I can't think of a better tribute to the Maestro than this.
English lyric translation:
Joy, beautiful sparkle of the gods,Daughter of Elysium,We enter, fire-drunk,Heavenly one, your shrine.Your magics bind againWhat custom has strictly parted.
(1785 version: What custom's sword has parted.)
All men become brothers
(1785 version: Beggars become princes' brothers.)
Where your tender wing lingers.
ChorusBe embraced, millions!This kiss to the entire world!Brothers, above the starry canopyMust a loving Father reside.
Whoever has succeeded in the great attemptTo be a friend's friend;Whoever has won a lovely womanAdd in his jubilation!Yes, who calls even one soulHis own on the earth's sphere!And whoever never could achieve this,Let him steal away crying from this gathering!
ChorusThose who occupy the great circle,Pay homage to sympathy!It leads to the starsWhere the unknown one reigns.
All creatures drink joyAt the breasts of nature,All good, all evilFollow her trail of roses.Kisses she gave us, and the vine,A friend, proven in death.Pleasure was given to the worm,And the cherub stands before God.
ChorusDo you fall down, you millions?Do you sense the creator, world?Seek him above the starry canopy,Above the stars he must live.
Joy is the name of the strong springIn eternal nature.Joy, joy drives the wheelsIn the great clock of worlds.She lures flowers from the buds,Suns out of the firmament,She rolls spheres in the spacesThat the seer's telescope does not know.
ChorusHappy, as his suns flyThrough the heaven's magnificent plainRun, brothers, your trackJoyfully, as a hero to victory.
From the fiery mirror of truthShe smiles upon the researcher,Towards virtue's steep hillShe guides the endurer's path.Upon faith's sunlit mountainOne sees her banners in the wind,Through the opening of burst coffinsOne sees them standing in the chorus of angels.
ChorusEndure courageously, millions!Endure for the better world!There above the starry canopyA great God will reward.
Gods one cannot repayBeautiful it is, to be like them.Grief and poverty, acquaint yourselvesWith the joyful ones rejoice.Anger and revenge be forgotten,Our deadly enemy be forgiven,No tears shall he shedNo remorse shall gnaw at him
ChorusOur debt registers be abolishedReconcile the entire world!Brothers, over the starry canopyGod judges, as we judged.
Joy bubbles in the cup,In the grape's golden bloodCannibals drink gentlenessThe fearful, courage —Brothers, fly from your perches,When the full cup is passed,Let the foam spray to the heavensThis glass to the good spirit
ChorusHe whom the spirals of stars praise,He whom the seraphim's hymn glorifies,This glass to the good spiritAbove the starry canopy!
Courage firm in great suffering,Help there, where innocence weeps,Eternally sworn oaths,Truth towards friend and foe,Mens' pride before kings' thrones —Brothers, even if it costs property and blood, —The crowns to those who earn them,Defeat to the lying brood!
ChorusClose the holy circle tighter,Swear by this golden vine:Remain true to the vows,Swear by the judge above the stars!
(The 1803 version ends here; the 1785 version continues with the following.)
Escape the tyrants' chains,Generosity also to the villain,Hope upon the deathbeds,Mercy from the high court!The dead, too, shall live!Brothers, drink and chime in,All sinners shall be forgiven,And hell shall be no more.
ChorusA serene departing hour!Sweet sleep in the shroud!Brothers—a mild sentenceFrom the final judge!