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Standard English Translation

Below is a standard English translation of Schiller’s “Ode to Joy.” Be sure to explore the English adaptations of the poem that will be performed in London, Baltimore, and New York City.

“Ode to Joy”

Oh friends, no more of 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 reunites
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 creatures 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 their 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.

“Ode to Joy” Texts and Translations

Original German Text by Friedrich Schiller


Standard English Translation

Portuguese Translation by Arthur Nestrovski

São Paulo Symphony Orchestra
São Paulo, Brazil

English Adaptation by Anthony Anaxagorou

Southbank Centre
London, United Kingdom

English Adaptation by Wordsmith

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Baltimore, United States

Chinese Translation by Deng Yingyi

China NCPA Orchestra and Chorus
Beijing, China

English Adaptation by Tracy K. Smith

Carnegie Hall
New York City, United States

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