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Zoroastrian Heritage

Author: K. E. Eduljee



Thus Spake Zarathushtra




Part 1

1. The Three Metamorphoses

2. The Academic Chairs of Virtue

3. Backworldsmen

4. The Despisers of the Body

5. Joys and Passions

6. The Pale Criminal

7. Reading and Writing

8. The Tree on the Hill

9. The Preachers of Death

10. War and Warriors

11. The New Idol

12. The Flies in the Market-Place

13. Chastity

14. The Friend

15. The Thousand and One Goals

16. Neighbour Love

17. The Way of the Creating One

18. Old and Young Women

19. The Bite of the Adder

20. Child and Marriage

21. Voluntary Death

22. The Bestowing Virtue

Part 2

23. The Child with the Mirror

24. In the Happy Isles

25. The Pitiful

26. The Priests

27. The Virtuous

28. The Rabble

29. The Tarantulas

30. The Famous Wise People

31. The Night Song

32. The Dance Song

33. The Grave Song

34. Self-Overcoming

35. The Sublime Ones

36. The Land of Culture

37. Immaculate Perception

38. Scholars

39. Poets

40. Great Events

41. The Soothsayer

42. Redemption

43. Manly Prudence

44. The Stillest Hour

Part 3

45. The Wanderer

46. The Vision and the Enigma

47. Involuntary Bliss

48. Before Sunrise

49. The Bedwarfing Virtue

50. On the Olive-Mount

51. On Passing-by

52. The Apostates

53. The Return Home

54. The Three Evil Things

55. The Spirit of Gravity

56. Old and New Tables

57. The Convalescent

58. The Great Longing

59. The Second Dance-Song

60. The Seven Seals

Part 4

61. The Honey Sacrifice

62. The Cry of Distress

63. Talk with the Kings

64. The Leech

65. The Magician

66. Out of Service

67. The Ugliest Man

68. The Voluntary Beggar

69. The Shadow

70. Noon-Tide

71. The Greeting

72. The Supper

73. The Higher Man

74. The Song of Melancholy

75. Science

76. Among Daughters of the Desert

77. The Awakening

78. The Ass-Festival

79. The Drunken Song

80. The Sign

Part 3a. Discourses 55-60

» Suggested prior reading: Friedrich Nietzsche

55. The Spirit of Gravity


MY MOUTHPIECE- is of the people: too coarsely and cordially do I talk for Angora rabbits. And still stranger sounds my word to all ink-fish and pen-foxes.

My hand- is a fool's hand: woe to all tables and walls, and whatever has room for fool's sketching, fool's scrawling!

My foot - is a horse-foot; therewith do I trample and trot over stick and stone, in the fields up and down, and am bedevilled with delight in all fast racing.

My stomach - is surely an eagle's stomach? For it prefers lamb's flesh. Certainly it is a bird's stomach.

Nourished with innocent things, and with few, ready and impatient to fly, to fly away- that is now my nature: why should there not be something of bird-nature therein!

And especially that I am hostile to the spirit of gravity, that is bird-nature:- verily, deadly hostile, supremely hostile, originally hostile! Oh, where has my hostility not flown and misflown!

Thereof could I sing a song- - and will sing it: though I be alone in an empty house, and must sing it to my own ears.

Other singers are there, to be sure, to whom only the full house makes the voice soft, the hand eloquent, the eye expressive, the heart wakeful:- those do I not resemble.


He who one day teaches people to fly will have shifted all landmarks; to him will all landmarks themselves fly into the air; the earth will he christen anew- as "the light body."

The ostrich runs faster than the fastest horse, but it also thrusts its head heavily into the heavy earth: thus is it with the human who cannot yet fly.

Heavy to him are earth and life, and so wills the spirit of gravity! But he who would become light, and be a bird, must love himself:- thus do I teach.

Not, to be sure, with the love of the side and infected, for with them stinks even self-love!

One must learn to love oneself- thus do I teach- with a wholesome and healthy love: that one may endure to be with oneself, and not go roving about.

Such roving about christens itself "brotherly love"; with these words has there hereto been the best lying and dissembling, and especially by those who have been burdensome to every one.

And verily, it is no commandment for today and tomorrow to learn to love oneself. Rather is it of all arts the finest, subtlest, last and most patient.

For to its possessor is all possession well concealed, and of all treasure-pits one's own is last excavated- so causes the spirit of gravity.

Almost in the cradle are we apportioned with heavy words and worths: "good" and "evil"- so calls itself this dowry. For the sake of it we are forgiven for living.

And therefore suffers one little children to come to one, to forbid them betimes to love themselves- so causes the spirit of gravity.

And we- we bear loyally what is apportioned to us, on hard shoulders, over rugged mountains! And when we sweat, then do people say to us: "Yes, life is hard to bear!"

But humanity itself only is hard to bear! The reason thereof is that it carries too many extraneous things on its shoulders. Like the camel kneels it down, and lets itself be well laden.

Especially the strong load-bearing humanity in whom reverence resides. Too many extraneous heavy words and worths loads it upon itself- then seems life to it a desert!

And verily! Many a thing also that is our own is hard to bear! And many internal things in humanity are like the oyster- repulsive and slippery and hard to grasp;-

So that an elegant shell, with elegant adornment, must plead for them. But this art also must one learn: to have a shell, and a fine appearance, and sagacious blindness!

Again, it deceives about many things in humanity, that many a shell is poor and pitiable, and too much of a shell. Much concealed goodness and power is never dreamt of; the choicest dainties find no tasters!

Women know that, the choicest of them: a little fatter a little leaner- oh, how much fate is in so little!

Humanity is difficult to discover, and to himself most difficult of all; often lies the spirit concerning the soul. So causes the spirit of gravity.

He, however, has discovered himself who says: This is my good and evil: therewith has he silenced the mole and the dwarf, who say: "Good for all, evil for all."

Neither do I like those who call everything good, and this world the best of all. Those do I call the all-satisfied.

All-satisfiedness, which knows how to taste everything,- that is not the best taste! I honour the refractory, fastidious tongues and stomachs, which have learned to say "I" and "Yes" and "No."

To chew and digest everything, however- that is the genuine swine-nature! Ever to say ye-A- that has only the ass learned, and those like it!-

Deep yellow and hot red- so wants my taste- it mixes blood with all colors. Yet he who whitewashes his house, betrays to me a whitewashed soul.

With mummies, some fall in love; others with phantoms: both alike hostile to all flesh and blood- oh, how repugnant are both to my taste! For I love blood.

And there will I not reside and abide where every one spits and spews: that is now my taste,- rather would I live amongst thieves and perjurers. Nobody carries gold in his mouth.

Still more repugnant to me, however, are all lick-spittles; and the most repugnant animal of humanity that I found, did I christen "parasite": it would not love, and would yet live by love.

