THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA 12

THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA 12

 

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Now gloweth the sun upon him, and the dogs lick at his sweat: but he
lieth there in his obstinacy and preferreth to languish:–

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

Better still that ye let him lie where he hath lain down, that sleep may
come unto him, the comforter, with cooling patter-rain.

Let him lie, until of his own accord he awakeneth,–until of his own
accord he repudiateth all weariness, and what weariness hath taught
through him!

Only, my brethren, see that ye 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!–

19.

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

But wherever ye would ascend with me, O my brethren, take care lest a
PARASITE ascend with you!

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

And THIS is its art: it divineth where ascending souls are weary, in
your trouble and dejection, in your sensitive modesty, doth it build its
loathsome nest.

Where the strong are weak, where the noble are all-too-gentle–there
buildeth it its loathsome nest; the parasite liveth 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; he, however, who is of the highest
species feedeth most parasites.

For the soul which hath 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 flingeth itself
into chance:–

–The soul in Being, which plungeth into Becoming; the possessing soul,
which SEEKETH to attain desire and longing:–

–The soul fleeing from itself, which overtaketh itself in the widest
circuit; the wisest soul, unto which folly speaketh 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?

20.

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

Everything of to-day–it falleth, it decayeth; who would preserve it!
But I–I wish also to push it!

Know ye the delight which rolleth stones into precipitous depths?–Those
men of to-day, see just how they roll into my depths!

A prelude am I to better players, O my brethren! An example! DO
according to mine example!

And him whom ye do not teach to fly, teach I pray you–TO FALL FASTER!–

21.

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!

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

For the worthier foe, O my brethren, shall ye reserve yourselves:
therefore must ye 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 looketh on becometh 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 glinteth any more!

Let there the trader rule, where all that still glittereth is–traders’
gold. It is the time of kings no longer: that which now calleth itself
the people is unworthy of kings.

See how these peoples themselves now do just like the traders: they pick
up the smallest 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 brethren, the best shall rule, the best also WILLETH to rule!
And where the teaching is different, there–the best is LACKING.

22.

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 overreaching! Therefore shall they
have it hard!

Better beasts of prey shall they thus become, subtler, cleverer, MORE
MAN-LIKE: for man is the best beast of prey.

All the animals hath man already robbed of their virtues: that is why of
all animals it hath been hardest for man.

Only the birds are still beyond him. And if man should yet learn to fly,
alas! TO WHAT HEIGHT–would his rapacity fly!

23.

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 hath not been danced. And
false be every truth which hath not had laughter along with it!

24.

Your marriage-arranging: see that it be not a bad ARRANGING! Ye have
arranged too hastily: so there FOLLOWETH therefrom–marriage-breaking!

And better marriage-breaking than marriage-bending,
marriage-lying!–Thus spake a woman unto 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
Superman, 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
brethren, may the garden of marriage help you!

25.

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

O my brethren, not long will it be until NEW PEOPLES shall arise and new
fountains shall rush down into new depths.

For the earthquake–it choketh up many wells, it causeth much
languishing: but it bringeth also to light inner powers and secrets.

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

And whoever calleth out: “Lo, here is a well for many thirsty ones, one
heart for many longing ones, one will for many instruments”:–around him
collecteth 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 seeketh
however the ruler!–

–An attempt, my brethren! And NO “contract”! Destroy, I pray you,
destroy that word of the soft-hearted and half-and-half!

26.

O my brethren! With whom lieth 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
harmfulest harm!

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

O my brethren, 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 deviseth 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 breaketh the tables 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 writeth new values on new tables, they sacrifice
UNTO THEMSELVES the future–they crucify the whole human future!

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

27.

O my brethren, have ye also understood this word? And what I once said
of the “last man”?–

With whom lieth 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 brethren, have
ye understood also this word?

28.

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

O my brethren, when I enjoined you to break up the good, and the tables
of the good, then only did I embark man on his high seas.

