TO THE MUSIC OF BEETHOVEN'S NINTH SYMPHONY
JOYFUL, joyful we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love,
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, hail Thee as the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness, drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day.
All Thy works with joy surround Thee, earth and heav'n reflect Thy rays,
Stars and agnels sing around Thee, center of unbroken praise;
Field and forest, vale and moutain, flow'ry meadow, flashing sea,
Chanting birds and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in Thee.
Thou art givind and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blest,
Wellspring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest.
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, all who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other, lift us to the Joy Divine.
Mortals, join the mighty chorus which the morning stars began,
Father love is reigning o'er us, brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife;
Joyful music lifts us sunward, in the triumph song of life.
Henry Van Dyke, 1908
Note: For those who think religion a dry, stuffy, joyless pretext, let these words ring loudly, boldly and with mystic promise, "Giver of immortal gladness". I remember how my Dad used to love the majesty of a multi-faceted orchestra playing Beethoven. Made even better with these words of Van Dyke. One might also consider reading his short novel The Other Wise Man.