Unhappy do I call all those who have only one choice: either to become evil beasts, or evil beast-tamers. Amongst such would I not build my tabernacle.

Unhappy do I also call those who have ever to wait,- they are repugnant to my taste- all the toll-gatherers and traders, and kings, and other landkeepers and shopkeepers.

I learned waiting also, and thoroughly so,- but only waiting for myself. And above all did I learn standing and walking and running and leaping and climbing and dancing.

This however is my teaching: he who wishes one day to fly, must first learn standing and walking and running and climbing and dancing:- one does not fly into flying!

With rope-ladders learned I to reach many a window, with nimble legs did I climb high masts: to sit on high masts of perception seemed to me no small bliss;-

-To flicker like small flames on high masts: a small light, certainly, but a great comfort to cast-away sailors and ship-wrecked ones!

By divers ways and wendings did I arrive at my truth; not by one ladder did I mount to the height where my eye roves into my remoteness.

And unwillingly only did I ask my way- that was always counter to my taste! Rather did I question and test the ways themselves.

A testing and a questioning has been all my travelling:- and verily, one must also learn to answer such questioning! That, however,- is my taste:

-Neither a good nor a bad taste, but my taste, of which I have no longer either shame or secrecy.

"This- is now my way - where is yours?" Thus did I answer those who asked me "the way." For the way- it does not exist!

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

56. Old and New Tables


HERE do I sit and wait, old broken law-tablets around me and also new half-written law-tablets. When comes my hour?

-The hour of my descent, of my down-going: for once more will I go to people.

For that hour do I now wait: for first must the signs come to me that it is my hour- namely, the laughing lion with the flock of doves.

Meanwhile do I talk to myself as one who has time. No one tells me anything new, so I tell myself my own story.


When I came to people, then found I them resting on an old infatuation: all of them thought they had long known what was good and bad for people.

An old wearisome business seemed to them all talk of virtue; and he who wished to sleep well spoke of "good" and "bad" before retiring to rest.

This somnolence did I disturb when I taught that no one yet knows what is good and bad:- unless it be the creator!

-It is he, however, who creates humanity's goal, and gives to the earth its meaning and its future: he only effects it that anything is good or bad.

And I bade them upset their old academic chairs, and wherever that old infatuation had sat; I bade them laugh at their great moralists, their saints, their poets, and their saviours.

At their gloomy sages did I bid them laugh, and whoever had sat admonishing as a black scarecrow on the tree of life.

On their great grave-highway did I seat myself, and even beside the carrion and vultures- and I laughed at all their bygone and its mellow decaying glory.

Like penitential preachers and fools did I cry wrath and shame on all their greatness and smallness. Oh, that their best is so very small! Oh, that their worst is so very small! Thus did I laugh.

Thus did my wise longing, born in the mountains, cry and laugh in me; a wild wisdom, verily!- my great pinion-rustling longing.

And oft did it carry me off and up and away and in the midst of laughter; then flew I quivering like an arrow with sun-intoxicated rapture:

-Out into distant futures, which no dream has yet seen, into warmer souths than ever sculptor conceived,- where gods in their dancing are ashamed of all clothes:

(That I may speak in parables and halt and stammer like the poets: and verily I am ashamed that I have still to be a poet!)

Where all becoming seemed to me dancing of gods, and wantoning of gods, and the world unloosed and unbridled and fleeing back to itself:-

-As an eternal self-fleeing and re-seeking of one another of many gods, as the blessed self-contradicting, recommuning, and refraternising with one another of many gods:-

Where all time seemed to me a blessed mockery of moments, where necessity was freedom itself, which played happily with the goad of freedom:-

Where I also found again my old devil and arch-enemy, the spirit of gravity, and all that it created: constraint, law, necessity and consequence and purpose and will and good and evil:-

For must there not be that which is danced over, danced beyond? Must there not, for the sake of the nimble, the nimblest,- be moles and clumsy dwarfs?


There was it also where I picked up from the path the word "overman," and that humanity is something that must be overcome.

-That humanity is a bridge and not a goal- rejoicing over his noontides and evenings, as advances to new rosy dawns:

-The Zarathustra word of the great noontide, and whatever else I have hung up over people like purple evening-afterglows.

Also new stars did I make them see, along with new nights; and over cloud and day and night, did I spread out laughter like a gay-coloured canopy.

I taught them all my poetisation and aspiration: to compose and collect into unity what is fragment in humanity, and riddle and fearful chance;-

-As composer, riddle-reader, and redeemer of chance, did I teach them to create the future, and all that has been- to redeem by creating.

The past of humanity to redeem, and every "It was" to transform, until the Will says: "But so did I will it! So shall I will it-"

-This did I call redemption; this alone taught I them to call redemption.

Now do I await my redemption- that I may go to them for the last time.

For once more will I go to people: amongst them will my sun set; in dying will I give them my choicest gift!

From the sun did I learn this, when it goes down, the exuberant one: gold does it then pour into the sea, out of inexhaustible riches,-

-So that the poorest fisherman rows even with golden oars! For this did I once see, and did not tire of weeping in beholding it.
Like the sun will also Zarathustra go down: now sits he here and waits, old broken law-tablets around him, and also new law-tablets- half-written.


Behold, here is a new table; but where are my brothers who will carry it with me to the valley and into hearts of flesh?-

Thus demands my great love to the remotest ones: be not considerate of your neighbour! Humanity is something that must be overcome.

There are many divers ways and modes of overcoming: see you thereto! But only a fool thinks: "humanity can also be overleapt."

Overcome yourself even in your neighbour: and a right which you can seize upon, shall you not allow to be given you!

What you do can no one do to you again. Lo, there is no requital.

He who cannot command himself shall obey. And many a one can command himself, but still sorely lacks self-obedience!


Thus wishes the type of noble souls: they desire to have nothing gratuitously, least of all, life.

He who is of the rabble wishes to live gratuitously; we others, however, to whom life has given itself- we are ever considering what we can best give in return!

And verily, it is a noble dictum which says: "What life promises us, that promise will we keep- to life!"

One should not wish to enjoy where one does not contribute to the enjoyment. And one should not wish to enjoy!

For enjoyment and innocence are the most bashful things. Neither like to be sought for. One should have them,- but one should rather seek for guilt and pain!


O my brothers, he who is a firstling is ever sacrificed. Now, however, are we firstlings!

We all bleed on secret sacrificial altars, we all burn and broil in honour of ancient idols.

Our best is still young: this excites old palates. Our flesh is tender, our skin is only lambs' skin:- how could we not excite old idol-priests!

In ourselves dwells he still, the old idol-priest, who broils our best for his banquet. Ah, my brothers, how could firstlings fail to be sacrifices!

But so wishes our type; and I love those who do not wish to preserve themselves, the down-going ones do I love with my entire love: for they go beyond.


To be true- that can few be! And he who can, will not! Least of all, however, can the good be true.

