Sunday, June 9, 2013

Von Schiller - Poetry

Our next poem is 'Ode to Joy' by Friedrich von Schiller.

O friends, no more these sounds!
Let us sing more cheerful songs,
More full of joy!

Joy, bright spark of divinity,
Daughter of Elysium,
Fire-inspired we tread
Thy sanctuary
Thy magic power re-united
All that custom has divided
All men become brothers
Under the sway of thy gentle wings.

Whoever has created
An abiding friendship,
Or has won
A true and loving wife,
All who can call at least one soul theirs,
Join in our song of praise;
But any who cannot must creep tearfully
Away from our circle.

All creates drink of joy
At nature's breast.
Just and unjust
Alike taste of her gift;
She gave us kisses and the fruit of the vine,
A tried friend to the end.
Even the worm can feel contentment,
And the cherub stands before God!

Gladly, like the heavenly bodies
Which He set on the courses
Through the splendor of the firmament;
Thus, brothers, you should run your race,
As a hero going to conquest.

You millions, I embrace you.
This kiss is for all the world!
Brothers, above the starry canopy
There must dwell a loving Father.
Do you fall in worship, you millions?
World, do you know your Creator?
Seek Him in the heavens;
Above the stars must He dwell.

Maybe it sounds better in the original German.  Oh, don't get me wrong, there is a lot to like here.  The sentiment is certainly appreciated.  It just doesn't seem very . . . poetic to me.  So let me talk about the sentiment.  The main theme is that you should be happy because you are blessed.  You (almost certainly) have some common, wonderful blessings and you should acknowledge that instead of being down and mopey.  In fact, if you're mopey, then go away and don't bring the rest of us down!
A good message, if rather plainly told.

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