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Der König in Thule (1816) D367

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 seinen 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 heilgen 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
faithful unto the grave,
whose dying mistress
gave him a golden goblet.
Nothing was more precious to him;
he drained it at every feast.
His eyes filled with tears
whenever he drank from it.
And when he came to die
he counted the towns in his realm,
bequeathed all to his heirs,
except for that goblet.
He sat at the royal banquet,
his knights around him
in the lofty ancestral hall
in his castle by the sea.
The old toper stood there,
drank life’s last glowing draught,
and hurled the sacred goblet
into the waves below.
He watched it fall and drink
and sink deep into the sea.
His eyes, too, sank;
he drank not one drop more.

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Franz Peter Schubert was an late Classical and early Romantic composer. He produced a vast oeuvre during his short life, composing more the 600 vocal works (largely Lieder), and well as several symphonies, operas, and a large body of piano music. He was uncommonly gifted from a young age, but appreciation of his music was limited during his lifetime. His work became more popular in the decades after his death, and was praised by 19th century composers, including Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Liszt.

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Johann Wolfgang Goethe was a German writer and statesman. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of metres and styles; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; and four novels. In addition, numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, and nearly 3,000 drawings by him exist. A literary celebrity by the age of 25, Goethe was ennobled by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Karl August in 1782 after first taking up residence there in November 1775 following the success of his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther. He was an early participant in the Sturm und Drang literary movement. During his first ten years in Weimar, Goethe served as a member of the Duke's privy council, sat on the war and highway commissions, oversaw the reopening of silver mines in nearby Ilmenau, and implemented a series of administrative reforms at the University of Jena. He also contributed to the planning of Weimar's botanical park and the rebuilding of its Ducal Palace, which in 1998 were together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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