Footnote: Oswald von Wolkenstein

1The miniature ‘portraits’ of the poets in the Weingartner, as well as the Große Heidelberger Liederhandschrift  are merely typifications and do not represent realistic portraits.  For accuracy’s sake it ought to be mentioned that manuscript A also contains illustrations, though no individual portrait of Oswald.
2Prussia, Lithuania, Turkey, Sweden, Denmark, the Low Countries, France, Spain, England, Scottland, and as far away as Arabia and Persia, to name a few.
3the Greeks (Greek Orthodox)
4Falber:  a reddish-brown horse
5Laufbursch:  messenger
6King Ruprecht (1400-1410) from the Palatinate in whose ill-fated Italian campaign of 1401 Oswald supposedly participated;  Oswald served King Sigismund (1410-1437) on diplomatic missions to various countries, including England and Scotland.
7ladinisch:  Ladin, a distinct Romance dialect spoken in southeastern Switzerland, northern Italy and the Tyrol.
8An indication that Oswald at least occasionally accompanied himself
9Brigantine:  two-masted ship
11Queen Margareta of Aragon, born in the Catalan town of Prades, the young widow of King Martin I of Aragon
12‘do not ever untie it’
13city in southern France where King Sigismund was supposed to meet  King Ferdinand I of Castile and Aragon and the schismatic Pope Benedict XIII (Peter of Luna)
14halber Laienbruder:  a Beghard, that is a member of a lay brotherhood dating to the thirteenth century;  Oswald may be alluding here to his pilgrimage to the Holy Land (c.1409).
15Quentchen:  slighest amount of
16that is, she insisted that he dress in monastic garb ("Kutte" means cowl, a cloak with a hood;  here, the grey attire of pilgrims).
17Schüttelfrost:  chills
18Greek Island whose male population is at sea most of the year
19that is, the one who loaded this all-too-heavy burden on his shoulders
20ringen:  to wring
21wüstes Treiben:  riotous, dissolute living
22Zerknirschung:  contrition
23im Raffen bin ich unersättlich:  my rapacious disposition knows no limits
24Hoffart:  excessive pride
25Habgier:  greed
26Prassen:  carousing
27eselsträge:  lazy as a donkey;  hundescharf:  envious like a dog
28schaff Gelegenheiten:  encourage others to commit sins.
29This may  well be an allusion to the so-called «Gravamina» which were, among others, complaints by the peasants about the many kinds of abuse suffered at the hands of noblemen. Note, however, that the original text has "armen" and not "gepawren."
30Inbrunst:  religious ardor, piety
31das Sakrament:  holy communion;  Ölung:  extreme unction
32This clearly corroborates what was said above in the introduction to this poem.
33Hussiten:  the followers of the Czech reformer and first president of the University of Prague Jan Hus.  Hus had condemned the practice of indulgences, private confession, the hierarchy of the Church, monasticism, and the influence of German professors at Czech universities and demanded communion under both species («Laienkelch»).  He was burned at the stake at the Council of Constance in 1415.
34die vier himmelschreienden Sünden:  the four most heinous sins mentioned in ll. 33-36:  to spill innocent blood, to suppress the peasants, to commit homosexual acts, and to cheat people.
35that is, the burden
36arpeggierend:  ‘notes of a chord played in quick succession instead of simultaneously’
37Wirkungskraft der Edelsteine:  magic/potency of precious stones
38Ostermacht:  Easter mystery
39läßlich:  pleasing
40sacht:  ever so gently
41Banta points out that "in medieval poetry we are not told whether the beloved’s eyes are blue or green, large or widely set, mischievous or creaming, but only that they are ‘luminous’" (JEGP  66, 62).
42All the descriptive adjectives employed her by Oswald to express erotic talk ("schmuslich":  ‘nuzzling’; "koslich":  ‘caressing’) are practically all hapax legomena, that is, words that only appear once.  The same holds true of the adjectives used to describe the lady’s sensuous lips in l. 23.  Kühn’s translation superbly captures this mood.
43sehnsuchtsschwer:  describes the pain of yearning for one’s lover
44Ösilein:  affectionate diminutive for ‘Oswald’
45gurren:  to coo, ‘purr’
46das gibt dem Affen Zucker:  ‘that makes me be wild about you ’