(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
-AND Zarathustra ran and ran,
but he found no one else, and was alone and ever found himself
again; he enjoyed and quaffed his solitude, and thought of
good things- for hours. About the hour of noontide, however,
when the sun stood exactly over Zarathustra's head, he passed
an old, bent and gnarled tree, which was encircled round by
the ardent love of a vine, and hidden from itself; from this
there hung yellow grapes in abundance, confronting the wanderer.
Then he felt inclined to quench a little thirst, and to break
off for himself a cluster of grapes. When, however, he had
already his arm out-stretched for that purpose, he felt still
more inclined for something else- namely, to lie down beside
the tree at the hour of perfect noontide and sleep.
This Zarathustra did; and no
sooner had he laid himself on the ground in the stillness
and secrecy of the variegated grass, than he had forgotten
his little thirst, and fell asleep. For as the proverb of
Zarathustra saith: "One thing is more necessary than
the other." Only that his eyes remained open:- for they
never grew weary of viewing and admiring the tree and the
love of the vine. In falling asleep, however, Zarathustra
spake thus to his heart:
"Hush! Hush! Hath not
the world now become perfect? What hath happened unto me?
As a delicate wind danceth
invisibly upon parqueted seas, light, feather-light, so- danceth
sleep upon me.
No eye doth it close to me,
it leaveth my soul awake. Light is it, verily, feather-light.
It persuadeth me, I know not
how, it toucheth me inwardly with a caressing hand, it constraineth
me. Yea, it constraineth me, so that my soul stretcheth itself
out:-How long and weary it becometh, my strange soul! Hath
a seventh-day evening come to it precisely at noontide? Hath
it already wandered too long, blissfully, among good and ripe
It stretcheth itself out, long-
longer! it lieth still, my strange soul. Too many good things
hath it already tasted; this golden sadness oppresseth it,
it distorteth its mouth.
-As a ship that putteth into
the calmest cove:- it now draweth up to the land, weary of
long voyages and uncertain seas. Is not the land more faithful?
As such a ship huggeth the
shore, tuggeth the shore:- then it sufficeth for a spider
to spin its thread from the ship to the land. No stronger
ropes are required there.
As such a weary ship in the
calmest cove, so do I also now repose, nigh to the earth,
faithful, trusting, waiting, bound to it with the lightest
O happiness! O happiness! Wilt
thou perhaps sing, O my soul? Thou liest in the grass. But
this is the secret, solemn hour, when no shepherd playeth
Take care! Hot noontide sleepeth
on the fields. Do not sing! Hush! The world is perfect.
Do not sing, thou prairie-bird,
my soul! Do not even whisper! Lohush! The old noontide sleepeth,
it moveth its mouth: doth it not just now drink a drop of
happiness-An old brown drop of golden happiness, golden wine?
Something whisketh over it, its happiness laugheth. Thus-
laugheth a God. Hush!-'For happiness, how little sufficeth
for happiness!' Thus spake I once and thought myself wise.
But it was a blasphemy: that have I now learned. Wise fools
The least thing precisely,
the gentlest thing, the lightest thing, a lizard's rustling,
a breath, a whisk, an eye-glance- little maketh up the best
-What hath befallen me: Hark!
Hath time flown away? Do I not fall? Have I not fallen- hark!
into the well of eternity?
-What happeneth to me? Hush!
It stingeth me- alas- to the heart? To the heart! Oh, break
up, break up, my heart, after such happiness, after such a
-What? Hath not the world just
now become perfect? Round and ripe? Oh, for the golden round
ring- whither doth it fly? Let me run after it! Quick!
Hush- -" (and here Zarathustra
stretched himself, and felt that he was asleep.)
"Up!" said he to
himself, "thou sleeper! Thou noontide sleeper! Well then,
up, ye old legs! It is time and more than time; many a good
stretch of road is still awaiting youNow have ye slept your
fill; for how long a time? A half-eternity! Well then, up
now, mine old heart! For how long after such a sleep mayest
thou- remain awake?"
(But then did he fall asleep
anew, and his soul spake against him and defended itself,
and lay down again)- "Leave me alone! Hush! Hath not
the world just now become perfect? Oh, for the golden round
ball!"Get up," said Zarathustra, "thou little
thief, thou sluggard! What! Still stretching thyself, yawning,
sighing, failing into deep wells?
Who art thou then, O my soul!"
(and here he became frightened, for a sunbeam shot down from
heaven upon his face.)
"O heaven above me,"
said he sighing, and sat upright, "thou gazest at me?
Thou hearkenest unto my strange soul?
When wilt thou drink this drop
of dew that fell down upon all earthly things,- when wilt
thou drink this strange soul-When, thou well of eternity!
thou joyous, awful, noontide abyss! when wilt thou drink my
soul back into thee?"
Thus spake Zarathustra, and
rose from his couch beside the tree, as if awakening from
a strange drunkenness: and behold! there stood the sun still
exactly above his head. One might, however, rightly infer
therefrom that Zarathustra had not then slept long.
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science