Oh, those good ones! Good people never speak the truth. For the spirit, thus to be good, is a malady.

They yield, those good ones, they submit themselves; their heart repeats, their soul obeys: yet he who obeys, does not listen to himself!

All that is called evil by the good, must come together in order that one truth may be born. O my brothers, are you also evil enough for this truth?

The daring venture, the prolonged distrust, the cruel No, the tedium, the cutting-into-the-quick- how seldom do these come together! Out of such seed, however- is truth produced!

Beside the bad conscience has hereto grown all knowledge! Break up, break up, you discerning ones, the old law-tablets!


When the water has planks, when gangways and railings o'erspan the stream, verily, he is not believed who then says: "All is in flux."

But even the simpletons contradict him. "What?" say the simpletons, "all in flux? Planks and railings are still over the stream!

"Over the stream all is stable, all the values of things, the bridges and bearings, all 'good' and 'evil': these are all stable!"

Comes, however, the hard winter, the stream-tamer, then learn even the wittiest distrust, and verily, not only the simpletons then say: "Should not everything- stand still?"

"Fundamentally stands everything still"- that is an appropriate winter doctrine, good cheer for an unproductive period, a great comfort for winter-sleepers and fireside-loungers.

"Fundamentally stands everything still"-: but contrary thereto, preaches the thawing wind!

The thawing wind, a bullock, which is no ploughing bullock- a furious bullock, a destroyer, which with angry horns breaks the ice! The ice however- - breaks gangways!

O my brothers, is not everything at present in flux? Have not all railings and gangways fallen into the water? Who would still hold on to "good" and "evil"?

"Woe to us! Hail to us! The thawing wind blows!"- Thus preach, my brothers, through all the streets!


There is an old illusion- it is called good and evil. Around soothsayers and astrologers has hereto revolved the orbit of this illusion.

Once did one believe in soothsayers and astrologers; and therefore did one believe, "Everything is fate: you shall, for you must!"

Then again did one distrust all soothsayers and astrologers; and therefore did one believe, "Everything is freedom: you can, for you will!"

O my brothers, concerning the stars and the future there has hereto been only illusion, and not knowledge; and therefore concerning good and evil there has hereto been only illusion and not knowledge!


"You shall not rob! You shall not kill!" such precepts were once called sacred; before them did one bow the knee and the head, and take off one's shoes.

But I ask you: Where have there ever been better robbers and killers in the world than such sacred precepts?

Is there not even in all life- robbing and killing? And for such precepts to be called sacred, was not truth itself thereby- slain?

Or was it a sermon of death that called sacred what contradicted and dissuaded from life? O my brothers, break up, break up for me the old law-tablets!


It is my sympathy with all the past that I see it is abandoned,-

-Abandoned to the favour, the spirit and the madness of every generation that comes, and reinterprets all that has been as its bridge!

A great potentate might arise, an artful prodigy, who with approval and disapproval could strain and constrain all the past, until it became for him a bridge, a harbinger, a herald, and a cock-crowing.

This however is the other danger, and my other sympathy:- he who is of the rabble, his thoughts go back to his grandfather,- with his grandfather, however, does time cease.

Thus is all the past abandoned: for it might some day happen for the rabble to become master, and drown all time in shallow waters.

Therefore, O my brothers, a new nobility is needed, which shall be the adversary of all rabble and potentate rule, and shall inscribe anew the word "noble" on new law-tablets.

For many noble ones are needed, and many kinds of noble ones, for a new nobility! Or, as I once said in parable: "That is just divinity, that there are gods, but no God!"


O my brothers, I consecrate you and point you to a new nobility: you shall become procreators and cultivators and sowers of the future;-

-not to a nobility which you could purchase like traders with traders' gold; for little worth is all that has its price.

Let it not be your honour henceforth whence you come, but where you go! Your Will and your feet which seek to overcome you- let these be your new honour!

Not that you have served a prince- of what account are princes now!- nor that you have become a bulwark to that which stands, that it may stand more firmly.

Not that your family have become courtly at courts, and that you have learned- gay-coloured, like the flamingo- to stand long hours in shallow pools:

(For ability-to-stand is a merit in courtiers; and all courtiers believe that to blessedness after death pertains- permission-to-sit!)

Nor even that a Spirit called Holy, led your forefathers into promised lands, which I do not praise: for where the worst of all trees grew- the cross,- in that land there is nothing to praise!-

-And verily, wherever this "Holy Spirit" led its knights, always in such campaigns did- goats and geese, and wry-heads and guy-heads run foremost!-

O my brothers, not backward shall your nobility gaze, but outward! Exiles shall you be from all fatherlands and forefather-lands!

Your children's land shall you love: let this love be your new nobility,- the undiscovered in the remotest seas! For it do I bid your sails search and search!

To your children shall you make amends for being the children of your fathers: all the past shall you thus redeem! This new table do I place over you!


"Why should one live? All is vain! To live- that is to thresh straw; to live- that is to burn oneself and yet not get warm.-

Such ancient babbling still passes for "wisdom"; because it is old, however, and smells musty, therefore is it the more honoured. Even mould ennobles.

Children might thus speak: they shun the fire because it has burnt them! There is much childishness in the old books of wisdom.

And he who ever "threshes straw," why should he be allowed to rail at threshing! Such a fool one would have to muzzle!

Such persons sit down to the table and bring nothing with them, not even good hunger:- and then do they rail: "All is vain!"

But to eat and drink well, my brothers, is verily no vain art! Break up, break up for me the law-tablets of the never-joyous ones!


"To the clean are all things clean"- thus say the people. I, however, say to you: To the swine all things become swinish!

Therefore preach the visionaries and bowed-heads (whose hearts are also bowed down): "The world itself is a filthy monster."

For these are all unclean spirits; especially those, however, who have no peace or rest, unless they see the world from the backside - the afterworldly!

To those do I say it to the face, although it sound unpleasantly: the world resembles humanity, in that it has a backside - so much is true!

There is in the world much filth: so much is true! But the world itself is not therefore a filthy monster!

There is wisdom in the fact that much in the world smells badly: loathing itself creates wings, and fountain-divining powers!

In the best there is still something to loathe; and the best is still something that must be overcome!-

O my brothers, there is much wisdom in the fact that much filth is in the world!


Such sayings did I hear pious afterworldly speak to their consciences, and verily without wickedness or guile,- although there is nothing more guileful in the world, or more wicked.

"Let the world be as it is! Raise not a finger against it!"

"Let whoever will choke and stab and skin and scrape the people: raise not a finger against it! Thereby will they learn to renounce the world."

"And your own reason- this shall you yourself stifle and choke; for it is a reason of this world,- thereby will you learn yourself to renounce the world."-

-Shatter, shatter, O my brothers, those old law-tablets of the pious! Tatter the maxims of the world-maligners!


