Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.

Thus spake Zarathustra online

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In effect solemnly!
A worthy beginning!
Af ric manner, solemnly!
Of a lion worthy,

Or perhaps of a virtuous howl-monkey
But it's naught to you,
Ye friendly damsels dearly loved,
At whose own feet to me,
The first occasion,
To a European under palm-trees,
At seat is now granted. Selah.

Wonderful, truly!

Here do I sit now,

The desert nigh, and yet I am

So far still from the desert,

Even in naught yet deserted:

That is, I'm swallowed down

By this the smallest oasis :

It opened up just yawning,

Its loveliest mouth agape,

Most sweet-odoured of all mouthlets:

Then fell I right in,

Right down, right through in 'mong you,

Ye friendly damsels dearly loved! Selah.


Hail! hail! to that whale, fishlike,

If it thus for its guest's convenience

Made things nice! (ye well know,

Surely, my learned allusion?)

Hail to its belly,

If it had e'er

A such loveliest oasis-belly

As this is: though however I doubt about it,

With this come I out of Old-Europe,

That doubt' th more eagerly than doth any

Elderly married woman.

May the Lord improve it!


Here do I sit now,

In this the smallest oasis,

Like a date indeed,

Brown, quite sweet, gold-suppurating,

For rounded mouth of maiden longing,

But yet still more for youthful, maidlike,

Ice-cold and snow-white and incisory

Front teeth : and for such assuredly,

Pine the hearts all of ardent date-fruits. Selah.

To the there-named south- fruits now,

Similar, all-too-similar,

Do I lie here; by little

Flying insects

Round-sniffled and round-played,

And also by yet littler,

Foolisher, and peccabler

Wishes and phantasies,-


Environed by you,

Ye silent, presentientest


Dudu and Suleika,

Rounds phinxed, that into one word

I may crowd much feeling:

(Forgive me, O God,

All such speech-sinning! )

Sit I here the best of air sniffling,

Paradisal air, truly,

Bright and buoyant air, golden-mottled,

As goodly air as ever

From lunar orb downfell

Be it by hazard,

Or supervened it by arrogancy?

As the ancient poets relate it.

But doubter, I'm now calling it

In question: with this do I come indeed

Out of Europe,

That doubt' th more eagerly than doth any

Elderly married woman.

May the Lord improve it!


This the finest air drinking,

With nostrils out-swelled like goblets,

Lacking future, lacking remembrances,

Thus do I sit here, ye

Friendly damsels dearly loved,

And look at the palm-tree there,

How it, to a dance-girl, like,


Doth bow and bend and on its haunches bob,

One doth it too, when one view'th it long!

To a dance-girl like, who as it seem'th to me,

Too long, and dangerously persistent,

Always, always, just on single leg hath stood?

Then forgot she thereby, as it seem'th to me,

The other leg?

For vainly I, at least,

Did search for the amissing

Fellow- jewel

Namely, the other leg

In the sanctified precincts,

Nigh her very dearest, very tenderest,

Flapping and fluttering and flickering skirting.

Yea, if ye should, ye beauteous friendly ones,

Quite take my word :

She hath, alas! /0j/ it!

Hu! Hu! Hu! Hu! Hu!

It is away!

For ever away!

The other leg!

Oh, pity for that loveliest other leg!

Where may it now tarry, all-forsaken weeping?

The lonesomest leg?

In fear perhaps before a

Furious, yellow, blond and curled

Leonine monster? Or perhaps even

Gnawed away, nibbled badly

Most wretched, woeful! woeful! nibbled badly! Selah.

Oh, weep ye not,
Gentle spirits!


Weep ye not, ye

Date- fruit spirits! Milk-bosoms!

Ye sweetwood-heart


Weep ye no more,

Pallid Dudu!

Be a man, Suleika! Bold! Bold!

Or else should there perhaps

Something strengthening, heart-strengthening,

Here most proper be?

Some inspiring text?

Some solemn exhortation?

Ha! Up now! honour!

Moral honour! European honour!

Blow again, continue,

Bellows-box of virtue!


Once more thy roaring,

Thy moral roaring!

As a virtuous lion

Nigh the daughters of deserts roaring!

For virtue's out-howl,

Ye very dearest maidens,

Is more than every

European fervour, European hot-hunger!

And now do I stand here,

As European,

I can't be different, God's help to me!


The deserts grow: woe him who doth them hide!


