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Ode to Joy -- Friedrich Schiller

Guest poem submitted by Vijay:
(Poem #1509) Ode to Joy
 Joy, thou beauteous godly lightning
   Daughter of Elysium,
 Fire drunken we are ent'ring
 Heavenly, thy holy home!
 Thy enchantments bind together,
 What did custom stern divide,
 Every man becomes a brother,
 Where thy gentle wings abide.

 Who the noble prize achieveth,
 Good friend of a friend to be;
 Who a lovely wife attaineth,
 Join us in his jubilee!
 Yes--he too who but {one} being
 On this earth can call {his} own!
 He who ne'er was able, weeping
 Stealeth from this league alone!

 Joy is drunk by every being
 From kind nature's flowing breasts,
 Every evil, every good thing
 For her rosy footprint quests.
 Gave she {us} both {vines} and kisses,
 In the face of death a friend,
 To the worm were given blisses
 And the Cherubs God attend.

 As the suns are flying, happy
 Through the heaven's glorious plane,
 Travel, brothers, down your lane,
 Joyful as in hero's vict'ry.

 Be embrac'd, ye millions yonder!
 Take this kiss throughout the world!
 Brothers--o'er the stars unfurl'd
 Must reside a loving Father.
 He who in the great ring dwelleth,
 Homage pays to sympathy!
 To the stars above leads she,
 Where on high the {Unknown} reigneth.
-- Friedrich Schiller
        Translated by William F. Wertz

Like most others, I came across the Ode to Joy, or "An die Freude" while
listening to Beethoven's 9th Symphony. It is such an absolutely wonderful
piece of music which makes you see fireworks and want to burst into song
with the choir. It's spectacular, spectacular! I looked up the English
translation only to find out what it meant.

The first verse, in German from Beethoven's 9th Symphony is:

    Freude, schvner Gvtterfunken
    Tochter aus Elysium,
    Wir betreten feuertrunken,
    Himmlische, dein Heiligtum!
    Deine Zauber binden wieder
    Was die Mode streng geteilt;
    Alle Menschen werden Br|der,
    Wo dein sanfter Fl|gel weilt.

Beethoven revised the two lines starting "Was die Mode..", which in
Schiller's poem were:

    Was der Mode Schwert geteilt;
    Bettler werden F|rstenbr|der,

Wikipedia ( says:

The ode "To Joy" (Ode "An die Freude" in German) is an ode written in 1785
by the German poet and historian Friedrich Schiller, and known especially
for its musical setting by Beethoven in the fourth and final movement of his
Ninth Symphony, for four solo voices, chorus, and orchestra. In this
symphonic version it is often referred to popularly as the "Ode to Joy".

The Ode to Joy was adopted as Europe's anthem by the Council of Europe in
1972, with an official arrangement for orchestra written by Herbert von
Karajan. [1]

In 2003, the European Union chose Beethoven's music for the poem as the EU
anthem, without German lyrics, because of the many different languages used
within the European Union. Therefore, the EU anthem is in effect the
Beethoven theme (or melody) rather than Schiller's poem, although its
connection with the ideal of human brotherhood in the text is understood.
This ideal is stated in much more universal terms in Beethoven's adaptation
("All human beings become brothers") than in Schiller's original, which
states that "beggars become the brothers of princes."

Beethoven's theme is also the setting for the Christian hymn, Joyful, Joyful
We Adore Thee (or Hymn to Joy), a poem written in 1908 by Henry van Dyke


39 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Forsytheron said...

Does not this poem appear in Beethoven's Ninth Sym? May I have a copy of the

Adam Potkay said...

Dear person who posted the Schiller translation, Would you please
tell me where you found your translation by William F. Wertz? It's
a great translation, and 'm wondering for scholarly purposes when and
where it was first printed. Thanks-- Adam Potkay (English, College
of William & Mary)

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Cheap Viagra Online said...

Friedrich Schiller is one of the best poets in the history:For his achievements, Schiller was ennobled in 1802 by the Duke of Weimar, adding the nobiliary particle "von" to his name. He remained in Weimar, Saxe-Weimar until his death at 45 from tuberculosis.

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thnidu said...

Corrections... ö not v, and ü not |:

Freude, schöner Götterfunken
Tochter aus Elysium,
Wir betreten feuertrunken,
Himmlische, dein Heiligtum!
Deine Zauber binden wieder
Was die Mode streng geteilt;
Alle Menschen werden Brüder,
Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

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