Joy, thou goddess, fair, immortal,
Offspring of Elysium,
Mad with rapture, to the portal
Of thy holy fame we come!
Fashion’s laws, indeed, may sever,
But thy magic joins again;
All mankind are brethren ever
‘Neath thy mild and gentle reign.
Welcome, all ye myriad creatures!
Brethren, take the kiss of love!
Yes, the starry realms above
Hide a Father’s smiling features!
He, that noble prize possessing–
He that boasts a friend that’s true,
He whom woman’s love is blessing,
Let him join the chorus too!
Aye, and he who but one spirit
On this earth can call his own!
He who no such bliss can merit,
Let him mourn his fate alone!
All who Nature’s tribes are swelling
Homage pay to sympathy;
For she guides us up on high,
Where the unknown has his dwelling.
From the breasts of kindly Nature
All of joy imbibe the dew;
Good and bad alike, each creature
Would her roseate path pursue.
‘Tis through her the wine-cup maddens,
Love and friends to man she gives!
Bliss the meanest reptile gladdens,–
Near God’s throne the cherub lives!
Bow before him, all creation!
Mortals, own the God of love!
Seek him high the stars above,–
Yonder is his habitation!
Joy, in Nature’s wide dominion,
Mightiest cause of all is found;
And ’tis joy that moves the pinion,
When the wheel of time goes round;
From the bud she lures the flower–
Suns from out their orbs of light;
Distant spheres obey her power,
Far beyond all mortal sight.
As through heaven’s expanse so glorious
In their orbits suns roll on,
Brethren, thus your proud race run,
Glad as warriors all-victorious!
Joy from truth’s own glass of fire
Sweetly on the searcher smiles;
Lest on virtue’s steeps he tire,
Joy the tedious path beguiles.
High on faith’s bright hill before us,
See her banner proudly wave!
Joy, too, swells the angels’ chorus,–
Bursts the bondage of the grave!
Mortals, meekly wait for heaven
Suffer on in patient love!
In the starry realms above,
Bright rewards by God are given.
To the Gods we ne’er can render
Praise for every good they grant;
Let us, with devotion tender,
Minister to grief and want.
Quenched be hate and wrath forever,
Pardoned be our mortal foe–
May our tears upbraid him never,
No repentance bring him low!
Sense of wrongs forget to treasure–
Brethren, live in perfect love!
In the starry realms above,
God will mete as we may measure.
Joy within the goblet flushes,
For the golden nectar, wine,
Every fierce emotion hushes,–
Fills the breast with fire divine.
Brethren, thus in rapture meeting,
Send ye round the brimming cup,–
Yonder kindly spirit greeting,
While the foam to heaven mounts up!
He whom seraphs worship ever;
Whom the stars praise as they roll,
Yes to him now drain the bowl
Mortal eye can see him never!
Courage, ne’er by sorrow broken!
Aid where tears of virtue flow;
Faith to keep each promise spoken!
Truth alike to friend and foe!
‘Neath kings’ frowns a manly spirit!–
Brethren, noble is the prize–
Honor due to every merit!
Death to all the brood of lies!
Draw the sacred circle closer!
By this bright wine plight your troth
To be faithful to your oath!
Swear it by the Star-Disposer!
Safety from the tyrant’s power!
Mercy e’en to traitors base!
Hope in death’s last solemn hour!
Pardon when before His face!
Lo, the dead shall rise to heaven!
Brethren hail the blest decree;
Every sin shall be forgiven,
Hell forever cease to be!
When the golden bowl is broken,
Gentle sleep within the tomb!
Brethren, may a gracious doom
By the Judge of man be spoken!
— Friedrich Schiller, Hymn to Joy