Verse > Anthologies > Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans. > A Harvest of German Verse
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Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans.  A Harvest of German Verse.  1916.
 
King in Thule
By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832)
 
THERE was a king in Thule,
Right faithful to his grave,
To whom his dying sweetheart
A golden goblet gave.
 
Naught else he loved above it,        5
He emptied it every meal;
And so he used to love it—
The tears from his eyes would steal.
 
He felt that he was dying,
And gave unto his heir        10
The towns in his kingdom lying—
But not the goblet rare.
 
He sat at the banquet royal
In the old hall solemnly,
With all his vassals loyal,        15
In the castle by the sea.
 
There stood the aged monarch
And drank life’s sunset glow;
And cast the sacred goblet
Into the flood below.        20
 
He saw it rushing, drinking,
Into the sea it sank.
His eyelids old were sinking—
Ne’er more a drop he drank.
 
 
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