O happiness! O happiness! Would you sing, 0 my soul? You are lying in the grass. But this is the secret solemn hour when no shepherd plays his pipe. Refrain! Hot noon sleeps on the meadows. Do not sing! Still! The world is perfect. Do not sing, you winged one in the grass, 0 my soul – do not even whisper! Behold still! – the old noon sleeps, his mouth moves: is he not just now drinking a drop of happiness, an old brown drop of golden happiness, golden wine? It slips over him, his happiness laughs. Thus laughs a god. Still!
“O happiness, how little is sufficient for happiness!” Thus I spoke once and seemed clever to myself. But it was a blasphemy: that I have learned now. Clever fools speak better. Precisely the least, the softest. lightest, a lizard’s rustling, a breath, a breeze, a moment’s glance – it is little that makes the best happiness. Still!
What happened to me? Listen! Did time perhaps fly away? Do I not fall? Did I not fall – listen! – into the well of eternity? What is happening to me? Still! I have been stung, alas – in the heart? In the heart! Oh break, break, heart, after such happiness, after such a sting. How? Did not the world become perfect just now? Round and ripe? Oh, the golden round ring where may it fly? Shall I run after it? Quick! Still! (And here Zarathustra stretched and felt that he was asleep.)
“Up!” he said to himself; “you sleeper! You noon napper! Well, get up, old legs! It is time and overtime; many a good stretch of road still lies ahead of you. Now you have slept out-how long? Half an eternity! Well! Up with you now, my old heart! After such a sleep, how long will it take you to – wake it off?” (But then he fell asleep again, and his soul spoke against him and resisted and lay down again. ) “Leave me alone! Still! Did not the world become perfect just now? Oh, the golden round ball!”
“Get up!” said Zarathustra, “you little thief, you lazy little thief of time! What? Still stretching, yawning, sighing, falling into deep wells? Who are you? 0 my soul!” (At this point he was startled, for a sunbeam fell from the sky onto his face.) “0 heaven over me!” he said, sighing, and sat up. “You are looking on? You are listening to my strange soul? When will you drink this drop of dew which has fallen upon all earthly things? When will you drink this strange soul? When, well of eternity? Cheerful, dreadful abyss of noon! When will you drink my soul back into yourself?”
Thus spoke Zarathustra, and he got up from his resting place at the tree as from a strange drunkenness; and behold, the sun still stood straight over his head. But from this one might justly conclude that Zarathustra had not slept long.