It Tolls for Thee

O man, take care!
What does the deep midnight declare?
“I was asleep
“From a deep dream I woke and swear:

“The world is deep,
“Deeper than day had been aware.
“Deep is its woe;
“Joy–deeper yet than agony:
“Woe implores: Go!
“But all joy wants eternity-
“Wants deep, wants deep eternity.”


Thus Spoke Zarathustra , Part III
Walter Kaufmann translation from

Life Answers Zarathustra


Then life answered me thus, covering up her delicate ears: “0 Zarathustra, don’t crack your whip so frightfully! After all, you know that noise murders thought and just now such tender thoughts are coming to me. We are both two real good-for-nothings and evil-for-nothings. Beyond good and evil we found our island and our green meadow-we two alone. Therefore we had better like each other. And even if we do not love each other from the heart-need we bear each other a grudge if we do not love each other from the heart? And that I like you, often too well, that you know; and the reason is that I am jealous of your wisdom. Oh, this mad old fool of a wisdom! If your wisdom ever ran away from you, then my love would quickly run away from you too.”
Then life looked back and around thoughtfully and said softly: “0 Zarathustra, you are not faithful enough to me. You do not love me nearly as much as you say; I know you are thinking of leaving me soon.
There is an old heavy, heavy growl-bell that growls at night all the way up to your cave; when you hear this bell strike the hour at midnight, then you think between one and twelve-you think, 0 Zarathustra, I know it, of how you want to leave me soon.” “Yes,” I answered hesitantly, “but you also know-” and I whispered something into her ear, right through her tangled yellow foolish tresses.
“You know that, 0 Zarathustra? Nobody knows that.”
And we looked at each other and gazed on the green meadow over which the cool evening was running just then, and we wept together. But then life was dearer to me than all my wisdom ever was.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra , Part III
Walter Kaufmann translation from

To Life

The Other Dancing Song (Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Pt III)

Into your eyes I looked recently, 0 life: I saw gold blinking in your night-eye; my heart stopped in delight: a golden boat I saw blinking on nocturnal waters, a golden rocking-boat, sinking, drinking, and winking again. haiku leaves
At my foot, frantic to dance, you cast a glance, a laughing, questioning, melting rocking-glance: twice only you stirred your rattle with your small hands, and my foot was already rocking with dancing frenzy. My heels twitched, then my toes hearkened to understand you, and rose: for the dancer has his ear in his toes. I leaped toward you, but you fled back from my leap, and the tongue of your fleeing, flying hair licked me in its sweep. Away from you I leaped, and from your serpents’ ire; and already you stood there, half turned, your eyes full of desire. With crooked glances you teach me-crooked ways; on crooked ways my foot learns treachery. I fear you near, I love you far; your flight lures me, your seeking cures me: I suffer, but what would I not gladly suffer for you? You, whose coldness fires, whose hatred seduces, whose flight binds, whose scorn inspires: Who would not hate you, you great binder, entwiner, temptress, seeker, and finder? Who would not love you, you innocent, impatient, wind-swift, child-eyed sinner? Whereto are you luring me now, you never-tame extreme? And now you are fleeing from me again, you sweet wildcat and ingrate! I dance after you, I follow wherever your traces linger. Where are you? Give me your hand! Or only one finger! Here are caves and thickets; we shall get lost. Stop! Stand still! Don’t you see owls and bats whirring past? You owl! You bat! Intent to confound! Where are we? Such howling and yelping you have learned from a hound. Your lovely little white teeth are gnashing at me; out of a curly little mane your evil eyes are flashing at me. That is a dance up high and down low: I am the hunter; would you be my dog or my doe? Alongside me now! And swift, you malicious leaping belle! Now up and over there! Alas, as I leaped I fell. Oh, see me lying there, you prankster, suing for grace. I should like to walk with you in a lovelier place. Love’s paths through silent bushes, past many-hued plants. Or there along that lake: there goldflsh swim and dance. You are weary now? Over there are sunsets and sheep: when shepherds play on their flutes-is it not lovely to sleep? You are so terribly weary? I’ll carry you there; just let your arms sink. And if you are thirsty-! I have got something, but your mouth does not want it to drink. Oh, this damned nimble, supple snake and slippery witch! Where are you? In my face two red blotches from your hand itch. I am verily weary of always being your sheepish shepherd. You witch, if I have so far sung to you, now you shall cry. Keeping time with my whip, you shall dance and cry! Or have I forgotten the whip? Not I!

Walter Kaufmann translation from

Lying Poets (pt. 4)


Some sensation of voluptuousness and some sensation of tedium: these have as yet been their best contemplation. Ghost-breathing and ghost-whisking, seems to me all the jinglejangling of their harps; what have they known thus far of the fervour of tones!- They are also not pure enough for me: they all muddle their water that it may seem deep. And rather would they thereby prove themselves reconcilers: but mediaries and mixers are they to me, and half-and-half, and impure! Ah, I cast indeed my net into their sea, and meant to catch good fish; but always did I draw up the head of some ancient God. Thus did the sea give a stone to the hungry one. And they themselves may well originate from the sea. Certainly, one finds pearls in them: thereby they are the more like hard molluscs. And instead of a soul, I have often found in them salt slime. They have learned from the sea also its vanity: is not the sea the peacock of peacocks? Even before the ugliest of all buffaloes does it spread out its tail; never does it tire of its lace-fan of silver and silk. Disdainfully does the buffalo glance thereat, close to the sand with its soul, closer still to the thicket, closest, however, to the swamp. What is beauty and sea and peacock-splendour to it! This parable I speak to the poets. Truly, their spirit itself is the peacock of peacocks, and a sea of vanity! Spectators seeks the spirit of the poet – should they even be buffaloes!- But of this spirit became I weary; and I see the time coming when it will become weary of itself. Yes, changed have I seen the poets, and their glance turned towards themselves. Penitents of the spirit have I seen appearing; they grew out of the poets. – Thus spoke Zarathustra.

from: Thus Spoke Zarathustra  by  F. Nietzsche (Ed: Bill Chapko)