Joy

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Joy to the world
All the boys and girls, now,
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me. ~ Hoyt Axton

Joy is a word used to denote a feeling of extreme happiness and cheerfulness, usually referring to intense delight in relation to one's sense of righteousness, general well-being, and the welfare of others, rather than to one's merely personal pleasures or selfish passions.

Quotes[edit]

Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others,
And in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Verily it is the most joy that may be, as to my sight, that He that is highest and mightiest, noblest and worthiest, is lowest and meekest, homeliest and most courteous: and truly and verily this marvellous joy shall be shewn us all when we see Him. ~ Julian of Norwich
The secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and greatest enjoyment is — to live dangerously. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
From every joy and pain a hope leaps out eternally to escape this pain and to widen joy. ~ Nikos Kazantzakis
The expression of joy also makes the ego more resilient, less fearful, less resentful of diverse conditions when they occur. The emotion itself is an automatic signal that unites the conscious and subconscious [...]. ~ Jane Roberts
There are in fact Laws of Conservation of Pain and Joy. Neither can ever be created or destroyed. But one can be converted into the other. ~ Spider Robinson
Shared pain is lessened; shared joy, increased — thus do we refute entropy. ~ Spider Robinson
Thy sweet magic brings together
What stern Custom spreads afar;
All men become brothers
Where thy happy wing-beats are. ~ Friedrich Schiller
Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King.~ Isaac Watts
Joy, rather than happiness, is the goal of life, for joy is the emotion which accompanies our fulfilling our natures as human beings. ~ Rollo May
Pain is short, and joy is eternal. ~ Friedrich Schiller
What we felt in those years, the hope, the joy, the possibilities, the sense that anything might happen no matter who we were, will always be a part of us. ~ Bob Stevens
Joy is the realisation of the truth of oneness, the oneness of our soul with the world and of the world-soul with the supreme lover. ~ Rabindranath Tagore
Compulsion is not indeed the final appeal to man, but joy is. And joy is everywhere… ~ Rabindranath Tagore
Joy, in Nature's wide dominion,
Mightiest cause of all is found;
And 'tis joy that moves the pinion,
When the wheel of time goes round. ~ Friedrich Schiller
It is so great a thing to be an infinitesimal part
of this immeasurable orchestra the music bursts the heart,
And from this tiny plosion all the fragments join:
Joy orders the disunity until the song is one. ~ Madeleine L'Engle
When a child who has been conceived in love is born to a man and a woman, the joy of that birth sings throughout the universe. ~ Madeleine L'Engle
I wish you all the joy that you can wish. ~ William Shakespeare
Alphabetized by author or source
  • Joys
    Are bubble-like—what makes them bursts them too.
  • Love to faults is always blind,
    Always is to joys inclined,
    Lawless, winged, and unconfined,
    And breaks all chains from every mind.
    • William Blake, in "Love to Faults" in Poems from Blake's Notebook (c. 1791-1792).
  • He who binds to himself a joy
    Does the wingèd life destroy;
    But he who kisses the joy as it flies
    Lives in eternity's sunrise.
    • William Blake, in No. 1, "He Who Binds" in Poems from the Pickering Manuscript (c. 1805).
  • Man was made for joy and woe,
    And when this we rightly know
    Through the world we safely go.
  • An infant when it gazes on a light,
    A child the moment when it drains the breast,
    A devotee when soars the Host in sight,
    An Arab with a stranger for a guest,
    A sailor when the prize has struck in fight,
    A miser filling his most hoarded chest,
    Feel rapture; but not such true joy are reaping
    As they who watch o'er what they love while sleeping.
  • Joy rul'd the day, and Love the night.
  • We all need joy, and we can all receive joy in only one way, by adding to the joy of others.
  • Our joy is dead, and only smiles on us.
  • I will fight for you, yes, and you will fight for me. And if you have sacrificed joy and courage and beauty and wisdom for my sake, I will give them all to you again; and yet you must also give them to me, for they are things in which without you I am wanting. But together we can make them.
  • The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ. Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts. For theirs is a community composed of men. United in Christ, they are led by the Holy Spirit in their journey to the Kingdom of their Father and they have welcomed the news of salvation which is meant for every man.
  • Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others,
    And in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own.
  • And, e'en while fashion's brightest arts decoy,
