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ode-to-joy

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Ode to Joy


    Ode to Joy

    Anonymous


    Wild and fearful in his cavern
    Hid the naked troglodyte,
    And the homeless nomad wandered
    Laying waste the fertile plain.
    Menacing with spear and arrow
    In the woods the hunter strayed ...
    Woe to all poor wreteches stranded
    On those cruel and hostile shores!

    From the peak of high Olympus
    Came the mother Ceres down,
    Seeeking in those savage regions
    Her lost daughter Prosperine.
    But the Goddess found no refuge,
    Found no kindly welcome there,
    And no temple bearing witness
    To the worship of the gods.

    From the fields and from the vineyards
    Came no fruit to deck the feasts,
    Only flesh of blood-stained victims
    Smouldered on the alter-fires,
    And where'er the grieving goddess
    Turns her melancholy gaze,
    Sunk in vilest degradation
    Man his loathsomeness displays.

    Would he purge his soul from vileness
    And attain to light and worth,
    He must turn and cling forever
    To his ancient Mother Earth.

    Joy everlasting fostereth
    The soul of all creation,
    It is her secret ferment fires
    The cup of life with flame.
    'Tis at her beck the grass hath turned
    Each blade toward the light
    and solar systems have evolved
    From chaos and dark night,
    Filling the realms of boundless space
    Beyond the sage's sight.

    At bounteous nature's kindly breast,
    All things that breath drink Joy,
    And bird and beasts and creaping things
    All follow where she leads.
    Her gifts to man are friends in need,
    The wreath, the foaming must,
    To angels -- visions of God's throne,
    To insects -- sensual lust.


    This poem is one of many published by the EServer, a nonprofit collective.