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Ode to Joy

    Ode to Joy


    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.