    The heart, distrusting, asks if this be joy.
  • The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
    • Jesus, in Matthew 13:44.
  • Verily it is the most joy that may be, as to my sight, that He that is highest and mightiest, noblest and worthiest, is lowest and meekest, homeliest and most courteous: and truly and verily this marvellous joy shall be shewn us all when we see Him.
  • I keep my heart flaming, courageous, restless. I feel in my heart all commotions and all contradictions, the joys and sorrows of life. But I struggle to subdue them to a rhythm superior to that of the mind, harsher than that of my heart — to the ascending rhythm of the Universe.
  • The essence of our God is STRUGGLE. Pain, joy, and hope unfold and labor within this struggle, world without end.
  • From every joy and pain a hope leaps out eternally to escape this pain and to widen joy.
    And again the ascent begins — which is pain — and joy is reborn and new hope springs up once more. The circle never closes. It is not a circle, but a spiral which ascends eternally, ever widening, enfolding and unfolding the triune struggle.
  • Joy! Joy! I did not know that all this world is so much part of me, that we are all one army, that windflowers and stars struggle to right and left of me and do not know me; but I turn to them and hail them.
  • Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.
    • Martin Luther King, Jr., Nobel Lecture by The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Oslo, Norway (December 11, 1964) p. 1.
  • An infinite question is often destroyed by finite answers. To define everything is to annihilate much that gives us laughter and joy.
  • When a child who has been conceived in love is born to a man and a woman, the joy of that birth sings throughout the universe. The joy of writing or painting is much the same, and the insemination comes not from the artist himself but from his relationship with those he loves, with the whole world.
  • I have never served a work as I would like to, but I do try, with each book, to serve to the best of my ability, and this attempt at serving is the greatest privilege and the greatest joy that I know.
  • It is so great a thing to be an infinitesimal part
    of this immeasurable orchestra the music bursts the heart,
    And from this tiny plosion all the fragments join:
    Joy orders the disunity until the song is one.
  • Joy, rather than happiness, is the goal of life, for joy is the emotion which accompanies our fulfilling our natures as human beings. It is based on the experience of one's identity as a being of worth and dignity, who is able to affirm his being, if need be, against all other beings and the whole inorganic world.
    • Rollo May, Man's Search For Himself (1953), p. 67.
  • Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
    • Psalms 16:11 (KJV)
    • Variant translation:
    • You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
      • New Living Translation (2007).
  • The expression of joy also makes the ego more resilient, less fearful, less resentful of diverse conditions when they occur. The emotion itself is an automatic signal that unites the conscious and subconscious is shared experience.
    • Jane Roberts, in The Early Sessions: Book 4, Session 152, Page 21.
  • Just as there are Laws of Conservation of Matter and Energy, so there are in fact Laws of Conservation of Pain and Joy. Neither can ever be created or destroyed.
    But one can be converted into the other.
  • Joy. The thing like pleasure that you feel when you've done a good thing or passed up a real tempting chance to do a bad thing. Or when the unfolding of the universe just seems especially apt. It's nowhere near as flashy and intense as pleasure can be. Believe me! But it's got something going for it. Something that can make you do without pleasure, or even accept a lot of pain, to get it.
  • Shared pain is lessened; shared joy, increased — thus do we refute entropy.
    • Spider Robinson, "Callahan's Law", as expressed in The Callahan Chronicals (1996) [originally published as Callahan and Company (1988)], Part IV : Earth ... and Beyond, "Post Toast", p. 388. On the back cover of Callahan's Legacy (1996) this is modified into: Shared pain is lessened; shared joy is increased (and bad puns are appreciated).
  • It matters not the name, the land; my joy in all the gods abides:
    Even in the cricket in the grass some dimness of me smiles and hides.
  • On the laugh of a child I am borne to the joy of the King.
  • A thousand ages onward led
    Their joys and sorrows to that hour;
    No wisdom weighed, no word was said,
    For only what we were had power.
  • Forgive me, Spirit of my spirit, for this, that I have found it easier to read the mystery told in tears and understood Thee better in sorrow than in joy; that, though I would not, I have made the way seem thorny, and have wandered in too many byways, imagining myself into moods which held Thee not.
  • Joy, thou spark from Heav'n immortal,
    Daughter of Elysium!

