularly portrayed as a key virtue in medieval German courtly literature. Here it is related to the Christian ideal of caritas ("charity").

also solten noch diu klôster stan. Would that monasteries were still this way!
ouch hort ich mer von in sagen I also heard something more about them:
ir kloster daz wer underslagen that their monastery was isolated
15
so that strangers seldom saw
the monks and their quarters.
und seit daz selbe mer The same story also tells that
das manic munich da wer there were many monks
der selten fur daz kloster kan that seldom left the monastery.
20
Nu was dar inne ein junc man As it happened, a young man lived there.
der het siniu jar vertriben He had spent all his years there
daz er dar inne was beliben since he was a child,
sit daz er was ein kindelin staying inside the monastery.
des muost im unbekant sin He couldn't have known
25
swaz lebt in dem lande what dwelled in the land.
wen daz er ors nach sage erkande He had only heard tell of horses:
daz man die solde riten that one could ride them.
Do kam ez zuo einen ziten There came a time
daz der apt solt riten when the abbot needed to ride out.
30
des wolt er nicht biten Without delay,
und wolt schaffen des klosters dinc he wanted to attend to the monastery's affairs.
in bat der selbe jüngelinc The same lad asked him
daz er in fuort durch daz lant, to take him along through the countryside
daz im würde erkant so that he would learn about
35
der site von dem lande the land's customs
des er vil klein erkande. of which he knew very little.
der abt der gewert The abbot granted
den münich des er begert, the monk what he desired
wan er in einveltigen sach. as he saw that he was ignorant.
40
in disem sinne das geschach: That transpired for this reason:
er gedâht, wirt im erkant he thought: "Should the lad learn
beide liut unde lant, about both land and people,
sô mac man im enpfelhen wol one could trust him with
swes ein man pflegen sol. the duties that need to be fulfilled.
45
er wirt uns ein vil nützer man. Then he will become a very useful man for us."
alsus fuort er in von dan. With that he led him from there.
sîn knehte niht vermiten, His pages didn't hesitate
mit ir herren sie do riten. to ride with their master.
ir pfert giengen schon enzelt. Their horses cantered nicely along.
50
do si komen an daz velt Once they reached the countryside,
swaz in vihes wider gie the monk never neglected to ask about
der münich nimmer verlie whatever animal crossed his path.
er sprach ie wie ist daz genant "What's that called?" he would ask.
der abbet der seit imz zehant The abbot readily told him
55
swie sin name sölt sin what its name was.
ez wer rint schaf oder swin Whether cattle or sheep or swine,
daz tet er im zuo rehte kunt he informed him correctly.
Do komen sie in kurzer stunt After a short while they came
zuo einem hove do sie hin wolten to a farmstead to which they were headed
60
und ouch da beliben solten and intended to stay.
do sie der meier gesach When the reeve saw them,
er lief gein in unde sprach he approached them and said:
got wilkommen lieber herre min "God bid you welcome, my dear Sir,
und alle die mit iu hie sin and all those here with you."
65
als man in die ors empfie After the horses had been taken care of,
der abte unt der münich gie the abbot and the monks went
zuo einem fiur an ir gemach to rest by the fire.
alsô schier daz geschach, Right away,
man zôch in abe sa zehant someone promptly took
70
ir schuohe unde ir obergewant. their shoes and coats.
Nu het der wirt ein schoenez wip Now, the host had a beautiful wife
und ein tochter, der lip and a daughter whose body
was ze wunsche wol gestalt, was everything one could wish for.
sie was wol zweinzic jar alt, She was about twenty years old.
75
die ouch dort her giengen, The two women also came there and
die herren sie empfiengen. welcomed the gentlemen.
der abbet hiez sie sitzen nider. The abbot asked them to be seated.
da warn si niht wider. They were not averse to this.
sie sazen nider an die stat. They sat down on the spot.
80
der münich den abbet aber bat But the monk asked the aboot
Facsimile Image
daz er in wizzen lieze to tell him
wie diu creature hieze what these creatures were called.
do sprach der abbet zuohant: The abbot replied readily:
"diz sint gense genant." "These are called geese."
85
dô sprach der münich: "crêde mich, The monk said: "My goodness!
sô sint die gense siuberlich. Geese are lovely.
wie kumt daz wir niht gense hân? Why don't we have geese?
die möhten sich vil wol begân They would fit in nicely
an unser klôsterweide." on the pasture at the monastery."
90
Both the host's wife and daughter
laughed at that.
si wundert sêre daz sîn lîp They were very surprised that he
was sô rehte minneclich was so handsome,
unt daz er niht verstüende sich yet didn't know
95
wie ein wîp er genant. what a woman was called.
den apte vrâgten si zehant Straight away, they asked the abbot
ob der herre sinnic wer. whether the gentleman was right in the head.
dô seit er in diu mer, Then he told them the story
als ir ê hant vernumen, that you have just heard
100
wie der münich dar was kumen about how the monk had come to the monastery
n
Note:

