Canada Day: The Ode to Joy

Source: Beethoven and Schiller

Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter of Elysium,
We enter, drunk with fire,
Heavenly, thy sanctuary.

Thy magic reunites those
Whom stern custom has parted;
All men will become brothers
Under thy gentle wing.

May he who has had the fortune
To gain a true friend
And he who has won a noble wife
Join in our jubilation!

Yes, even if he calls but one soul
His own in all the world.
But he who has failed in this
Must steal away alone and in tears.

All the world’s creatures
Draw joy from nature’s breast;
Both the good and the evil
Follow her rose-strewn path.

She gave us kisses and wine
And a friend loyal unto death;
She gave lust for life to the lowliest,
And the Cherub stands before God.

P.S. In line seven, Schiller did not write “All Men Will Become Brothers” but “All Human Beings become brothers.”

P.P.S: re: “joy.” Unconfirmed reports suggest that in his first version, Schiller (who in his youth was a rebel) wrote “Liberty. Beautiful spark of the gods,” etc., but after the censor frowned, substituted  “joy.”


3 responses to “Canada Day: The Ode to Joy

  1. I always thought that Freiheit made more sense than Freude.

  2. Jan Krouzil

    Or ‘The Joy of Biophilia’ as one current ‘reframing’ (Eric Fromm) would have it.

  3. Josef & Jan, salut. Freiheit & Biophilia, and the zoosh of Freude – for all of these, in Canada for today, let’s stand on guard, at ease.