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“Art is the daughter of Freedom.” “The dignity of mankind is in your hands, protect it! It sinks with you! With you it will ascend.”

October 16, 2010



“Der Menschheit Würde ist in eure Hand gegeben, Bewahret sie! Sie sinkt mit euch! Mit euch wird sie sich heben!”

There are three lessons I would write, —
Three words — as with a burning pen,
In tracings of eternal light
Upon the hearts of men.
Have Hope. Though clouds environ now,
And gladness hides her face in scorn,
Put thou the shadow from thy brow, —
No night but hath its morn.
Have Faith. Where’er thy bark is driven, —
The calm’s disport, the tempest’s mirth, —
Know this: God rules the hosts of heaven,
The habitants of earth.
Have Love. Not love alone for one,
But men, as man, thy brothers call;
And scatter, like the circling sun,
Thy charities on all.
Thus grave these lessons on thy soul, —
Hope, Faith, and Love, — and thou shalt find
Strength when life’s surges rudest roll,
Light when thou else wert blind.

Friedrich Schiller
Hope, Faith, and Love (c. 1786); also known as “The Words of Strength”, as translated in The Common School Journal Vol. IX (1847) edited by Horace Mann, p. 386 ; Die Weltgeschichte ist das Weltgericht.

I can hear 10th graders all across Germany recoil in horror, yes, Friedrich Schiller.

Friedrich Schiller

Beethoven somehow is Schiller’s manifestation in notes.


Schmeichelnd hold und lieblich klingen Graceful, charming and sweet is the sound
unseres Lebens Harmonien, Of our life’s harmonies,
und dem Schönheitssinn entschwingen and from a sense of beauty arise
Blumen sich, die ewig blühn. Flowers which eternally bloom.
Fried und Freude gleiten freundlich Peace and joy advance in perfect concord,
wie der Wellen Wechselspiel. like the changing play of the waves.
Was sich drängte rauh und feindlich, All that was harsh and hostile,
ordnet sich zu Hochgefühl. has turned into sublime delight.
Wenn der Töne Zauber walten When music’s enchantment reigns,
und des Wortes Weihe spricht, speaking of the sacred word,
muss sich Herrliches gestalten, Magnificence takes form,
Nacht und Stürme werden Licht. The night and the tempest turns to light:
Äuss’re Ruhe, inn’re Wonne In outward peace and inward bliss
herrschen für den Glücklichen. Reign the fortunate ones.
Doch der Künste Frühlingssonne All art in the spring’s sun
lässt aus beiden Licht entstehn. Lets light flow from both.
Großes, das ins Herz gedrungen, Greatness, once it has pierced the heart,
blüht dann neu und schön empor. Then blooms anew in all its beauty.
Hat ein Geist sich aufgeschwungen, Once one’s being has taken flight,
hallt ihm stets ein Geisterchor. A choir of spirits resounds in response.
Nehmt denn hin, ihr schönen Seelen, Accept then, you beautiful souls,
froh die Gaben schöner Kunst Joyously the gifts of high art.
Wenn sich Lieb und Kraft vermählen, When love and strength are united,
lohnt den Menschen Göttergunst. God’s grace is bestowed upon Man.

Not my favorite translation, especially the last sentence doesn’t sound so churchy in the original, but much more universal. (it literally speaks of “love and strength/endurance/power to wed one another”- with some kind of hopeful result for Mankind, more like a consequence of this union, not so much a passive “bestowing”. “Du hast der Goetter Gunst erfahren” (Schiller) refers to GodS, not God.

Interestingly the texts that Beethoven used (especially in the translation) get rather stripped of all things that look too much like “romantic mysticism” that’s literally jumping out of it- in favor of a more streamlined “classicism”.

Equally genius to Mozart, who let Isis and Osiris (hmmm, me loves the greekefied sounds of these names) sing you a few lines about eternity, apparently they hung out a lot with those who followed a more romanticized idea of Freemasonry, thrown into a blender of Rosecrucianism, quite the mixed drink, tastes good, but you’d never decipher the ingredients, you’ll just notice that you’re pretty tipsy.

If this choral phantasy doesn’t make you wanna go out and and love and dote upon mankind- I do not know what would.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Elmira permalink
    October 17, 2010 1:20 pm

    Three wonderful pieces of music. Very inspirational! “Faith, Hope and Love” – such powerful words, with so many layers. For me they show the path I want to go. It all leads to Love, that is the most important value.

    I love this part:

    Have Love. Not love alone for one,
    But men, as man, thy brothers call;
    And scatter, like the circling sun,
    Thy charities on all.
    Thus grave these lessons on thy soul, —
    Hope, Faith, and Love, — and thou shalt find
    Strength when life’s surges rudest roll,
    Light when thou else wert blind.

  2. October 17, 2010 1:33 pm

    Friedrich Schiller is one of those cases when English is doing the original no justice. The grandeur and love, agape in a way, is just breathtaking to soak up “Der Menschheit Wuerde ist in eure Hand gegeben. …Mit euch wird sie sich heben.” But the English translation makes up for it with the verb ‘to ascend’, all is well!

    Lately I was reminded of Schiller and the Hope he stood for.

    We hated Schiller as students, lol.

  3. Elmira permalink
    October 18, 2010 4:41 pm

    I was never tortured with Schiller in school. Funny how later on you can appreciate the things you hated in school. Maybe because there is no more “you must”.
    I trust your judgement on the German vs English where Schiller is concerned.
    I hope you are doing okay after all these scares!

  4. October 18, 2010 6:03 pm

    Lol Elmira, thank you, feel a hug coming at you from your screen as well, appreciated!

    Oh, you mean my recent acquaintance with scorpions, widow spiders and earthquakes, that have epicenters miles from me? I should be more careful with the galaxy building. Rofl. Yeah, we’re good.
    For the most part I am not worried, I actually found the earthquake kinda cool, Mommy Gaia will do what she has to do, it’ll happen. Not clinging to “my reality”. It’s like being preoccupied with physical UFOs when the folks are literally handing out the “manuals” to “powering” in a non-physical way, while we’re busy staring into physical skies. Maybe NASA should train their people in Yoga and anything else? That would save a huge amount of money by not trying to do things physically.

    Except the spiders, now those are WAY too physically real for my taste, thank you very much! I did run throughout the house at 2 am barking “KILL IT! KILL IT!” Maybe if the spiders magically turn into, I don’t know, roasted almonds? Maybe I can will it?

  5. Elmira permalink
    October 20, 2010 12:49 pm

    Nasa training their people in Yoga, meditation. That sounds like a good idea! Money saved an d they might find out more, than by keeping focused on the physical realm. It’s all there, at our fingertips if we can only understand the messages.

    Hahaha, I can imagine you running and screaming through the house KILL It, Kill it!

    I found out once why dictionaties are a must-have, especially after redoing some major work on my house. Spiders as big as a fist were crawling; one in my bedroom on the floor, one on the wall in the living room. I dropped a dictionary (English Dutch) on the one in my bedroom and simply closed the door of the living room. Never saw the second one again.

    This piano piece reminds me of one your first pose with your own composed piano music.
    I hope you like it. It’s okay though if you don’t like it, tastes will differ, you can still be my friend, okay ?

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