The literal translation of the Middle High German would be: "how the monk had come there". This refers to his youth at the monastery. To clarify the reference, we specified the "there" in our translation.

und wie er erwahsen wer. and grown up there.
When the host's daughter had listened
to this story,
dô gedâhte si zuohant: she immediately thought:
105
"er ist ein sô hêrlich man, "He's such a gorgeous man.
dêst wâr, ob ichz gefüegen kan, Truly, if I can make it happen
ich versuoch ob er diu wîp I will test whether he knows women
erkenne ir namen under ir lîp." in name and in the flesh."
der rede si gedagt, She kept her musing to herself;
110
ir gedanc si niemen sagt she told no one of the thoughts
des si gedâht hete. that she had formed.
Nû wart ez alsô spete It was now so late
daz die herren slâfen solten gân: that it was time for the gentlemen to go to bed.
nû wolt der meier des niht lân The reeve now insisted
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er hiez in betten nâch irm sît: that beds be prepared for them as was befitting.
dô was ouch sîn tohter mit; His daughter was also present.
si schuof daz disem jungen man She arranged it so that the young man
wart gebettet wol hin dan had his bed
von den andern verre, far from the others
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dar umbe daz der herre so that his master
möht haben sîn gemach. could be comfortable.
nâch sînem willen daz geschach. It was done according to his wishes.
Dô man die herren geleit, Right after the gentlemen had been shown to their beds
der wirt hiez gereit the host commanded
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allez daz gesinde slâfen gân, that all of his household should go to sleep
den herren ir gemach lân. so that the gentlemen would be left in piece and quiet.
der münich niht slâfen mahte; The monk was not able to sleep.
er het manige ahte, He had many thoughts
wie ieglich dinc wer genant about what each thing was called
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daz im des tages wart erkant. that he had encountered that day
diu juncfrowe ouch ungeslafen lac She also lay awake
mit gedanken der si pflac turning over in her mind
wie daz würde vollebrâht how to accomplish
daz si dâ vor hete gedâht. what she had thought of earlier.
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dô die liute entsliefen über al, After all the people around them had fallen asleep,
dô stuont si ûf ân allen schal she got up without a sound
und sleich zuo sînem bette dar. and snuck over to his bed.
als ir der münich wart gewar. When the monk noticed her,
er sprach zuohant: "waz mac daz sîn?" he said straight away, "What might that be?"
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Si sprach: "Ich binz, daz junge genselîn, She said: "It's me, the little gosling.
und hân vrostes vil erliten: I've been suffering dreadfully from the cold.
herre, ich wolt iuch gerne biten Sir, I would really like to ask you,
to permit me to slip under the covers
out of the kindness of your heart,
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iht ervrüer, wan hie ist ez kalt." so that I don't freeze to death."
dô waz der münich einvalt The monk was so naive
daz er si zuo im hin under lie. that he let her slip under the covers.
in der minne daz ergie That was done out of kindness.
dô si dar under zuo im kam, When she joined him under the blanket,
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dô konde dirre junge man this young man knew
mit ir lützel noch vil next to nothing
daz man do heizzet bettespil. about how to play so-called bed games with her.
dô konde siz ein wênic baz. She knew a little bit more.
mit guoter fuoge schuof si daz With great skill she
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daz er in kurzer stunde quickly got him
des selben spiln begunde. playing the same game.
der münech die gans brûht The monk dealt with the goose
mit flîze, wan in dûht eagerly, because it seemed to him
im were wol und dennoch baz. that he was feeling good and would soon feel even better.
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alsô lange treip er daz He carried on with it
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unz si des tages sich versach. until she noticed the break of day.
dô stuont si ûf unde sprach: Then she got up and said:
"nu sült ir nimmer verjehen "You must never tell anyone
des von uns zweien ist beschehen. what has happened between the two of us.
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würde ez dem abte kunt, If the abbot ever found out,
