The Child with the Mirror
(1844 - 1900)
sublime one saw I today, a solemn one, a penitent of the
spirit: Oh, how my soul laughed at his ugliness! (thus
"-and only when ye have all denied
me, will I return unto you.
Verily, with other eyes, my brethren, shall
I then seek my lost ones; with another love shall I then love you."-
ZARATHUSTRA, I., "The Bestowing Virtue."
AFTER this Zarathustra returned again into
the mountains to the solitude of his cave, and withdrew himself from men,
waiting like a sower who hath scattered his seed. His soul, however, became
impatient and full of longing for those whom he loved: becau se he had
still much to give them. For this is hardest of all: to close the open
hand out of love, and keep modest as a giver.
Thus passed with the lonesome one months
and years; his wisdom meanwhile increased, and caused him pain by its
One morning, however, he awoke ere the
rosy dawn, and having meditated long on his couch, at last spake thus
to his heart:
Why did I startle in my dream, so that
I awoke? Did not a child come to me, carrying a mirror?
"O Zarathustra"- said the child
unto me- "look at thyself in the mirror!"
But when I looked into the mirror, I shrieked,
and my heart throbbed: for not myself did I see therein, but a devil's
grimace and derision.
Verily, all too well do I understand the
dream's portent and monition: my doctrine is in danger; tares want to
be called wheat!
Mine enemies have grown powerful and have
disfigured the likeness of my doctrine, so that my dearest ones have to
blush for the gifts that I gave them.
Lost are my friends; the hour hath come
for me to seek my lost ones!With these words Zarathustra started up, not
however like a person in anguish seeking relief, but rather like a seer
and a singer whom the spirit inspireth. With amazement did his eagl e
and serpent gaze upon him: for a coming bliss overspread his countenance
like the rosy dawn.
What hath happened unto me, mine animals?-
said Zarathustra. Am I not transformed? Hath not bliss come unto me like
Foolish is my happiness, and foolish things
will it speak: it is still too young- so have patience with it!
Wounded am I by my happiness: all sufferers
shall be physicians unto me!
To my friends can I again go down, and
also to mine enemies! Zarathustra can again speak and bestow, and show
his best love to his loved ones!
My impatient love overfloweth in streams,-
down towards sunrise and sunset. Out of silent mountains and storms of
affliction, rusheth my soul into the valleys.
Too long have I longed and looked into
the distance. Too long hath solitude possessed me: thus have I unlearned
to keep silence.
Utterance have I become altogether, and
the brawling of a brook from high rocks: downward into the valleys will
I hurl my speech.
And let the stream of my love sweep into
unfrequented channels! How should a stream not finally find its way to
Forsooth, there is a lake in me, sequestered
and self-sufficing; but the stream of my love beareth this along with
it, down- to the sea!
New paths do I tread, a new speech cometh
unto me; tired have I become- like all creators- of the old tongues. No
longer will my spirit walk on worn-out soles.
Too slowly runneth all speaking for me:-
into thy chariot, O storm, do I leap! And even thee will I whip with my
Like a cry and an huzza will I traverse
wide seas, till I find the Happy Isles where my friends sojourn;And mine
enemies amongst them! How I now love every one unto whom I may but speak!
Even mine enemies pertain to my bliss.
And when I want to mount my wildest horse,
then doth my spear always help me up best: it is my foot's ever ready
servant:The spear which I hurl at mine enemies! How grateful am I to mine
enemies that I may at last hurl it!
Too great hath been the tension of my cloud:
'twixt laughters of lightnings will I cast hail-showers into the depths.
Violently will my breast then heave; violently
will it blow its storm over the mountains: thus cometh its assuagement.
Verily, like a storm cometh my happiness,
and my freedom! But mine enemies shall think that the evil one roareth
over their heads.
Yea, ye also, my friends, will be alarmed
by my wild wisdom; and perhaps ye will flee therefrom, along with mine
Ah, that I knew how to lure you back with
shepherds' flutes! Ah, that my lioness wisdom would learn to roar softly!
And much have we already learned with one another!
My wild wisdom became pregnant on the lonesome
mountains; on the rough stones did she bear the youngest of her young.
Now runneth she foolishly in the arid wilderness,
and seeketh and seeketh the soft sward- mine old, wild wisdom!
On the soft sward of your hearts, my friends!-
on your love, would she fain couch her dearest one!Thus spake Zarathustra.
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science