by Emanuel von Geibel (1815 - 1884)
Translation © by Linda Godry

Zwei Könige sassen auf Orkadal
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG ENG FRE
Zwei Könige sassen auf Orkadal,
Hell flammten die Kerzen im Pfeilersaal.
Die Harfner sangen, es perlte der Wein,
Die Könige schauten finster drein.
Da sprach der eine: "Gib mir die Dirn'!
Ihr Aug' ist blau, schneeweiss ihre Stirn."
Der Andre versetzte in grimmem Zorn:
"Mein ist sie und bleibt sie, ich hab's geschwor'n!"
Kein Wort mehr sprachen die Könige drauf,
Sie nahmen die Schwerter und stunden auf,
Sie schritten hervor aus der leuchtenden Hall';
Tief lag der Schnee an des Schlosses Wall.
Es sprühten die Fackeln, es blitzte der Stahl --
Zwei Könige sanken auf Orkadal.

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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 (Bertram Kottmann) , "Two kings sat together in Orkadal", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Linda Godry) , "Two kings sat at Orkadal", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2005-10-12
Line count: 14
Word count: 95

Two kings sat at Orkadal
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Two kings sat at Orkadal,
Up flickered the candles in the great hall.
The minstrels sang, to the sparkling wine,
Yet the kings they both looked grim.
One demanded:  Hand over the lass!
Here eyes so blue, lily-white her skin.
The other threw back in grim outrage:
She's mine and forever will be, as I have sworn!
No further word was then exchanged,
They drew their swords and rose,
And strode out of the glowing hall;
Deep was the snow on the castle's bulwark.
Torches were flashing, as were the swords' blades.
Two kings went down at Orkadal.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2006 by Linda Godry, (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: 2006-11-01
Line count: 14
Word count: 98