    Drunk with fire, toward Heaven advancing
    Goddess, to thy shrine we come.
    Thy sweet magic brings together
    What stern Custom spreads afar
    ;
    All men become brothers
    Where thy happy wing-beats are.
  • Joy, in Nature's wide dominion,
    Mightiest cause of all is found;
    And 'tis joy that moves the pinion,
    When the wheel of time goes round.
  • Joy from truth's own glass of fire
    Sweetly on the searcher smiles;
    Lest on virtue's steeps he tire,
    Joy the tedious path beguiles.
    High on faith's bright hill before us,
    See her banner proudly wave!
    Joy, too, swells the angels' chorus,—
    Bursts the bondage of the grave!
  • My plenteous joys,
    Wanton in fulness, seek to hide themselves
    In drops of sorrow.
  • 'Tis safer to be that which we destroy
    Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.
  • Joy is not the same as pleasure or happiness. A wicked and evil man may have pleasure, while any ordinary mortal is capable of being happy. Pleasure generally comes from things, and always through the senses; happiness comes from humans through fellowship. Joy comes from loving God and neighbor. Pleasure is quick and violent, like a flash of lightning. Joy is steady and abiding, like a fixed star. Pleasure depends on external circumstances, such as money, food, travel, etc. Joy is independent of them, for it comes from a good conscience and love of God.
  • I have drunken deep of joy,
    And I will taste no other wine to-night.
  • What we felt in those years, the hope, the joy, the possibilities, the sense that anything might happen no matter who we were, will always be a part of us. After all, people said the Beatles would never last, and they were right... except of course they did.
    • Bob Stevens, in his script for Rock 'n Roll , a season 3 episode of The Wonder Years.
  • In the joy of your heart may you feel the living joy that sang one spring morning, sending its glad voice across a hundred years.
  • Compulsion is not indeed the final appeal to man, but joy is. And joy is everywhere; it is in the earth's green covering of grass; in the blue serenity of the sky; in the reckless exuberance of spring; in the severe abstinence of grey winter; in the living flesh that animates our bodily frame; in the perfect poise of the human figure, noble and upright; in living; in the exercise of all our powers; in the acquisition of knowledge; in fighting evils; in dying for gains we never can share. Joy is there everywhere; it is superfluous, unnecessary; nay, it very often contradicts the most peremptory behests of necessity. It exists to show that the bonds of law can only be explained by love; they are like body and soul. Joy is the realisation of the truth of oneness, the oneness of our soul with the world and of the world-soul with the supreme lover.
  • That side of our existence whose direction is towards the infinite seeks not wealth, but freedom and joy.
  • Love is the ultimate meaning of everything around us. It is not a mere sentiment; it is truth; it is the joy that is at the root of all creation.
  • Joy is prayer. Joy is strength. Joy is love. Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. God loves a cheerful giver. She gives most who gives with joy.
    • Mother Teresa, in My Life for the Poor (1985), edited by José Luis González-Balado and Janet N. Playfoot.
  • Joy to the world! the Saviour reigns;
    Let men their songs employ
    ;
    While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
    Repeat the sounding joy.
    • Isaac Watts, in "Joy to the World!" (1719), Stanza 2.
  • She gave me eyes, she gave me ears;
    And humble cares,and delicate fears;
    A heart, the fountain of sweet tears;
    And love, and thought, and joy.
  • Like an army defeated
    The snow hath retreated,
    And now doth fare ill
    On the top of the bare hill;
    The Ploughboy is whooping— anon— anon!
    There's joy in the mountains:
    There's life in the fountains
    ;
    Small clouds are sailing,
    Blue sky prevailing;
    The rain is over and gone.
  • Hail to thee, far above the rest
    In joy of voice and pinion!

    Thou, linnet! in thy green array,
    Presiding spirit here to-day,
    Dost lead the revels of the May;
    And this is thy dominion.
  • Surprised by joy — impatient as the Wind.
  • 'Tis her privilege,
    Through all the years of this our life, to lead
    From joy to joy
    : for she can so inform
    The mind that is within us, so impress
    With quietness and beauty, and so feed
    With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
    Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men,
    Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
    The dreary intercourse of daily life,
    Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb
    Our cheerful faith that all which we behold
    Is full of blessings.
    • William Wordsworth, Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey "On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye During a Tour" (July 13, 1798), Stanza 4.
  • Joys season'd high, and tasting strong of guilt.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night VIII, line 835.