. The Awakening

AFTER the song of the wanderer and shadow, the cave became
all at once full of noise and laughter: and since the assembled
guests all spake simultaneously, and even the ass, encouraged
thereby, no longer remained silent, a little aversion and scorn
for his visitors came over Zarathustra, although he rejoiced at
their gladness. For it seemed to him a sign of convalescence.
So he slipped out into the open air and spake to his animals.

"Whither hath their distress now gone?" said he, and
already did he himself feel relieved of his petty disgust
"with me, it seemeth that they have unlearned their cries of

-Though, alas! not yet their crying." And Zarathustra
stopped his ears, for just then did the YE-A of the ass mix
strangely with the noisy jubilation of those higher men.

'They are merry," he began again, "and who knoweth?
perhaps at their host's expense; and if they have learned of me
to laugh, still it is not my laughter they have learned.

But what matter about that! They are old people: they re-
cover in their own way, they laugh in their own way; mine ears
have already endured worse and have not become peevish.

This day is a victory: he already yieldeth, he fleeth, the spirit
of gravity, mine old arch-enemy! How well this day is about to
end, which began so badly and gloomily!

And it is about to end. Already cometh the evening: over
the sea rideth it hither, the good rider! How it bobbeth, the
blessed one, the home- returning one, in its purple saddles!


The sky gazeth brightly thereon, the world lieth deep. Oh,
all ye strange ones who have come to me, it is already worth
while to have lived with me!"

Thus spake Zarathustra. And again came the cries and
laughter of the higher men out of the cave: then began he

'They bite at it, my bait taketh, there departeth also from
them their enemy, the spirit of gravity. Now do they learn to
laugh at themselves: do I hear rightly?

My virile food taketh effect, my strong and savoury sayings:
and verily, I did not nourish them with flatulent vegetables!
But with warrior- food, with conqueror- food : new desires did
I awaken.

New hopes are in their arms and legs, their hearts expand.
They find new words, soon will their spirits breathe wanton-

Such food may sure enough not be proper for children, nor
even for longing girls old and young. One persuadeth their
bowels otherwise; I am not their physician and teacher.

The disgust departeth from these higher men; well! that is
my victory. In my domain they become assured; all stupid
shame fleeth away; they empty themselves.

They empty their hearts, good times return unto them, they
keep holiday and ruminate, they become thankful.

That do I take as the best sign: they become thankful. Not
long will it be ere they devise festivals, and put up memorials
to their old joys.

They are convalescents!" Thus spake Zarathustra joyfully
to his heart and gazed outward; his animals, however, pressed
up to him, and honoured his happiness and his silence.


All on a sudden however, Zarathustra's ear was frightened:
for the cave which had hitherto been full of noise and laugh-
ter, became all at once still as death; his nose, however, smelt
a sweet-scented vapour and incense-odour, as if from burning

"What happeneth? What are they about?" he asked himself,
and stole up to the entrance, that he might be able unobserved,
to see his guests. But wonder upon wonder! what was he then
obliged to behold with his own eyes!

'They have all of them become pious again, they pray, they
are mad!" said he, and was astonished beyond measure. And
forsooth! all these higher men, the two kings, the pope out of
service, the evil magician, the voluntary beggar, the wanderer
and shadow, the old soothsayer, the spiritually conscientious
one, and the ugliest man they all lay on their knees like chil-
dren and credulous old women, and worshipped the ass. And
just then began the ugliest man to gurgle and snort, as if some-
thing unutterable in him tried to find expression; when, how-
ever, he had actually found words, behold! it was a pious,
strange litany in praise of the adored and censed ass. And the
litany sounded thus:

Amen! And glory and honour and wisdom and thanks and
praise and strength be to our God, from everlasting to ever-

The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.

He carried our burdens, he hath taken upon him the form
of a servant, he is patient of heart and never saith Nay; and he
who loveth his God chastiseth him.


The ass, however, here brayed YE -A.

He speaketh not: except that he ever saith Yea to the world
which he created: thus doth he extol his world. It is his artful-
ness that speaketh not: thus is he rarely found wrong.

The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.

Uncomely goeth he through the world. Grey is the favourite
colour in which he wrappeth his virtue. Hath he spirit, then
doth he conceal it; every one, however, believeth in his long

The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.

What hidden wisdom it is to wear long ears, and only to say
Yea and never Nay! Hath he not created the world in his own
image, namely, as stupid as possible?

The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.

