(1844 - 1900)
Thus Spake Zarathustra
sublime one saw I today, a solemn one, a penitent of the
spirit: Oh, how my soul laughed at his ugliness! (thus
50.On the Olive-Mount
WINTER, a bad guest, sitteth
with me at home; blue are my hands with his friendly hand-shaking.
I honour him, that bad guest,
but gladly leave him alone. Gladly do I run away from him;
and when one runneth well, then one escapeth him!
With warm feet and warm thoughts
do I run where the wind is calm- to the sunny corner of mine
There do I laugh at my stern
guest, and am still fond of him; because he cleareth my house
of flies, and quieteth many little noises.
For he suffereth it not if
a gnat wanteth to buzz, or even two of them; also the lanes
maketh he lonesome, so that the moonlight is afraid there
A hard guest is he,- but I
honour him, and do not worship, like the tenderlings, the
Better even a little teeth-chattering
than idol-adoration!- so willeth my nature. And especially
have I a grudge against all ardent, steaming, steamy fire-idols.
Him whom I love, I love better
in winter than in summer; better do I now mock at mine enemies,
and more heartily, when winter sitteth in my house.
Heartily, verily, even when
I creep into bed-: there, still laugheth and wantoneth my
hidden happiness; even my deceptive dream laugheth.
I, a- creeper? Never in my
life did I creep before the powerful; and if ever I lied,
then did I lie out of love. Therefore am I glad even in my
A poor bed warmeth me more
than a rich one, for I am jealous of my poverty. And in winter
she is most faithful unto me.
With a wickedness do I begin
every day: I mock at the winter with a cold bath: on that
account grumbleth my stern house-mate.
Also do I like to tickle him
with a wax-taper, that he may finally let the heavens emerge
from ashy-grey twilight.
For especially wicked am I
in the morning: at the early hour when the pail rattleth at
the well, and horses neigh warmly in grey lanes:Impatiently
do I then wait, that the clear sky may finally dawn for me,
the snow-bearded winter-sky, the hoary one, the white-head,-The
winter-sky, the silent winter-sky, which often stifleth even
Did I perhaps learn from it
the long clear silence? Or did it learn it from me? Or hath
each of us devised it himself?
Of all good things the origin
is a thousandfold,- all good roguish things spring into existence
for joy: how could they always do so- for once only!
A good roguish thing is also
the long silence, and to look, like the winter-sky, out of
a clear, round-eyed countenance:-Like it to stifle one's sun,
and one's inflexible solar will: verily, this art and this
winter-roguishness have I learned well!
My best-loved wickedness and
art is it, that my silence hath learned not to betray itself
Clattering with diction and
dice, I outwit the solemn assistants: all those stern watchers,
shall my will and purpose elude.
That no one might see down
into my depth and into mine ultimate will- for that purpose
did I devise the long clear silence.
Many a shrewd one did I find:
he veiled his countenance and made his water muddy, that no
one might see therethrough and thereunder.
But precisely unto him came
the shrewder distrusters and nut-crackers: precisely from
him did they fish his best-concealed fish!
But the clear, the honest,
the transparent- these are for me the wisest silent ones:
in them, so profound is the depth that even the clearest water
doth not- betray it.Thou snow-bearded, silent, winter-sky,
thou round-eyed whitehead above me! Oh, thou heavenly simile
of my soul and its wantonness!
And must I not conceal myself
like one who hath swallowed gold- lest my soul should be ripped
Must I not wear stilts, that
they may overlook my long legs- all those enviers and injurers
Those dingy, fire-warmed, used-up,
green-tinted, ill-natured souls- how could their envy endure
Thus do I show them only the
ice and winter of my peaks- and not that my mountain windeth
all the solar girdles around it!
They hear only the whistling
of my winter-storms: and know not that I also travel over
warm seas, like longing, heavy, hot south-winds.
They commiserate also my accidents
and chances:- but my word saith: "Suffer the chance to
come unto me: innocent is it as a little child!"
How could they endure my happiness,
if I did not put around it accidents, and winter-privations,
and bear-skin caps, and enmantling snowflakes!
-If I did not myself commiserate
their pity, the pity of those enviers and injurers!
-If I did not myself sigh before
them, and chatter with cold, and patiently let myself be swathed
in their pity!
This is the wise waggish-will
and good-will of my soul, that it concealeth not its winters
and glacial storms; it concealeth not its chilblains either.
To one man, lonesomeness is
the flight of the sick one; to another, it is the flight from
the sick ones.
Let them hear me chattering
and sighing with winter-cold, all those poor squinting knaves
around me! With such sighing and chattering do I flee from
their heated rooms.
Let them sympathise with me
and sigh with me on account of my chilblains: "At the
ice of knowledge will he yet freeze to death!"- so they
Meanwhile do I run with warm
feet hither and thither on mine olive-mount: in the sunny
corner of mine olive-mount do I sing, and mock at all pity.Thus
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science