Beyond Good and Evil
Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future.
O noon of life! O time to celebrate!
O summer garden!
Restless happiness in standing, watching and waiting: —
I await friends, ready day and night
Where are you friends? Come! It’s time! It’s time!
Was it not for you that today the grey glacier
adorned itself with roses?
The brook searches for you, longingly rushes,
Wind and clouds push higher now into the blue
To look for you from the most distant bird’s-eye view.
In the heights my table was set for you: —
Who lives so close to the stars
To the grey yonder of the abyss?
My realm—what realm stretches further?
And my honey—who has tasted it? …..
— There you are, friends!— Alas, but I am not
The one you wanted?
You hesitate, amazed—oh, you are quite sullen!
I—am no longer the same? Hands, face, gait have changed?
And what I am, to you friends—I am not?
Am I another? A stranger to myself?
Sprung from myself?
A wrestler, who too often subdued himself?
Too often resisted his own strength,
Wounded and stopped by his own victory?
I sought where the most biting wind blows?
I learned to live
Where no one lives, in desolate polar zones,
Unlearned man and god, curse and prayer?
Become a ghost who crosses glaciers?
— My old friends! Now how pale you look!
Full of love and fear!
No, leave! Do not be angry! You—cannot live here:
Here among this most remote realm of ice and rock—
Here one has to be a hunter and chamois-like.
I’ve become a wicked hunter!— Look how much
My bow is bent!
The strongest was he who drew his bow like this — —:
But now alas! No arrow is dangerous
As that arrow,—away from here! For your own good! …..
You turn away?— O heart, you have borne enough,
Your hope stayed strong:
Keep your door open to new friends!
Let the old go! Let the memories go!
Once you were young, now—you are younger!
What once tied us together, one hope’s bond —
Who still reads the signs
Love once inscribed on it, the faded ones?
I compare it to parchment that the hand
Is afraid to grasp,—like parchment that is discolored, burnt.
No longer friends, they are—what should I call them?—
Nothing but ghosts of friends!
That knock at my heart and window nightly,
That look at me and say: “were we once friends?” —
— O withered word, once fragrant as the rose!
O longing of youth that misunderstood itself!
Those I longed for,
Those I deemed changed into my kin,
That they have aged has driven them away:
Only he who changes remains akin to me.
O noon of life! Second time of youth!
O summer garden!
Restless happiness in standing, watching and waiting!
I await friends, ready day and night,
New friends! Come! It’s time! It’s time!
This song is over—the sweet cry of longing
Died in my mouth—
A sorceror did it, the friend at the right time,
The friend of noon—no! do not ask who he is—
At noon was the time one became two …
Now we celebrate together, certain of victory,
The feast of feasts:
Friend Zarathustra has come, the guest of guests!
Now the world laughs, the dread curtain is rent,
The wedding has come for light and darkness …..