"He who learns much unlearns all violent cravings"- that do people now whisper to one another in all the dark lanes.

"Wisdom wearies, nothing is worth while; you shall not crave!"- this new table found I hanging even in the public markets.

Break up for me, O my brothers, break up also that new table! The weary-o'-the-world put it up, and the preachers of death and the jailer: for lo, it is also a sermon for slavery.

Because they learned badly and not the best, and everything too early and everything too fast; because they ate badly: from thence has resulted their ruined stomach…

…for a ruined stomach, is their spirit: it persuades to death! For verily, my brothers, the spirit is a stomach!

Life is a well of delight, but to him in whom the ruined stomach speaks, the father of affliction, all fountains are poisoned.

To discern: that is delight to the lion-willed! But he who has become weary, is himself merely "willed"; with him play all the waves.

And such is always the nature of weak people: they lose themselves on their way. And at last asks their weariness: "Why did we ever go on the way? All is indifferent!"

To them sounds it pleasant to have preached in their ears: "Nothing is worth while! You shall not will!" That, however, is a sermon for slavery.

O my brothers, a fresh blustering wind comes Zarathustra to all way-weary ones; many noses will he yet make sneeze!

Even through walls blows my free breath, and into prisons and imprisoned spirits!

Willing emancipates: for willing is creating: so do I teach. And only for creating shall you learn!

And also the learning shall you learn only from me, the learning well!- He who has ears let him hear!


There stands the boat- there goes it over, perhaps into vast nothingness- but who wills to enter into this "Perhaps"?

None of you want to enter into the death-boat! How should you then be world-weary ones!

World-weary ones! And have not even withdrawn from the earth! Eager did I ever find you for the earth, amorous still of your own earth-weariness!

Not in vain does your lip hang down:- a small worldly wish still sits on it! And in your eye- floats there not a little cloud of unforgotten earthly bliss?

There are on the earth many good inventions, some useful, some pleasant: for their sake is the earth to be loved.

And many such good inventions are there, that they are like woman's breasts: useful at the same time, and pleasant.

You world-weary ones, however! You earth-idlers! You, shall one beat with stripes! With stripes shall one again make you sprightly limbs.

For if you be not invalids, or decrepit creatures, of whom the earth is weary, then are you sly sloths, or dainty, sneaking pleasure-cats. And if you will not again run gaily, then shall you- pass away!

To the incurable shall one not seek to be a physician: thus teaches Zarathustra:- so shall you pass away!

But more courage is needed to make an end than to make a new verse: that do all physicians and poets know well.


O my brothers, there are law-tablets which weariness framed, and law-tablets which slothfulness framed, corrupt slothfulness: although they speak similarly, they want to be heard differently.

See this languishing one! Only a span-breadth is he from his goal; but from weariness has he lain down obstinately in the dust, this brave one!

From weariness yawns he at the path, at the earth, at the goal, and at himself: not a step further will he go,- this brave one!

Now glows the sun upon him, and the dogs lick at his sweat: but he lies there in his obstinacy and prefers to languish:-

-A span-breadth from his goal, to languish! you will have to drag him into his heaven by the hair of his head- this hero!

Better still that you let him lie where he has lain down, that sleep may come to him, the comforter, with cooling patter-rain.

Let him lie, until of his own accord he awakens,- until of his own accord he repudiates all weariness, and what weariness has taught through him!

Only, my brothers, see that you scare the dogs away from him, the idle skulkers, and all the swarming vermin:-

-All the swarming vermin of the "cultured," that- feast on the sweat of every hero!


I form circles around me and sacred boundaries; ever fewer ascend with me ever higher mountains: I build a mountain-range out of ever holier mountains.-

But wherever you would ascend with me, O my brothers, take care lest a parasite ascend with you!

A parasite: that is a reptile, a creeping, cringing reptile, that tries to fatten on your infirm and sore places.

And this is its art: it divines where ascending souls are weary, in your trouble and dejection, in your sensitive modesty, does it build its loathsome nest.

Where the strong are weak, where the noble are all-too-gentle- there builds it its loathsome nest; the parasite lives where the great have small sore-places.

What is the highest of all species of being, and what is the lowest? The parasite is the lowest species; yet he who is of the highest species feeds most parasites.

For the soul which has the longest ladder, and can go deepest down: how could there fail to be most parasites upon it?-

-The most comprehensive soul, which can run and stray and rove furthest in itself; the most necessary soul, which out of joy flings itself into chance:-

-The soul in Being, which plunges into Becoming; the possessing soul, which seeks to attain desire and longing:-

-The soul fleeing from itself, which overtakes itself in the widest circuit; the wisest soul, to which folly speaks most sweetly:-

-The soul most self-loving, in which all things have their current and counter-current, their ebb and their flow:- oh, how could the loftiest soul fail to have the worst parasites?


O my brothers, am I then cruel? But I say: What falls, that shall one also push!

Everything of today- it falls, it decays; who would preserve it! But I- I wish also to push it!

Know you the delight which rolls stones into precipitous depths?- Those people of today, see just how they roll into my depths!

A prelude am I to better players, O my brothers! An example! Do according to my example!

And him whom you do not teach to fly, teach I pray you- to fall faster!


I love the brave: but it is not enough to be a swordsman,- one must also know whereon to use swordsmanship!

And often is it greater bravery to keep quiet and pass by, that thereby one may reserve oneself for a worthier foe!

You shall only have foes to be hated; but not foes to be despised: you must be proud of your foes. Thus have I already taught.

For the worthier foe, O my brothers, shall you reserve yourselves: therefore must you pass by many a one,-

-Especially many of the rabble, who din your ears with noise about people and peoples.

Keep your eye clear of their For and Against! There is there much right, much wrong: he who looks on becomes wroth.

Therein viewing, therein hewing- they are the same thing: therefore depart into the forests and lay your sword to sleep!

Go your ways! and let the people and peoples go theirs!- gloomy ways, verily, on which not a single hope glints any more!

Let there the trader rule, where all that still glitters is- traders' gold. It is the time of kings no longer: that which now calls itself the people is unworthy of kings.

See how these peoples themselves now do just like the traders: they pick up the small advantage out of all kinds of rubbish!

They lay lures for one another, they lure things out of one another,- that they call "good neighbourliness." O blessed remote period when a people said to itself: "I will be- master over peoples!"

For, my brothers, the best shall rule, the best also wills to rule! And where the teaching is different, there- the best is lacking.


If they had- bread for nothing, alas! for what would they cry! Their maintainment- that is their true entertainment; and they shall have it hard!

Beasts of prey, are they: in their "working"- there is even plundering, in their "earning"- there is even over-reaching! Therefore shall they have it hard!

Better beasts of prey shall they thus become, subtler, cleverer, and more human-like: for humanity is the best beast of prey.

All the animals have humanity already robbed of its virtue: that is why of all animals it has been hardest for humanity.

