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The Lied, Art Song, and Choral Texts Archive

Der König in Thule

Language: German

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;]1
Die Augen gingen ihm über,
So oft er trank daraus.

Und als er kam zu sterben,
Zählt' er seine Städt' [im]2 Reich,
[Gönnt']3 alles seinem Erben,
Den Becher nicht zugleich.

[Er saß beim]4 Königsmahle,
Die Ritter um ihn her,
[Auf hohem]5 Vätersaale,
[Dort auf dem]6 Schloß am Meer.

[Dort stand]7 der alte Zecher,
Trank letzte Lebensglut,
Und warf den heil'gen Becher
Hinunter in die Flut.

Er sah ihn [stürzen, trinken
Und sinken]8 tief ins Meer.
Die Augen täten ihm sinken
Trank [nie einen]9 Tropfen mehr.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Seckendorf: "Es war ein König in Thule, / Ein goldnen Becher er hätt / Empfangen von seiner Buhle / Auf ihren Todesbett. / / Den Becher hätt er lieber, / Trank draus bei jedem Schmauss,"
2 Seckendorf: "und"
3 Zelter: "Lies"
4 Seckendorf: "Am hohen"
5 Zelter: "In hohen"; Seckendorf: "Im alten"
6 Seckendorf: "Auf seinem"
7 Seckendorf: "Da saß"
8 Seckendorf: "sinken und trinken / Und stürzen"
9 Seckendorf: "keinen"


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Set in French, a translation by Gérard de Nerval (1808 - 1855) , "Le roi de Thulé", from Le Faust de Goethe DUT POR SPA ENG ITA Set in English, a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist , title unknown DUT POR SPA ITA FRE
Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):
    * ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "There was a King of Thule", copyright ©
    * SPA Spanish (unknown or anonymous translator) , "El Rey de Thule "
    * DUT Dutch [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "De koning van Thule", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
    * ITA Italian (Amelia Maria Imbarrato) , "Il re in Tule", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
    * ENG English [singable] (Arthur Westbrook) , "The King of Thule"
    * POR Portuguese (Margarida Moreno) , "O rei em Thule", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

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