Thou goest straight and crooked ways; it concerneth thee
little what seemeth straight or crooked unto us men. Beyond
good and evil is thy domain. It is thine innocence not to know
what innocence is.

The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.

Lo! how thou spurnest none from thee, neither beggars nor
kings. Thou sufTerest little children to come unto thee, and
when the bad boys decoy thee, then sayest thou simply, YE-A.

The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.

Thou lovest she-asses and fresh figs, thou art no food-
despiser. A thistle tickleth thy heart when thou chancest to be
hungry. There is the wisdom of a God therein.

The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.


. The Ass-Festival

AT THIS place in the litany, however, Zarathustra could no
longer control himself; he himself cried out YE-A, louder even
than the ass, and sprang into the midst of his maddened guests.
"Whatever are you about, ye grown-up children?" he ex-
claimed, pulling up the praying ones from the ground. "Alas,
if any one else, except Zarathustra, had seen you :

Every one would think you the worst blasphemers, or the
very foolishest old women, with your new belief!

And thou thyself, thou old pope, how is it in accordance
with thee, to adore an ass in such a manner as God?"

"O Zarathustra," answered the pope, "forgive me, but in
divine matters I am more enlightened even than thou. And it
is right that it should be so.

Better to adore God so, in this form, than in no form at all!
Think over this saying, mine exalted friend: thou wilt readily
divine that in such a saying there is wisdom.

He who said 'God is a Spirit' made the greatest stride and
slide hitherto made on earth towards unbelief: such a dictum
is not easily amended again on earth!

Mine old heart leapeth and boundeth because there is still
something to adore on earth. Forgive it, O Zarathustra, to an
old, pious pontiff-heart! "

"And thou," said Zarathustra to the wanderer and
shadow, "thou callest and thinkest thyself a free spirit? And
thou here practisest such idolatry and hierolatry?


Worse verily, doest thou here than with thy bad brown girls,
thou bad, new believer!"

"It is sad enough," answered the wanderer and shadow,
"thou art right: but how can I help it! The old God liveth
again, O Zarathustra, thou mayst say what thou wilt.

The ugliest man is to blame for it all : he hath reawakened
him. And if he say that he once killed him, with Gods death
is always just a prejudice."

"And thou," said Zarathustra, "thou bad old magician,
what didst thou do! Who ought to believe any longer in thee
in this free age, when thou believest in such divine donkeyism?

It was a stupid thing that thou didst; how couldst thou, a
shrewd man, do such a stupid thing!"

"O Zarathustra," answered the shrewd magician, "thou art
right, it was a stupid thing, it was also repugnant to me."

"And thou even," said Zarathustra to the spiritually con-
scientious one, "consider, and put thy finger to thy nose! Doth
nothing go against thy conscience here? Is thy spirit not too
cleanly for this praying and the fumes of those devotees?"

'There is something therein," said the spiritually conscien-
tious one, and put his finger to his nose, "there is something in
this spectacle which even doeth good to my conscience.

Perhaps I dare not believe in God : certain it is however, that
God seemeth to me most worthy of belief in this form.

God is said to be eternal, according to the testimony of the
most pious : he who hath so much time taketh his time. As slow
and as stupid as possible: thereby can such a one nevertheless
go very far.

And he who hath too much spirit might well become infatu-
ated with stupidity and folly. Think of thyself, O Zarathustra!

Thou thyself verily! even thou couldst well become an
ass through superabundance of wisdom.


Doth not the true sage willingly walk on the crookedest
paths? The evidence teacheth it, O Zarathustra, thine own

"And thou thyself, finally," said Zarathustra, and turned
towards the ugliest man, who still lay on the ground stretch-
ing up his arm to the ass (for he gave it wine to drink) . "Say,
thou nondescript, what hast thou been about!

Thou seemest to me transformed, thine eyes glow, the man-
tle of the sublime covereth thine ugliness: what didst thou do?

Is it then true what they say, that thou hast again awakened
him? And why? Was he not for good reasons killed and made
away with?

Thou thyself seemest to me awakened: what didst thou do?
why didst thou turn round? Why didst thou get converted?
Speak, thou nondescript!"

"O Zarathustra," answered the ugliest man, "thou art a

Whether he yet liveth, or again liveth, or is thoroughly dead
which of us both knoweth that best? I ask thee.

One thing however do I know, from thyself did I learn it
once, O Zarathustra: he who wanteth to kill most thoroughly,

'Not by wrath but by laughter doth one kill' thus spakest
thou once, O Zarathustra, thou hidden one, thou destroyer
without wrath, thou dangerous saint, thou art a rogue!"


