Life of Friedrich Schiller

By Henry W. Nevinson | Go to book overview
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IN the last movement of Beethoven's Choral Symphony, after a storm of struggle and chaos and passionate rejection, a voice is heard saying, "O friends, not sounds like these! but let us raise a strain more sweet and full of joy!" And then, quietly, and as though exhausted with the struggle, but now at peace, the new phrase is given out, and gradually the whole chorus joins in the triumphant song of Schiller Hymn to Joy:--

"Joy, thou radiant spark from heaven,
Daughter of the gods divine,
We, with sacred madness driven,
Here approach thy glorious shrine.
What the cold world's sword would*
Thy enchantment binds aright;
All mankind are brothers ever
Where thou restart in thy flight.
Chorus.--Men in millions above telling,
Join in rupture of embrace!
Far above yon starry space
Some dear Father has his dwelling.

Slightly altered in the later version.


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