#12 Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee
Words by Henry van Dyke, 1907 (1852-1933)
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven, 1824 (1770-1827)
Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow'rs before Thee,
Hail Thee as the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness,
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!
All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heav'n reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
Center of unbroken praise;
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Bloss'ming meadow, flashing sea,
Chanting bird and flowing fountain
Call us to rejoice in Thee.
Thou art giving and forgiving,
Ever blessing, ever blest,
Wellspring of the joy of living,
Oceandepth of happy rest!
Thou the father, Christ our Brother -
All who live in love are Thine:
Teach us how to love each other,
Lift us to the joy divine.
The American literary giant Henry van Dyke wrote the words for the tune. Van Dyke was a famous preacher, and a professor of English literature at Princeton, and wrote the words specifically for this tune, while on a preaching mission at Williams College in Massachusetts in 1907. He claimed that the mountains surrounding the college campus were his inspiration for the hymn, powerfully moving him with reverence for the beauty of God's power in nature. It first appeared in The Presbyterian Hymnal, in 1911.