man tet uns beide sâ zestunt we would both immediately suffer
den vil grimmeclîchen tôt." a gruesome death."
vil tiure si im daz gebôt With great urgency she commmanded
daz erz geseite nimmer man. that he never tell anyone about it.
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daz lobt er und gie si von dan He swore to that and she then retired
an ir heimlîch. to her chamber.
ir muot was fröudenrîch She was full of joy
daz si was dannân kumen unt dar that she had gone there and back
daz ir dâ nieman wart gewar. without anyone noticing.
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Soon after
she came to her chamber,
daz ûf begonde gân der tac. the day began to dawn.
das nâch ouch vil unlange lac The abbot and the monk
der abte und der münich dâ. did not stay in bed much longer.
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si schuofen ir dinc iesâ They dealt with the affairs
durch daz si wârn kumen dar. for which they had come there.
dô si daz geschuofen gar, As soon as they had done this
zuohant si wider heim riten. they rode home again.
die klôsterliute niht vermiten, Once they had arrived home,
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dô si heim wârn kumen, the brothers could not resist
der münech wart her genumen taking the monk aside
und frâgten in zehant and eagerly asking him
wie im geviel daz lant. how he had liked the country.
dô begunde er in verjehen He began to tell them
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daz er wol hete gesehen that he had actually seen
vil dinge in dem lande many things in the country
des er ê niht erkande. that he hadn't known before.
des gelachten si vil, They laughed a lot at that.
sîn rede was ir aller spil. His tale entertained them greatly.
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doch pflac er der kündekeit He was clever enough
daz ir keinem wart geseit that he didn't tell any one of them
during the night while on the trip.
how he had partaken of the goose
daz hal er sêre, als si in hiez; He didn't say a word, as she had told him.
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nieman er daz wizzen liez. He let no one know about that.
Nû was ez vor der hôchzît Now at that time, it was before the feast day
die in dem winter gelît, which takes place in winter
diu wîhennaht ist genant. and which is called Christmas.
der abte besant zuohant The abbot immediately summoned
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kelner unde koche. cooks and cellarers.
er sprach: "uns nâhet ein woche He said: "There is a week approaching
daz wir singen müezen und lesen. when we must sing and read.
nû sült ir der herren flîzic wesen Now, you should be attentive to the gentlemen
daz ir uns ein wirtschaft gebent. by preparing a banquet for us.
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sô die liute mit arbeit lebent, The more tedium in people's lives,
so sol man ir pflegen dester baz." the better they should be taken care of."
die herren lobten alle daz. The gentlemen all praised that.
Der junge münich stuont dâ bî. The young monk stood there with them
Er sprach: "sît daz iuwer wille sî, and said: "Since you wish us
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daz wir vollez ampt süllen hân, to hold full high mass, my dear master
sô sült ir nimmer verlân, you should not fail
müge ez an iuwern staten sîn, if it is in your power
so schaffet, lieber herre mîn, to provide
daz iedem man ein gans werde: every man with a goose.
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sô wart ûf der erde Then no one on earth
nie keinen liuten baz." will ever have had it better."
der abbet vienc der rede haz: The abbot became angry at these words.
er hiez in swîgen. daz geschach. He bade him to be silent, and the monk was silent.
dar nâch er aber schier sprach: But a second later he said:
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"gense daz ist ein wirtschaft, "Geese! That's a feast!
ob aller wirtschaft ein überkraft The most almighty of feasts
die in der werlt ieman gewan." that anyone in the world has ever enjoyed."
der abt sprach zuo dem jungen man: The abbot said to the young man:
"bruoder, tuot die rede hin. "Brother, be silent!
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wâ hin haben ir iuwern sin Where have you left your sense
und iuwer witze getân? and your reason?
nû mügt ir iuch doch wol verstân Now, you should know
daz wir niht fleisches ezzen. that we don't eat meat.
ich will mich des vermezzen I will demand