Only the birds are still beyond humanity. And if humanity should yet learn to fly, alas! To what height would his rapacity fly!


Thus would I have man and woman: fit for war, the one; fit for maternity, the other; both, however, fit for dancing with head and legs.

And lost be the day to us in which a measure has not been danced. And false be every truth which has not had laughter along with it!


Your marriage-arranging: see that it be not a bad arranging! You have arranged too hastily: so there follows therefrom- marriage-breaking!

And better marriage-breaking than marriage-bending, marriage-lying!- Thus spoke a woman to me: "Indeed, I broke the marriage, but first did the marriage break- me!

The badly paired found I ever the most revengeful: they make every one suffer for it that they no longer run singly.

On that account want I the honest ones to say to one another: "We love each other: let us see to it that we maintain our love! Or shall our pledging be blundering?"

-"Give us a set term and a small marriage, that we may see if we are fit for the great marriage! It is a great matter always to be twain."

Thus do I counsel all honest ones; and what would be my love to the overman, and to all that is to come, if I should counsel and speak otherwise!

Not only to propagate yourselves onwards but upwards- thereto, O my brothers, may the garden of marriage help you!


He who has grown wise concerning old origins, lo, he will at last seek after the fountains of the future and new origins.-

O my brothers, not long will it be until new peoples shall arise and new fountains shall rush down into new depths.

For the earthquake- it chokes up many wells, it causes much languishing: but it brings also to light inner powers and secrets.

The earthquake discloses new fountains. In the earthquake of old peoples new fountains burst forth.

And whoever calls out: "Lo, here is a well for many thirsty ones, one heart for many longing ones, one will for many instruments":- around him collects a people, that is to say, many attempting ones.

Who can command, who must obey- that is there attempted! Ah, with what long seeking and solving and failing and learning and re-attempting!

Human society: it is an attempt- so I teach- a long seeking: it seeks however the ruler!-

-An attempt, my brothers! And no "contract"! Destroy, I pray you, destroy that word of the soft-hearted and half-and-half!


O my brothers! With whom lies the greatest danger to the whole human future? Is it not with the good and just?-

-As those who say and feel in their hearts: "We already know what is good and just, we possess it also; woe to those who still seek thereafter!

And whatever harm the wicked may do, the harm of the good is the most harmful harm!

And whatever harm the world-maligners may do, the harm of the good is the most harmful harm!

O my brothers, into the hearts of the good and just looked some one once on a time, who said: "They are the Pharisees." But people did not understand him.

The good and just themselves were not free to understand him; their spirit was imprisoned in their good conscience. The stupidity of the good is unfathomably wise.

It is the truth, however, that the good must be Pharisees- they have no choice!

The good must crucify him who creates his own virtue! That is the truth!

The second one, however, who discovered their country- the country, heart and soil of the good and just,- it was he who asked: "Whom do they hate most?"

The creator, hate they most, him who breaks the law-tablets and old values, the breaker,- him they call the law-breaker.

For the good- they cannot create; they are always the beginning of the end:-

-They crucify him who writes new values on new law-tablets, they sacrifice to themselves the future- they crucify the whole human future!

The good- they have always been the beginning of the end.


O my brothers, have you also understood this word? And what I once said of the "last humanity"?

With whom lies the greatest danger to the whole human future? Is it not with the good and just?

Break up, break up, I pray you, the good and just!- O my brothers, have you understood also this word?


You flee from me? You are frightened? You tremble at this word?

O my brothers, when I enjoined you to break up the good, and the law-tablets of the good, then only did I embark humanity on its high seas.

And now only comes to him the great terror, the great outlook, the great sickness, the great nausea, the great seasickness.

False shores and false securities did the good teach you; in the lies of the good were you born and bred. Everything has been radically contorted and distorted by the good.

But he who discovered the country of "humanity," discovered also the country of "humanity's future." Now shall you be sailors for me, brave, patient!

Keep yourselves up betimes, my brothers, learn to keep yourselves up! The sea storms: many seek to raise themselves again by you.

The sea storms: all is in the sea. Well! Cheer up! You old seaman-hearts!

What of fatherland! There strives our helm where our children's land is! Therewards, stormier than the sea, storms our great longing!-


"Why so hard!"- said to the diamond one day the charcoal; "are we then not near relatives?"-

Why so soft? O my brothers; thus do I ask you: are you then not- my brothers?

Why so soft, so submissive and yielding? Why is there so much negation and abnegation in your hearts? Why is there so little fate in your looks?

And if you will not be fates and inexorable ones, how can you one day- conquer with me?

And if your hardness will not glance and cut and chip to pieces, how can you one day- create with me?

For the creators are hard. And blessed must it seem to you to press your hand upon millenniums as upon wax,-

-Blessed to write upon the will of millenniums as upon brass,- harder than brass, nobler than brass. Entirely hard is only the noblest.

This new table, O my brothers, put I up over you: Become hard!


O you, my Will! you change of every need, my needfulness! Preserve me from all small victories!

You fatedness of my soul, which I call fate! you In-me! Over-me! Preserve and spare me for one great fate!

And your last greatness, my Will, spare it for your last- that you may be inexorable in your victory! Ah, who has not perished to his victory!

Ah, whose eye has not bedimmed in this intoxicated twilight! Ah, whose foot has not faltered and forgotten in victory- how to stand!-

-That I may one day be ready and ripe in the great noon-tide: ready and ripe like the glowing ore, the lightning-bearing cloud, and the swelling milk-udder:-

-Ready for myself and for my most hidden Will: a bow eager for its arrow, an arrow eager for its star:-

-A star, ready and ripe in its noontide, glowing, pierced, blessed, by annihilating sun-arrows:-

-A sun itself, and an inexorable sun-will, ready for annihilation in victory!

O Will, you change of every need, my needfulness! Spare me for one great victory!

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

57. The Convalescent


ONE morning, not long after his return to his cave, Zarathustra sprang up from his couch like a madman, crying with a frightful voice, and acting as if some one still lay on the couch who did not wish to rise. Zarathustra's voice also resounded in such a manner that his animals came to him frightened, and out of all the neighbouring caves and lurking-places all the creatures slipped away- flying, fluttering, creeping or leaping, according to their variety of foot or wing. Zarathustra, however, spoke these words:

Up, abysmal thought out of my depth! I am your cock and morning dawn, you overslept reptile: Up! Up! My voice shall soon crow you awake!

Unbind the fetters of your ears: listen! For I wish to hear you! Up! Up! There is thunder enough to make the very graves listen!

And rub the sleep and all the dimness and blindness out of your eyes! Hear me also with your eyes: my voice is a medicine even for those born blind.

And once you are awake, then shall you ever remain awake. It is not my custom to awake great-grandmothers out of their sleep that I may bid them- sleep on!