And now only cometh unto him the great terror, the great outlook, the
great sickness, the great nausea, the great sea-sickness.

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

But he who discovered the country of “man,” discovered also the country
of “man’s future.” Now shall ye be sailors for me, brave, patient!

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

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

What of fatherland! THITHER striveth our helm where our CHILDREN’S LAND
is! Thitherwards, stormier than the sea, stormeth our great longing!–

29.

“Why so hard!”–said to the diamond one day the charcoal; “are we then
not near relatives?”–

Why so soft? O my brethren; thus do _I_ ask you: are ye then not–my
brethren?

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 ye will not be fates and inexorable ones, how can ye one day–
conquer with me?

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

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

–Blessedness 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 brethren, put I up over you: BECOME HARD!–

30.

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

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

And thy last greatness, my Will, spare it for thy last–that thou mayest
be inexorable IN thy victory! Ah, who hath not succumbed to his victory!

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

–That I may one day be ready and ripe in the great noontide: 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, thou change of every need, MY needfulness! Spare me for one
great victory!—

Thus spake Zarathustra.

LVII. THE CONVALESCENT.

1.

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, spake these words:

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

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

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

And once thou art awake, then shalt thou ever remain awake. It is not
MY custom to awake great-grandmothers out of their sleep that I may bid
them–sleep on!

Thou stirrest, stretchest thyself, wheezest? Up! Up! Not wheeze, shalt
thou,–but speak unto me! Zarathustra calleth thee, Zarathustra the
godless!

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

Joy to me! Thou comest,–I hear thee! Mine abyss SPEAKETH, my lowest
depth have I turned over into the light!

Joy to me! Come hither! Give me thy hand–ha! let be! aha!–Disgust,
disgust, disgust–alas to me!

2.

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 unto him.

“O Zarathustra,” said they, “now hast thou lain thus for seven days with
heavy eyes: wilt thou not set thyself again upon thy feet?

Step out of thy cave: the world waiteth for thee as a garden. The wind
playeth with heavy fragrance which seeketh for thee; and all brooks
would like to run after thee.

All things long for thee, since thou hast remained alone for seven
days–step forth out of thy cave! All things want to be thy physicians!

Did perhaps a new knowledge come to thee, a bitter, grievous knowledge?
Like leavened dough layest thou, thy soul arose and swelled beyond all
its bounds.–”

–O mine animals, answered Zarathustra, talk on thus and let me listen!
It refresheth me so to hear your talk: where there is talk, there is the
world as a garden unto 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 belongeth another world; to each soul is every other soul a
back-world.

Among the most alike doth semblance deceive most delightfully: for the
smallest 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 unto things that man may refresh
himself with them? It is a beautiful folly, speaking; therewith danceth
man over everything.

How lovely is all speech and all falsehoods of tones! With tones danceth
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 goeth, everything returneth; eternally rolleth the wheel
of existence. Everything dieth, everything blossometh forth again;
eternally runneth on the year of existence.

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

Every moment beginneth existence, around every ‘Here’ rolleth the ball
‘There.’ The middle is everywhere. Crooked is the path of eternity.”–

–O ye wags and barrel-organs! answered Zarathustra, and smiled once
more, how well do ye 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 ye–ye 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 mine
own salvation.

AND YE LOOKED ON AT IT ALL? O mine animals, are ye also cruel? Did
ye like to look at my great pain as men do? For man is the cruellest
animal.

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

When the great man crieth–: immediately runneth the little man thither,
and his tongue hangeth out of his mouth for very lusting. He, however,
calleth it his “pity.”

The little man, especially the poet–how passionately doth 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 overcometh with a glance of the eye.
“Thou lovest me?” saith the insolent one; “wait a little, as yet have I
no time for thee.”