Leaves of Grass (1850 - 1892)[edit]

To feed the remainder of life with one hour of fulness and freedom!
With one brief hour of madness and joy.
Quotes on joy by Walt Whitman in Leaves of Grass
Now trumpeter for thy close,
Vouchsafe a higher strain than any yet,
Sing to my soul, renew its languishing faith and hope,
Rouse up my slow belief, give me some vision of the future,
Give me for once its prophecy and joy.
The ocean fill'd with joy — the atmosphere all joy!
Joy! joy! in freedom, worship, love! joy in the ecstasy of life!
Hymns to the universal God from universal manall joy!
  • I dote on myself, there is that lot of me and all so luscious,
    Each moment and whatever happens thrills me with joy,
    I cannot tell how my ankles bend, nor whence the cause of my faintest wish,
    Nor the cause of the friendship I emit, nor the cause of the friendship I take again.
    • "Song of Myself" (1855; 1881), section 24.
  • To feed the remainder of life with one hour of fulness and freedom!
    With one brief hour of madness and joy.
    • One Hour to Madness and Joy (1860).
  • Though the live-oak glistens there in Louisiana solitary in a wide in a wide flat space,
    Uttering joyous leaves all its life without a friend a lover near,
    I know very well I could not.
    • I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing (1860).
  • Passing stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you,
    You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me
    as of a dream,)
    I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you…
    • To a Stranger (1860; 1867).
  • My spirit to yours dear brother,
    Do not mind because many sounding your name do not understand you,
    I do not sound your name, but I understand you,
    I specify you with joy O my comrade to salute you, and to salute those who are with you, before and since, and those to come also…
    • To Him That Was Crucified (1860; 1881).
  • Thee as another equally needed sun, radiant, ablaze, swift-moving, fructifying all,
    Thee risen in potent cheerfulness and joy, in endless great hilarity,
    Scattering for good the cloud that hung so long, that weigh'd so long upon the mind of man,
    The doubt, suspicion, dread, of gradual, certain decadence of man
    • Thou Mother with Thy Equal Brood.
  • Now trumpeter for thy close,
    Vouchsafe a higher strain than any yet,
    Sing to my soul, renew its languishing faith and hope,
    Rouse up my slow belief, give me some vision of the future,
    Give me for once its prophecy and joy.
  • O glad, exulting, culminating song!
    A vigor more than earth's is in thy notes,
    Marches of victory — man disenthral'd — the conqueror at last,
    Hymns to the universal God from universal man — all joy!

    A reborn race appears — a perfect world, all joy!
    Women and men in wisdom innocence and health — all joy!
    Riotous laughing bacchanals fill'd with joy!
    War, sorrow, suffering gone — the rank earth purged — nothing but joy left!
    The ocean fill'd with joy — the atmosphere all joy!
    Joy! joy! in freedom, worship, love! joy in the ecstasy of life!
    Enough to merely be! enough to breathe!
    Joy! joy! all over joy!
  • Who thinks the amplest thoughts? for I would surround those thoughts,
    And who has made hymns fit for the earth? for I am mad with devouring ecstasy to make joyous hymns for the whole earth.
    • Excelsior

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 409-10.
  • There's not a joy the world can give like that it takes away.
    • Lord Byron, Stanzas for Music, There's not a joy, etc.
  • Oh, frabjous day! Callooh. Callay!
    He chortled in his joy.
  • Sing out my soul, thy songs of joy;
    Such as a happy bird will sing,
    Beneath a Rainbow's lovely arch,
    In early spring.
  • Joy rul'd the day, and Love the night.
  • All human joys are swift of wing,
    For heaven doth so allot it;
    That when you get an easy thing,
    You find you haven't got it.
  • There's a hope for every woe,
    And a balm for every pain,
    But the first joys of our heart
    Come never back again!
  • They hear a voice in every wind,
    And snatch a fearful joy.
    • Thomas Gray, Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College (1742), Stanza 4.
  • But were there ever any
    Writhed not at passed joy?
  • Medio de fonte leporum
    Surgit amari aliquid, quod in ipsis floribus angat.
    • Full from the fount of joy's delicious springs
      Some bitter o'er the flowers its bubbling venom flings.
    • Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, IV. 1,129. Byron's translation. in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, I. 82.
  • Gaudia non remanent, sed fugitiva volant.
    • Joys do not stay, but take wing and fly away.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book I. 16. 8.
  • Joys too exquisite to last,
    And yet more exquisite when past.
  • How fading are the joys we dote upon!
    Like apparitions seen and gone;
    But those which soonest take their flight
    Are the most exquisite and strong;
    Like angel's visits short and bright,
    Mortality's too weak to bear them long.
  • Joy, in Nature's wide dominion,
    Mightiest cause of all is found;
    And 'tis joy that moves the pinion
    When the wheel of time goes round.
  • At Earth's great market where Joy is trafficked in,
    Buy while thy purse yet swells with golden Youth.
  • There is a sweet joy which comes to us through sorrow.
  • And often, glad no more,
    We wear a face of joy, because
    We have been glad of yore.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)[edit]