You stir, stretch yourself, wheeze? Up! Up! Not wheeze, shall you,- but speak to me! Zarathustra calls you, Zarathustra the godless!

I, Zarathustra, the advocate of living, the advocate of suffering, the advocate of the circuit- you do I call, my most abysmal thought!

Joy to me! you come,- I hear you! My abyss speaks, my lowest depth have I turned over into the light!

Joy to me! Come here! Give me your hand- - ha! let be! aha!- - Disgust, disgust, disgust- - - alas to me!


Hardly, however, had Zarathustra spoken these words, when he fell down as one dead, and remained long as one dead. When however he again came to himself, then was he pale and trembling, and remained lying; and for long he would neither eat nor drink. This condition continued for seven days; his animals, however, did not leave him day nor night, except that the eagle flew forth to fetch food. And what it fetched and foraged, it laid on Zarathustra's couch: so that Zarathustra at last lay among yellow and red berries, grapes, rosy apples, sweet-smelling herbage, and pine-cones. At his feet, however, two lambs were stretched, which the eagle had with difficulty carried off from their shepherds.

At last, after seven days, Zarathustra raised himself upon his couch, took a rosy apple in his hand, smelt it and found its smell pleasant. Then did his animals think the time had come to speak to him.

"O Zarathustra," said they, "now have you lain thus for seven days with heavy eyes: will you not set yourself again upon your feet?

Step out of your cave: the world waits for you as a garden. The wind plays with heavy fragrance which seeks for you; and all brooks would like to run after you.

All things long for you, since you have remained alone for seven days- step forth out of your cave! All things want to be your physicians!

Did perhaps a new knowledge come to you, a bitter, grievous knowledge? Like leavened dough lay you, your soul arose and swelled beyond all its bounds.-"

-O my animals, answered Zarathustra, talk on thus and let me listen! It refreshes me so to hear your talk: where there is talk, there is the world as a garden to me.

How charming it is that there are words and tones; are not words and tones rainbows and seeming bridges 'twixt the eternally separated?

To each soul belongs another world; to each soul is every other soul a back-world.

Among the most alike does semblance deceive most delightfully: for the small gap is most difficult to bridge over.

For me- how could there be an outside-of-me? There is no outside! But this we forget on hearing tones; how delightful it is that we forget!

Have not names and tones been given to things that humanity may refresh itself with them? It is a beautiful folly, speaking; therewith dances humanity over everything.

How lovely is all speech and all falsehoods of tones! With tones dances our love on variegated rainbows.-

"O Zarathustra," said then his animals, "to those who think like us, things all dance themselves: they come and hold out the hand and laugh and flee and return.

Everything goes, everything returns; eternally rolls the wheel of existence. Everything dies, everything blossoms forth again; eternally runs on the year of existence.

Everything breaks, everything is integrated anew; eternally builds itself the same house of existence. All things separate, all things again greet one another; eternally true to itself remains the ring of existence.

Every moment begins existence, around every 'Here' rolls the ball 'There.' The middle is everywhere. Crooked is the path of eternity."-

O you wags and barrel-organs! answered Zarathustra, and smiled once more, how well do you know what had to be fulfilled in seven days:-

And how that monster crept into my throat and choked me! But I bit off its head and spat it away from me.

And you - you have made a lyre-lay out of it? Now, however, do I lie here, still exhausted with that biting and spitting-away, still sick with my own salvation.

And you looked on at it all? O my animals, are you also cruel? Did you like to look at my great pain as people do? For humanity is the cruel animal.

At tragedies, bull-fights, and crucifixions has he hereto been happiest on earth; and when he invented his hell, behold, that was his heaven on earth.

When the great human cries - immediately runs the little humanity there, and his tongue hangs out of his mouth for very lusting. Yet he calls it his "pity."

The little humanity, especially the poet - how passionately does he accuse life in words! Hearken to him, but do not fail to hear the delight which is in all accusation!

Such accusers of life- them life overcomes with a glance of the eye. "You love me?" says the insolent one; "wait a little, as yet have I no time for you."

Towards itself humanity is the cruel animal; and in all who call themselves "sinners" and "bearers of the cross" and "penitents," do not overlook the voluptuousness in their plaints and accusations!

And I myself- do, I thereby want to be humanity's accuser? Ah, my animals, this only have I learned hereto, that for humanity its evil is necessary for it best - that all that is evil is the best power, and the hardest stone for the highest creator; and that humanity must become better and more evil.

Not to this torture-stake was I tied, that I know humanity is bad,- but I cried, as no one has yet cried:

"Ah, that his evil is so very small! Ah, that his best is so very small!"

The great disgust at humanity- it strangled me and had crept into my throat: and what the soothsayer had presaged: "All is alike, nothing is worth while, knowledge strangles."

A long twilight limped on before me, a fatally weary, fatally intoxicated sadness, which spoke with yawning mouth.

"Eternally it returns, the human of whom you are weary, the small human"- so yawned my sadness, and dragged its foot and could not go to sleep.

A cavern, became the human earth to me; its breast caved in; everything living became to me human dust and bones and mouldering past.

My sighing sat on all human graves, and could no longer arise: my sighing and questioning croaked and choked, and gnawed and nagged day and night:

"Ah, humanity returns eternally! The small human returns eternally!"

Naked had I once seen both of them, the greatest human and the small human: all too like one another- all too human, even the greatest human!

All too small, even the greatest human! That was my disgust at humanity! And the eternal return also of the small human! That was my disgust at all existence!

Ah, Disgust! Disgust! Disgust! Thus spoke Zarathustra, and sighed and shuddered; for he remembered his sickness. Then did his animals prevent him from speaking further.

"Do not speak further, you convalescent!"- so answered his animals, "but go out where the world waits for you like a garden.

Go out to the roses, the bees, and the flocks of doves! Especially, however, to the singing-birds, to learn singing from them!

For singing is for the convalescent; the sound ones may talk. And when the sound also want songs, then want they other songs than the convalescent."

-"O you wags and barrel-organs, do be silent!" answered Zarathustra, and smiled at his animals. "How well you know what consolation I created for myself in seven days!

That I have to sing once more- that consolation did I create for myself, and this convalescence: would you also make another lyre-lay thereof?"

-"Do not talk further," answered his animals once more; "rather, you convalescent, prepare for yourself first a lyre, a new lyre! For behold, O Zarathustra! For your new lays there are needed new lyres.

Sing and bubble over, O Zarathustra, heal your soul with new lays: that you may bear your great fate, which has not yet been any one's fate!

For your animals know it well, O Zarathustra, who you are and must become: behold, you are the teacher of the eternal return,- that is now your fate!

That you must be the first to teach this teaching- how could this great fate not be your greatest danger and infirmity!

Behold, we know what you teach: that all things eternally return, and ourselves with them, and that we have already existed times without number, and all things with us.