Then, however, did it come to pass that Zarathustra, aston-
ijhed at such merely roguish answers, jumped back to the door


of his cave, and turning towards all his guests, cried out with
a strong voice:

"O ye wags, all of you, ye buffoons! Why do ye dissemble
and disguise yourselves before me!

How the hearts of all of you convulsed with delight and
wickedness, because ye had at last become again like little
children namely, pious,

Because ye at last did again as children do namely,
prayed, folded your hands and said 'good God' !

But now leave, I pray you, this nursery, mine own cave,
where today all childishness is carried on. Cool down, here
outside, your hot child- wantonness and heart-tumult!

To be sure: except ye become as little children ye shall not
enter into that kingdom of heaven." (And Zarathustra pointed
aloft with his hands.)

"But we do not at all want to enter into the kingdom of
heaven: we have become men, so we want the kingdom of


And once more began Zarathustra to speak. "O my new
friends," said he, "ye strange ones, ye higher men, how well
do ye now please me,

Since ye have again become joyful! Ye have, verily, all
blossomed forth : it seemeth to me that for such flowers as you,
new festivals are required.

A little valiant nonsense, some divine service and ass-
festival, some old joyful Zarathustra fool, some blusterer to
blow your souls bright.


Forget not this night and this ass-festival, ye higher men!
Tht$ did ye devise when with me, that do I take as a good
omen, such things only the convalescents devise!

And should ye celebrate it again, this ass-festival, do it from
love to yourselves, do it also from love to me! And in remem-
brance of me!"

Thus spake Zarathustra.

The Drunken Song

MEANWHILE one after another had gone out into the open air,
and into the cool, thoughtful night; Zarathustra himself, how-
ever, led the ugliest man by the hand, that he might show him
his night-world, and the great round moon, and the silvery
water-falls near his cave. There they at last stood still beside
one another; all of them old people, but with comforted, brave
hearts, and astonished in themselves that it was so well with
them on earth; the mystery of the night, however, came nigher
and nigher to their hearts. And anew Zarathustra thought to
himself: "Oh, how well do they now please me, these higher
men!" -but he did not say it aloud, for he respected their
happiness and their silence.

Then, however, there happened that which in this astonish-
ing long day was most astonishing: the ugliest man began once
more and for the last time to gurgle and snort, and when he


had at length found expression, behold! there sprang a ques-
tion plump and plain out of his mouth, a good, deep, clear
question, which moved the hearts of all who listened to him.

"My friends, all of you," said the ugliest man, "what think
ye? For the sake of this day / am for the first time content to
have lived mine entire life.

And that I testify so much is still not enough for me. It
is worth while living on the earth : one day, one festival with
Zarathustra, hath taught me to love the earth.

'Was that life?' will I say unto death. 'Well! Once

My friends, what think ye? Will ye not, like me, say unto
death: 'Was that life? For the sake of Zarathustra, well!
Once more!'

Thus spake the ugliest man; it was not, however, far from
midnight. And what took place then, think ye? As soon as the
higher men heard his question, they became all at once con-
scious of their transformation and convalescence, and of him
who was the cause thereof: then did they rush up to Zarathus-
tra, thanking, honouring, caressing him, and kissing his hands,
each in his own peculiar way; so that some laughed and some
wept. The old soothsayer, however, danced with delight; and
though he was then, as some narrators suppose, full of sweet
wine, he was certainly still fuller of sweet life, and had re-
nounced all weariness. There are even those who narrate that
the ass then danced : for not in vain had the ugliest man previ-
ously given it wine to drink. That may be the case, or it may be
otherwise; and if in truth the ass did not dance that evening,
there nevertheless happened then greater and rarer wonders
than the dancing of an ass would have been. In short, as the
proverb of Zarathustra saith: "What doth it matter!"


When, however, this took place with the ugliest man, Zara-
thustra stood there like one drunken: his glance dulled, his
tongue faltered and his feet staggered. And who could divine
what thoughts then passed through Zarathustra's soul? Ap-
parently, however, his spirit retreated and fled in advance and
was in remote distances, and as it were "wandering on high
mountain-ridges," as it standeth written, ' 'twixt two seas,

Wandering 'twixt the past and the future as a heavy
cloud." Gradually, however, while the higher men held him
in their arms, he came back to himself a little, and resisted
with his hands the crowd of the honouring and caring ones;
but he did not speak. All at once, however, he turned his head
quickly, for he seemed to hear something: then laid he his
ringer on his mouth and said: "Come!"

