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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII. 1876–79.

Shetland Islands (Ultima Thule)

A King in Thule

By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832)

Translated by Bayard Taylor

THERE was a king in Thule,

Was faithful till the grave,—

To whom his mistress, dying,

A golden goblet gave.

Naught was to him more precious;

He drained it at every bout:

His eyes with tears ran over,

As oft as he drank thereout.

When came his time of dying,

The towns in his land he told,

Naught else to his heir denying

Except the goblet of gold.

He sat at the royal banquet

With his knights of high degree,

In the lofty hall of his fathers

In the castle by the sea.

There stood the old carouser,

And drank the last life-glow;

And hurled the hallowed goblet

Into the tide below.

He saw it plunging and filling,

And sinking deep in the sea:

Then fell his eyelids forever,

And never more drank he!