You teach that there is a great year of Becoming, a prodigy of a great year; it must, like a sand-glass, ever turn up anew, that it may anew run down and run out:-

-So that all those years are like one another in the greatest and also in the small, so that we ourselves, in every great year, are like ourselves in the greatest and also in the small.

And if you would now die, O Zarathustra, behold, we know also how you would then speak to yourself:- but your animals beseech you not to die yet!

You would speak, and without trembling, buoyant rather with bliss, for a great weight and worry would be taken from you, you patientest one!-

'Now do I die and disappear,' would you say, 'and in a moment I am nothing. Souls are as mortal as bodies.

But the plexus of causes returns in which I am intertwined,- it will again create me! I myself pertain to the causes of the eternal return.

I come again with this sun, with this earth, with this eagle, with this serpent- not to a new life, or a better life, or a similar life:

-I come again eternally to this identical and selfsame life, in its greatest and its small, to teach again the eternal return of all things,-

-To speak again the word of the great noontide of earth and humanity, to announce again to humanity the overman.

I have spoken my word. I break down by my word: so wills my eternal fate- as announcer do I perish!

The hour has now come for the down-goer to bless himself. Thus- ends Zarathustra's down-going.' "

When the animals had spoken these words they were silent and waited, so that Zarathustra might say something to them; but Zarathustra did not hear that they were silent. On the contrary, he lay quietly with closed eyes like a person sleeping, although he did not sleep; for he communed just then with his soul. The serpent, however, and the eagle, when they found him silent in such wise, respected the great stillness around him, and prudently retired.

58. The Great Longing

O MY soul, I have taught you to say "today" as "once on a time" and "formerly," and to dance your measure over every Here and There and Yonder.

O my soul, I delivered you from all by-places, I brushed down from you dust and spiders and twilight.

O my soul, I washed the petty shame and the by-place virtue from you, and persuaded you to stand naked before the eyes of the sun.

With the storm that is called "spirit" did I blow over your surging sea; all clouds did I blow away from it; I strangled even the strangler called "sin."

O my soul, I gave you the right to say No like the storm, and to say Yes as the open heaven says Yes: calm as the light remain you, and now walk through denying storms.

O my soul, I restored to you liberty over the created and the uncreated; and who knows, as you know, the voluptuousness of the future?

O my soul, I taught you the contempt which does not come like worm-eating, the great, the loving contempt, which loves most where it contemns most.

O my soul, I taught you so to persuade that you persuade even the grounds themselves to you: like the sun, which persuades even the sea to its height.

O my soul, I have taken from you all obeying and knee-bending and homage-paying; I have myself given you the names, "Change of need" and "Fate."

O my soul, I have given you new names and gay-coloured playthings, I have called you "Fate" and "the Circuit of circuits" and "the Navel-string of time" and "the Azure bell."

O my soul, to your domain gave I all wisdom to drink all new wines, and also all immemorially old strong wines of wisdom.

O my soul, every sun shed I upon you, and every night and every silence and every longing:- then grew you up for me as a vine.

O my soul, exuberant and heavy do you now stand forth, a vine with swelling udders and full clusters of brown golden grapes:-

-Filled and weighted by your happiness, waiting from superabundance, and yet ashamed of your waiting.

O my soul, there is nowhere a soul which could be more loving and more comprehensive and more extensive! Where could future and past be closer together than with you?

O my soul, I have given you everything, and all my hands have become empty by you:- and now! Now say you to me, smiling and full of melancholy: "Which of us owes thanks?-

-Do the giver not owe thanks because the receiver received? Is giving not a necessity? Is receiving not- pitying?"

O my soul, I understand the smiling of your melancholy: your over-abundance itself now stretches out longing hands!

Your fulness looks forth over raging seas, and seeks and waits: the longing of over-fulness looks forth from the smiling heaven of your eyes!

And verily, O my soul! Who could see your smiling and not melt into tears? The angels themselves melt into tears through the over-graciousness of your smiling.

Your graciousness and over-graciousness, is it which will not complain and weep: and yet, O my soul, longs your smiling for tears, and your trembling mouth for sobs.

"Is not all weeping complaining? And all complaining, accusing?" Thus speak you to yourself; and therefore, O my soul, will you rather smile than pour forth your grief-

-Than in gushing tears pour forth all your grief concerning your fulness, and concerning the craving of the vine for the vintager and vintage-knife!

But will you not weep, will you not weep forth your purple melancholy, then will you have to sing, O my soul!- Behold, I smile myself, who foretell you this:

-You will have to sing with passionate song, until all seas turn calm to hearken to your longing,-

-Until over calm longing seas the bark glides, the golden marvel, around the gold of which all good, bad, and marvellous things frisk:-

-Also many large and small animals, and everything that has light marvellous feet, so that it can run on violet-blue paths,-

-Towards the golden marvel, the spontaneous bark, and its master: he, however, is the vintager who waits with the diamond vintage-knife,-

-Your great deliverer, O my soul, the nameless one- for whom future songs only will find names! And verily, already has your breath the fragrance of future songs,-

-Already glow you and dream, already drink you thirstily at all deep echoing wells of consolation, already reposes your melancholy in the bliss of future songs!- -

O my soul, now have I given you all, and even my last possession, and all my hands have become empty by you:- that I bade you sing, behold, that was my last thing to give!

That I bade you sing,- say now, say: which of us now- owes thanks?- Better still, however: sing to me, sing, O my soul! And let me thank you!

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

59. The Second Dance-Song


"INTO your eyes gazed I lately, O Life: gold saw I gleam in your night-eyes,- my heart stood still with delight:

-A golden bark saw I gleam on darkened waters, a sinking, drinking, reblinking, golden swing-bark!

At my dance-frantic foot, do you cast a glance, a laughing, questioning, melting, thrown glance:

Twice only moved you your rattle with your little hands- then did my feet swing with dance-fury.-

My heels reared aloft, my toes they hearkened,- you they would know: has not the dancer his ear- in his toe!

To you did I spring: then fled you back from my bound; and towards me waved your fleeing, flying tresses round!

Away from you did I spring, and from your snaky tresses: then stood you there half-turned, and in your eye caresses.

With crooked glances- do you teach me crooked courses; on crooked courses learn my feet- crafty fancies!

I fear you near, I love you far; your flight allures me, your seeking secures me:- I suffer, but for you, what would I not gladly bear!

For you, whose coldness inflames, whose hatred misleads, whose flight enchains, whose mockery- pleads:

-Who would not hate you, you great bindress, in-windress, temptress, seekress, findress! Who would not love you, you innocent, impatient, wind-swift, child-eyed sinner!

Where pull you me now, you paragon and tomboy? And now fool you me fleeing; you sweet romp does annoy!

I dance after you, I follow even faint traces lonely. Where are you? Give me your hand! Or your finger only!

Here are caves and thickets: we shall go astray!- Halt! Stand still! See you not owls and bats in fluttering fray?