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ir müezt der rede buoz enpfân." that you do penance for your words."
er hiez in balde dannan gân. Immediately after that, he ordered him to leave.
des getorst der münich lâzen niht. The monk didn't dare to object,
er sprach iedoch: "waz mir geschiht, but he spoke: "No matter what happens to me,
guot weren gense, der sie mac han, geese would be good. For him who is able to have them,
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guot unde wolgetan." they are good and fine."
hie mit wart er hin vertriben. At these words, he was thrown out.
die andern alle dâ beliben The others all stayed there
und schuofen um ir lîpnar. and busied themselves with their nourishment.
dar nâch satzten si gar Afterwords they agreed on
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beide ir singen unde ir lesen, their chanting and readings
wer des meister sölt wesen. and who should be responsible for them.
dî daz allez wart gesat, When this was all agreed upon,
der abt im gewinnen bat the abbot asked for
aber disen jungen man. the young man to be brought to him.
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er fuort in von den liuten dan He took him away from the others
an sîn heimlîch. to his room.
er bat in flîziclîch He asked him fervently
daz er im verjehe to tell him
dâ von diu rede geschehe the reason why he said
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daz er der gense begert. that he desired geese.
der münich in des gewert. The monk granted him that.
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dô er sô tiur wart gemant, When he was so strongly urged,
dô verjach er im zehant he told him without hesitation
reht der gense wârheit, the whole truth about geese
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als ich iu ê hân geseit, as I have told you before:
wie er die gans hin under lie how he lay with the goose
und sich die naht mit ir begie. and spent the night with her.
dô daz der abbet bevant, When the abbot discovered this
trûreclichen er sprach zehant: he replied right away with sadness:
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"leider mir, ir sît betrogen: "Alas, you have been betrayed.
ich hân iu selbe verlogen. I myself have deceived you.
crêde mich ez was ein wîp. Believe me, that was a woman.
iuwer sinnelôser lîp Your ignorant body
hât bî wîben gelegen. has lain with a woman.
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ich solt iuwer baz hân gepflegen, I should have taken better care of you,
sô het ich reht getân." then I would have behaved dutifully."
buoze hier er in empfân. He commanded him to do a penance.
daz geschach nâch siner bet. The monk did as he was ordered,
doch wen ich er im unreht tet: but I think he was treated unfairly.
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wan swaz er sünden dâ gewan, For, whatever sins he committed there,
dâ was der apt schuldic an. the abbot was to blame for them.
het er im die wârheit If he had told him the truth
ungelogen und âne spot geseit, honestly and without lies,
er het sich lîhte baz behuot. the monk would have guarded himself better.
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spot und lüge ist selten guot: Mockery and lying are seldom good;
si sint sünde und ouch ân êre. they are sins and they are also without honour.
waz sol ich dâ von sagen mêre What more shall I say about this
denne ich hân alhie getân? than what I have already said?
ez ist mîn geloube und hân den wân It is my belief and my assumption
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daz ze Swâben noch der münich sî that in Swabia there might still
vil lîht zwên oder drî easily be two or three monks
die diu wîp erkennent baz. who have a better understanding of women.
gedienten die ir meister haz, If they annoy their superiors,
die büezen ouch, daz ist mîn rât. they should also do penance. This is my advice.
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hie mit die rede ein ende hât. Here the story ends.
Critical Notes
Translation
Line number 11
Note:

"Milte" (roughly: "generosity") is regularly portrayed as a key virtue in medieval German courtly literature. Here it is related to the Christian ideal of caritas ("charity").

Line number 100
Note:

The literal translation of the Middle High German would be: "how the monk had come there". This refers to his youth at the monastery. To clarify the reference, we specified the "there" in our translation.

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