And immediately it became still and mysterious round
about; from the depth however there came up slowly the sound
of a clock-bell. Zarathustra listened thereto, like the higher
men; then, however, laid he his finger on his mouth the second
time, and said again: "Come! Come! It is getting on to mid-
night!' 9 and his voice had changed. But still he had not
moved from the spot. Then it became yet stiller and more mys-
terious, and everything hearkened, even the ass, and Zarathus-
tra's noble animals, the eagle and the serpent, likewise the
cave of Zarathustra and the big cool moon, and the night itself.
Zarathustra, however, laid his hand upon his mouth for the
third time, and said:

Come! Come! Come! Let us now wander! It is the hour:
let us wander into the night!



Ye higher men, it is getting on to midnight: then will I say
something into your ears, as that old clock-bell saith it into
mine ear,

As mysteriously, as frightfully, and as cordially as that
midnight clock-bell speaketh it to me, which hath experienced
more than one man:

Which hath already counted the smarting throbbings of
your fathers' hearts ah! ah! how it sigheth! how it laugheth
in its dream! the old, deep, deep midnight!

Hush! Hush! Then is there many a thing heard which may
not be heard by day; now however, in the cool air, when even
all the tumult of your hearts hath become still,-

Now doth it speak, now is it heard, now doth it steal into
overwakeful, nocturnal souls: ah! ah! how the midnight sigh-
eth! how it laugheth in its dream!

Hearest thou not how it mysteriously, frightfully, and
cordially speaketh unto thee, the old deep, deep midnight?

O man, take heed!

Woe to me! Whither hath time gone? Have I not sunk into
deep wells? The world sleepeth

Ah! Ah! The dog howleth, the moon shineth. Rather will I
die, rather will I die, than say unto you what my midnight-
heart now thinketh.

Already have I died. It is all over. Spider, why spinnest thou
around me? Wilt thou have blood? Ah! Ah! The dew falleth,
the hour cometh


-The hour in which I frost and freeze, which asketh and
asketh and asketh: "Who hath sufficient courage for it?

-Who is to be master of the world? Who is going to say:
Thus shall ye flow, ye great and small streams!"

-The hour approacheth: O man, thou higher man, take
heed! this talk is for fine ears, for thine ears what saith deep
midnight's voice indeed?

It carrieth me away, my soul danceth. Day's-work! Day's-
work! Who is to be master of the world?

The moon is cool, the wind is still. Ah! Ah! Have ye already
flown high enough? Ye have danced: a leg, nevertheless, is not
a wing.

Ye good dancers, now is all delight over: wine hath become
lees, every cup hath become brittle, the sepulchres mutter.

Ye have not flown high enough : now do the sepulchres mut-
ter: "Free the dead! Why is it so long night? Doth not the
moon make us drunken?"

Ye higher men, free the sepulchres, awaken the corpses!
Ah, why doth the worm still burrow? There approacheth,
there approacheth, the hour,-

-There boometh the clock-bell, there thrilleth still the
heart, there burroweth still the wood-worm, the heart-worm.
Ah! Ah! The world is deep!


Sweet lyre! Sweet lyre! I love thy tone, thy drunken, ranun-
culine tone! how long, how far hath come unto me thv tone,
from the distance, from the ponds of love!


Thou old clock-bell, thou sweet lyre! Every pain hath torn
thy heart, father-pain, fathers' -pain, forefathers'-pain; thy
speech hath become ripe,

Ripe like the golden autumn and the afternoon, like mine
anchorite heart now sayest thou: The world itself hath be-
come ripe, the grape turneth brown,

Now doth it wish to die, to die of happiness. Ye higher
men, do ye not feel it? There welleth up mysteriously an odour,
-A perfume and odour of eternity, a rosy-blessed, brown,
gold-wine-odour of old happiness.

-Of drunken midnight-death happiness, which singeth:
the world is deep, and deeper than the day could read!

Leave me alone! Leave me alone! I am too pure for thee.
Touch me not! Hath not my world just now become perfect?

My skin is too pure for thy hands. Leave me alone, thou dull,
doltish, stupid day! Is not the midnight brighter?

The purest are to be masters of the world, the least known,
the strongest, the midnight-souls, who are brighter and deeper

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