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Goethe: Der König in Thule

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Der König in Thule

Es war ein König in Thule,
Gar treu bis an das Grab,
Dem sterbend seine Buhle
Einen goldnen Becher gab.

Es ging ihm nichts darüber,
Er leert' ihn jeden Schmaus;
Die Augen gingen ihm über,
So oft er trank daraus.

Und als er kam zu sterben,
Zählt' er seine Städt' im Reich,
Gönnt' alles seinem Erben,
Den Becher nicht zugleich.

Er saß beim Königsmahle,
Die Ritter um ihn her,
Auf hohem Vätersaale,
Dort auf dem Schloß am Meer.

Dort stand der alte Zecher,
Trank letzte Lebensglut,
Und warf den heil'gen Becher
Hinunter in die Flut.

Er sah ihn stürzen, trinken
Und sinken tief ins Meer.
Die Augen täten ihm sinken
Trank nie einen Tropfen mehr.

The King of Thule

There was a king in Thule,
Was faithful to the grave,
Whom she that loved him truly
In dying a goblet gave.

He found no prize more appealing,
Each feast he drained the cup;
To his eyes the tears came stealing
Whenever he held it up.

And when he came to dying,
The towns in his realm he enrolled,
His heir no prize denying,
Except that cup of gold.

And at a royal wassail
With all his knights sat he
In the hall of his father's castle
That faces toward the sea.

The old carouser slowly
Stood up, drank life's last glow,
And flung the cup so holy
Into the flood below.

He saw it plunging, drinking
As deep in the sea it sank.
His eyes the while were sinking,
Not a drop again he drank.

Performed by Christian Wewerka

Other related sites

You can watch a performance of Der König von Thule by Elizabeth Söderström