You bat! you owl! you would play me foul? Where are we? From the dogs have you learned thus to bark and howl.

You gnash on me sweetly with little white teeth; your evil eyes shoot out upon me, your curly little mane from underneath!

This is a dance over stock and stone: I am the hunter,- will you be my hound, or my chamois anon?

Now beside me! And quickly, wickedly springing! Now up! And over!- Alas! I have fallen myself overswinging!

Oh, see me lying, you arrogant one, and imploring grace! Gladly would I walk with you- in some lovelier place!

-In the paths of love, through bushes variegated, quiet, trim! Or there along the lake, where gold-fishes dance and swim!

You are now a-weary? There above are sheep and sun-set stripes: is it not sweet to sleep- the shepherd pipes?

You are so very weary? I carry you there; let just your arm sink! And are you thirsty- I should have something; but your mouth would not like it to drink!-

-Oh, that cursed, nimble, supple serpent and lurking-witch! Where are you gone? But in my face do I feel through your hand, two spots and red blotches itch!

I am verily weary of it, ever your sheepish shepherd to be. You witch, if I have hereto sung to you, now shall you- cry to me!

To the rhythm of my whip shall you dance and cry! I forget not my whip?- Not I!"


Then did Life answer me thus, and kept thereby her fine ears closed:

"O Zarathustra! Crack not so terribly with your whip! You know surely that noise kills thought,- and just now there came to me such delicate thoughts.

We are both of us genuine ne'er-do-wells and ne'er-do-ills. Beyond good and evil found we our island and our green meadow- we two alone! Therefore must we be friendly to each other!

And even should we not love each other from the bottom of our hearts,- must we then have a grudge against each other if we do not love each other perfectly?

And that I am friendly to you, and often too friendly, that know you: and the reason is that I am envious of your Wisdom. Ah, this mad old fool, Wisdom!

If your Wisdom should one day run away from you, ah! then would also my love run away from you quickly."

Then did Life look thoughtfully behind and around, and said softly: "O Zarathustra, you are not faithful enough to me!

You love me not nearly so much as you say; I know you think of soon leaving me.

There is an old heavy, heavy, booming-clock: it booms by night up to your cave:-

When you hear this clock strike the hours at midnight, then think you between one and twelve thereon-

You think thereon, O Zarathustra, I know it- of soon leaving me!"

"Yes," answered I, hesitatingly, "but you know it also"- And I said something into her ear, in amongst her confused, yellow, foolish tresses.

"You know that, O Zarathustra? That knows no one- -"

And we gazed at each other, and looked at the green meadow over which the cool evening was just passing, and we wept together.- Then, however, was Life dearer to me than all my Wisdom had ever been.

Thus spoke Zarathustra.



O humanity! Take heed!


What says deep midnight's voice indeed?


"I slept my sleep


"From deepest dream I've woke and plead


"The world is deep,


"And deeper than the day could read.


"Deep is its woe


"Joy- deeper still than grief can be


"Woe says: Hence! Go!


"But joys all want eternity


"Want deep profound eternity!"


60. The Seven Seals


IF I be a diviner and full of the divining spirit which wanders on high mountain-ridges, 'twixt two seas,-

Wanders 'twixt the past and the future as a heavy cloud- hostile to sultry plains, and to all that is weary and can neither die nor live:

Ready for lightning in its dark bosom, and for the redeeming flash of light, charged with lightnings which say Yes! which laugh Yes! ready for divining flashes of lightning:-

-Blessed, however, is he who is thus charged! And verily, long must he hang like a heavy tempest on the mountain, who shall one day kindle the light of the future!-

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity and for the marriage-ring of rings- the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love you, O Eternity!

For I love you, O Eternity!


If ever my wrath has burst graves, shifted landmarks, or rolled old shattered law-tablets into precipitous depths:

If ever my scorn has scattered mouldered words to the winds, and if I have come like a besom to cross-spiders, and as a cleansing wind to old charnel-houses:

If ever I have sat rejoicing where old gods lie buried, world-blessing, world-loving, beside the monuments of old world-maligners:-

-For even churches and gods'-graves do I love, if only heaven looks through their ruined roofs with pure eyes; gladly do I sit like grass and red poppies on ruined churches-

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the marriage-ring of rings- the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love you, O Eternity!

For I love you, O Eternity!


If ever a breath has come to me of the creative breath, and of the heavenly necessity which compels even chances to dance star-dances:

If ever I have laughed with the laughter of the creative lightning, to which the long thunder of the deed follows, grumbling, but obedient:

If ever I have played dice with the gods at the divine table of the earth, so that the earth quaked and ruptured, and snorted forth fire-streams:-

-For a divine table is the earth, and trembling with new active dictums and dice-casts of the gods:

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the marriage-ring of rings- the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love you, O Eternity!

For I love you, O Eternity!


If ever I have drunk a full draught of the foaming spice- and confection-bowl in which all things are well mixed:

If ever my hand has mingled the furthest with the nearest, fire with spirit, joy with sorrow, and the harshest with the kindest:

If I myself am a grain of the saving salt which makes everything in the confection-bowl mix well:-

-For there is a salt which unites good with evil; and even the evilest is worthy, as spicing and as final over-foaming:-

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the marriage-ring of rings- the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love you, O Eternity!

For I love you, O Eternity!


If I be fond of the sea, and all that is of the sea, and fondest of it when it angrily contradicts me:

If the exploring delight be in me, which impels sails to the undiscovered, if the seafarer's delight be in my delight:

If ever my rejoicing has called out: "The shore has vanished,- now has fallen from me the last chain-

The boundless roars around me, far away sparkle for me space and time,- well! cheer up! old heart!"-

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the marriage-ring of rings- the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love you, O Eternity!

For I love you, O Eternity!


If my virtue be a dancer's virtue, and if I have often sprung with both feet into golden-emerald rapture:

If my wickedness be a laughing wickedness, at home among rose-banks and hedges of lilies:

-or in laughter is all evil present, but it is sanctified and absolved by its own bliss:-

And if it be my Alpha and Omega that everything heavy shall become light, everybody a dancer, and every spirit a bird: and verily, that is my Alpha and Omega!-

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the marriage-ring of rings- the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love you, O Eternity!

For I love you, O Eternity!


If ever I have spread out a tranquil heaven above me, and have flown into my own heaven with my own pinions:

If I have swum playfully in profound luminous distances, and if my freedom's avian wisdom has come to me:-

-Thus however speaks avian wisdom:- "Lo, there is no above and no below! Throw yourself about,- outward, backward, you light one! Sing! speak no more!

-Are not all words made for the heavy? Do not all words lie to the light ones? Sing! speak no more!"-

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the marriage-ring of rings- the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love you, O Eternity!

For I love you, O Eternity!

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» Suggested prior reading: Friedrich Nietzsche

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