by Eduard Mörike (1804 - 1875)
Translation © by Charles James Pearson

Die traurige Krönung
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Es war ein König Millesint,
Von dem will ich euch sagen:
Der meuchelte sein Bruderskind,
Wollte selbst die Krone tragen.
Die Krönung ward mit Prangen
Auf Liffey-Schloß begangen.
O Irland! Irland! warest du so blind?

Der König sitzt um Mitternacht
Im leeren Marmorsaale,
Sieht irr in all die neue Pracht,
Wie trunken von dem Mahle;
Er spricht zu seinem Sohne:
"Noch einmal bring die Krone!
Doch schau, wer had die Pforten aufgemacht?"

Da kommt ein seltsam Totenspiel,
Ein Zug mit leisen Tritten,
Vermummte Gäste groß and viel,
Eine Krone schwankt in Mitten;
Es drängt sich durch die Pforte
Mit Flüstern ohne Worte;
Dem Könige, dem wird so geisterschwül.

Und aus der schwarzen Menge blickt
Ein Kind mit frischer Wunde,
Es lächelt sterbensweh and nickt,
Es macht im Saal die Runde,
Es trippelt zu dem Throne,
Es reichet eine Krone
Dem Könige, des Herze tief erschrickt.

Darauf der Zug von dannen strich,
Von Morgenluft berauschet,
Die Kerzen flackern wunderlich,
Der Mond am Fenster lauschet,
Der Sohn mit Angst and Schweigen
Zum Vater tät sich neigen-
Er neiget über eine Leiche sich.


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

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Charles James Pearson) , "Mournful coronation", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Le triste couronnement", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Charles James Pearson

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 35
Word count: 180

Mournful coronation
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
There was a King called Millesint,
of whom I will tell you:
he assassinated his brother's child,
wanting to wear the crown himself.
The coronation was celebrated in splendor
at Liffey Castle.
Oh Ireland, Ireland!  Were you so blind?

At midnight the king sat
in the empty marble hall,
looked wildly at all the new magnificence,
as though made drunk by the feast;
he said to his son:
"Bring me again the crown!
but look, who has opened the gate?"

Then in came a strange death -play,
a procession stepping lightly,
disguised guests, many and large,
a crown swaying in their midst;
the procession pressed through the doorway
with whispers but no words
up to the king, who became white as a ghost.

And out of this dark crowd
a child with fresh wounds was peering,
he smiled with deathly pain and winked,
he circled the hall,
he trotted up to the throne,
he presented a crown
to the king, whose heart was terror-struck.

At that the whole troop rushed away,
intoxicated by the morning air,
the candles sputtered wonderfully,
the moon listened at the window,
the son, in fear and silence,
bent over his father -
he bent over a corpse.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Charles James Pearson, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 35
Word count: 202