When we speak of joy, we do not speak of something we are after, but of something that will come to us, when we are after God and duty. It is a prize unbought, and is freest, purest in its flow, when it comes unsought. No getting into heaven as a place will compass it. You must carry it with you, or else it is not there. ~ Horace Bushnell
These are the marks of a heart that is living in the joy of the resurrection. It lives out of itself; and living out of itself, by this unselfish joy, it has a joy in itself which comes from the presence of Jesus Christ… ~ Archibald Manning
Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
  • When we speak of joy, we do not speak of something we are after, but of something that will come to us, when we are after God and duty. It is a prize unbought, and is freest, purest in its flow, when it comes unsought. No getting into heaven as a place will compass it. You must carry it with you, or else it is not there. You must have it in you, as the music of a well- ordered soul, the fire of a holy purpose, the welling up, out of the central depths, of eternal springs that hide their waters there. It is the rest of confidence, the blessedness of eternal light and outflowing benevolence,— the highest form of life and spiritual majesty. Being the birth of character, it has eternity in it. Rising from within, it is sovereign over all circumstances and hindrances.
    • Horace Bushnell, reported in osiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 355.
  • God offers to fill our homes and our hearts with joy and gladness if we will only let Him do it. We cannot create the canary-birds; but we can provide cages for them, and fill our dwellings with their music. Even so we cannot create the heavenly gifts which Jesus offers; but they are ours if we provide heart-room for them. The birds of peace and contentment and joy and praise will fly in fast enough if we will only invite Jesus Christ, and set the windows of our souls open for His coming.
  • We ask God to forgive us for our evil thoughts and evil temper, but rarely, if ever, ask Him to forgive us for our sadness. Joy is regarded as a happy accident of the Christian life, an ornament and a luxury, rather than a duty.
  • As the skillful artist, in making a good portrait, finds it essentially necessary to use the dark and bright colors alternately, so the Divine Artist dips His pencil, by turns, in Marah and Elim. In Marah first, and the background is laid in darkness black as midnight; and then in Elim, and the blackness is relieved with the colors of the rainbow.
  • Rejoice evermore in your Redeemer,— in His truth — His person — His almighty grace — His everlasting faithfulness — His precious blood whose efficacy reaches farther than the eye of your conscience ever penetrated, and cleanses you from a sin- fulness more inveterate than you have ever conceived to be yours.
  • God is merely tuning the soul, as an instrument, in this life. And these joys of the Christian, are only the notes and chords that are sounded out in the preparation — preludes to the perfect harmony that shall flood the soul — forerunners of the perfected and rapturous joy that shall bless the soul, in that exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
  • These are the marks of a heart that is living in the joy of the resurrection. It lives out of itself; and living out of itself, by this unselfish joy, it has a joy in itself which comes from the presence of Jesus Christ; the overflow of His peace which passeth all sense, the consciousness of that twofold relationship — His relation to us, our relation to Him, and our mutual and indissoluble love.
  • "The joy of the Lord is your strength," my brother. Nothing else is. No vehement resolutions, no sense of your own sin- fulness, nor even contrite remembrance of your own failures, ever made a man strong yet. It made him weak that he might become strong; and when it had done that, it had done its work. For strength there must be hope, for strength there must be joy.
  • Nobody can commit his way unto the Lord who has not begun by delighting in the Lord; and nobody can rest in the Lord who has not committed his way to the Lord.
  • If a man is dying for want of bread, and you give him bread, is that to make him gloomy? That is what Christ is to the soul — the Bread of Life. You will never have true pleasure or peace or joy or comfort until you have found Christ.

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