Eos: An Epic of the Dawn, and Other Poems

By Nicholas Flood Davin


 

TRANSLATION OF GOETHE’S DER KOENIG
IN THULE.


 

In Thule lived a noble king,
    All faithful to the grave;
Him, dying, his love—O, sacred thing!
    A golden beaker gave.

More prized than all his wealth beside,
5
    He drained it every meal;
Each time he quaffed its rosy tide,
    The tears began to steal.

And when death claimed him as his slave,
    His towns he reckoned up,
10
All to his heir he gladly gave,
    But not that golden cup.

A rich, right royal feast for all
    His faithful knights made he,
There in his high, ancestral hall,
15
    In his castle by the sea.

And there the aged toper rose;
    He drinks life’s last glad glow,
And then the sacred cup he throws
    Into the waves below.
20

He sees it fall, fill, disappear
    Beneath the deep, deep sea,
Then closed his eyes without a tear.
    And no more a drop drank he. [Page 132]