Heroic Epic and Tribal Roots
Sing ich dien liuten mîniu liet,
sô wil der êrste daz
wie Dieterîch von Berne schiet.
der ander, wâ künc Ruother saz,
der dritte wil der Riuzen sturm, sô wil der vierde Ekhartes nôt,
der fünfte wen Kriemhilt verriet ...
When I sing my songs to the people,
Then the first wants to hear
How Dietrich parted from Berne.
The second wants to hear where King Rother lived and reigned,
The third wants to hear the battle of the Riuzen, the fourth Ekhart's distress,
The fifth who was betrayed by Kriemhild ...
This is the beginning of a well-known Spruch of the Middle High German poet “Der Marner, ” a clericus vagans of the thirteenth century (c. 1230-c. 1280). 1. The term Spruch (or Sangspruch) denotes basically a poem in a topical, didactic, political, or moralizing strain, which is definitely not a love lyric, whether of a courtly or more popular nature. 2. In this poem the Marner provides us with one of the best Middle High German indications of the repertoire of a public singer and narrator. He complains that when he sings his liet,3.____________________