Towards himself man is the cruellest 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 man’s accuser? Ah, mine animals,
this only have I learned hitherto, that for man his baddest is necessary
for his best,–

–That all that is baddest is the best POWER, and the hardest stone for
the highest creator; and that man must become better AND badder:–

Not to THIS torture-stake was I tied, that I know man is bad,–but I
cried, as no one hath yet cried:

“Ah, that his baddest is so very small! Ah, that his best is so very
small!”

The great disgust at man–IT strangled me and had crept into my throat:
and what the soothsayer had presaged: “All is alike, nothing is worth
while, knowledge strangleth.”

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

“Eternally he returneth, the man of whom thou art weary, the small
man”–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, man returneth eternally! The small man returneth eternally!”

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

All too small, even the greatest man!–that was my disgust at man! And
the eternal return also of the smallest man!–that was my disgust at all
existence!

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

“Do not speak further, thou convalescent!”–so answered his animals,
“but go out where the world waiteth for thee like a garden.

Go out unto the roses, the bees, and the flocks of doves! Especially,
however, unto 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 ye wags and barrel-organs, do be silent!” answered Zarathustra, and
smiled at his animals. “How well ye know what consolation I devised for
myself in seven days!

That I have to sing once more–THAT consolation did I devise for myself,
and THIS convalescence: would ye also make another lyre-lay thereof?”

–“Do not talk further,” answered his animals once more; “rather, thou
convalescent, prepare for thyself first a lyre, a new lyre!

For behold, O Zarathustra! For thy new lays there are needed new lyres.

Sing and bubble over, O Zarathustra, heal thy soul with new lays: that
thou mayest bear thy great fate, which hath not yet been any one’s fate!

For thine animals know it well, O Zarathustra, who thou art and must
become: behold, THOU ART THE TEACHER OF THE ETERNAL RETURN,–that is now
THY fate!

That thou must be the first to teach this teaching–how could this great
fate not be thy greatest danger and infirmity!

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

Thou teachest 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 smallest, so that we ourselves, in every great year, are like
ourselves in the greatest and also in the smallest.

And if thou wouldst now die, O Zarathustra, behold, we know also how
thou wouldst then speak to thyself:–but thine animals beseech thee not
to die yet!

Thou wouldst speak, and without trembling, buoyant rather with bliss,
for a great weight and worry would be taken from thee, thou patientest
one!–

‘Now do I die and disappear,’ wouldst thou say, ‘and in a moment I am
nothing. Souls are as mortal as bodies.

But the plexus of causes returneth 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 smallest, to teach again the eternal return of all
things,–

–To speak again the word of the great noontide of earth and man, to
announce again to man the Superman.

I have spoken my word. I break down by my word: so willeth mine eternal
fate–as announcer do I succumb!

The hour hath now come for the down-goer to bless himself. Thus–ENDETH
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.

LVIII. THE GREAT LONGING.

O my soul, I have taught thee to say “to-day” as “once on a time” and
“formerly,” and to dance thy measure over every Here and There and
Yonder.

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

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

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

O my soul, I gave thee the right to say Nay like the storm, and to say
Yea as the open heaven saith Yea: calm as the light remainest thou, and
now walkest through denying storms.

O my soul, I restored to thee liberty over the created and the
uncreated; and who knoweth, as thou knowest, the voluptuousness of the
future?

O my soul, I taught thee the contempt which doth not come like
worm-eating, the great, the loving contempt, which loveth most where it
contemneth most.

O my soul, I taught thee so to persuade that thou persuadest even the
grounds themselves to thee: like the sun, which persuadeth even the sea
to its height.

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

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

O my soul, to thy 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 thee, and every night and every silence
and every longing:–then grewest thou up for me as a vine.

O my soul, exuberant and heavy dost thou now stand forth, a vine with
swelling udders and full clusters of brown golden grapes:–

–Filled and weighted by thy happiness, waiting from superabundance, and
yet ashamed of thy 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 thee?

O my soul, I have given thee everything, and all my hands have become
empty by thee:–and now! Now sayest thou to me, smiling and full of
melancholy: “Which of us oweth thanks?–

–Doth the giver not owe thanks because the receiver received? Is
bestowing not a necessity? Is receiving not–pitying?”–

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

Thy fulness looketh forth over raging seas, and seeketh and waiteth: the
longing of over-fulness looketh forth from the smiling heaven of thine
eyes!

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

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

“Is not all weeping complaining? And all complaining, accusing?” Thus
speakest thou to thyself; and therefore, O my soul, wilt thou rather
smile than pour forth thy grief–

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

But wilt thou not weep, wilt thou not weep forth thy purple melancholy,
then wilt thou have to SING, O my soul!–Behold, I smile myself, who
foretell thee this:

–Thou wilt have to sing with passionate song, until all seas turn calm
to hearken unto thy longing,–

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

–Also many large and small animals, and everything that hath 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 waiteth with the diamond vintage-knife,–

–Thy great deliverer, O my soul, the nameless one–for whom future
songs only will find names! And verily, already hath thy breath the
fragrance of future songs,–

–Already glowest thou and dreamest, already drinkest thou thirstily at
all deep echoing wells of consolation, already reposeth thy melancholy
in the bliss of future songs!–

O my soul, now have I given thee all, and even my last possession, and
all my hands have become empty by thee:–THAT I BADE THEE SING, behold,
that was my last thing to give!

That I bade thee sing,–say now, say: WHICH of us now–oweth thanks?–
Better still, however: sing unto me, sing, O my soul! And let me thank
thee!–

Thus spake Zarathustra.

LIX. THE SECOND DANCE-SONG.

1.

“Into thine eyes gazed I lately, O Life: gold saw I gleam in thy
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, dost thou cast a glance, a laughing,
questioning, melting, thrown glance:

Twice only movedst thou thy rattle with thy little hands–then did my
feet swing with dance-fury.–

My heels reared aloft, my toes they hearkened,–thee they would know:
hath not the dancer his ear–in his toe!

Unto thee did I spring: then fledst thou back from my bound; and towards
me waved thy fleeing, flying tresses round!

Away from thee did I spring, and from thy snaky tresses: then stoodst
thou there half-turned, and in thine eye caresses.

With crooked glances–dost thou teach me crooked courses; on crooked
courses learn my feet–crafty fancies!

I fear thee near, I love thee far; thy flight allureth me, thy seeking
secureth me:–I suffer, but for thee, what would I not gladly bear!

For thee, whose coldness inflameth, whose hatred misleadeth, whose
flight enchaineth, whose mockery–pleadeth:

–Who would not hate thee, thou great bindress, inwindress, temptress,
seekress, findress! Who would not love thee, thou innocent, impatient,
wind-swift, child-eyed sinner!

Whither pullest thou me now, thou paragon and tomboy? And now foolest
thou me fleeing; thou sweet romp dost annoy!

I dance after thee, I follow even faint traces lonely. Where art thou?
Give me thy hand! Or thy finger only!

Here are caves and thickets: we shall go astray!–Halt! Stand still!
Seest thou not owls and bats in fluttering fray?

Thou bat! Thou owl! Thou wouldst play me foul? Where are we? From the
dogs hast thou learned thus to bark and howl.

Thou gnashest on me sweetly with little white teeth; thine evil eyes
shoot out upon me, thy curly little mane from underneath!

This is a dance over stock and stone: I am the hunter,–wilt thou 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, thou arrogant one, and imploring grace! Gladly would I
walk with thee–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!

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

Thou art so very weary? I carry thee thither; let just thine arm sink!
And art thou thirsty–I should have something; but thy mouth would not
like it to drink!–

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

I am verily weary of it, ever thy sheepish shepherd to be. Thou witch,
if I have hitherto sung unto thee, now shalt THOU–cry unto me!

To the rhythm of my whip shalt thou dance and cry! I forget not my whip?–Not I!”–<!–"

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