Beyond Good and Evil

296

Alas, what are you then, my written and painted thoughts! It's not so long ago that you were still so colourful, young, and malicious, full of stings and secret seasonings, so that you made me sneeze and laugh. - And now? You have already stripped off your novelty and some of you, I fear, are ready to become truths: you already look so immortal, so heartbreakingly honest, so boring! And was it ever different? What things we transcribe in our writing and painting, we mandarins with a Chinese paintbrush, we immortalizers of things which let themselves be written - what are the only things we are capable of painting? Alas, always only what is just about to fade and is beginning to lose its fragrance! Alas, always only storms which are worn out and withdrawing and old yellow feelings! Alas, always only birds which have exhausted themselves flying and lost their way and now let themselves be caught by hand - by our hand! We immortalize what can no longer live and fly, only tired and crumbling things! And it is only your afternoon, my written and painted thoughts, for which I alone have colours, many colours perhaps, many colourful caresses and fifty yellows and browns and greens and reds: - but no one will sense from me how you looked in your dawn, you sudden sparks and miracles of my loneliness, you, my old loved ones - my wicked thoughts!

Friedrich NietzscheBeyond Good and Evil: Part IX - Aphorism #29619936 years, 8 months ago 

Out of the High Mountains

Aftersong

O noon of life! A time to celebrate!

            Oh garden of summer!

Restless happiness in standing, gazing, waiting:—

I wait for friends, ready day and night.

You friends, where are you? Come! It's time! It's time!

Was it not for you that the glacier's grayness

            today decked itself with roses?

The stream is seeking you, and wind and clouds

with yearning push themselves higher into the blue today

to look for you from the furthest bird's eye view.

For you my table has been set at the highest point.

            Who lives so near the stars?

Who's so near the furthest reaches of the bleak abyss?

My realm — what realm has stretched so far?

And my honey — who has tasted that? . . .

There you are, my friends!— Alas, so I am not the man,

            not the one you're looking for?

You hesitate, surprised!— Ah, your anger would be better!

Am I no more the one? A changed hand, pace, and face?

And what am I— for you friends am I not the one?

Have I become another? A stranger to myself?

            Have I sprung from myself?

A wrestler who overcame himself so often?

Too often pulling against his very own power,

wounded and checked by his own victory?

I looked where the wind blows most keenly?

            I learned to live

where no one lives, in deserted icy lands,

forgot men and god, curse and prayer?

Became a ghost that moves over the glaciers?

— You old friends! Look! Now your gaze is pale,

            full of love and horror!

No, be off! Do not rage! You can't live here:

here between the furthest realms of ice and rock —

here one must be a hunter, like a chamois.

I've become a wicked hunter! See, how deep

            my bow extends!

It was the strongest man who made such a pull —

Woe betide you! The arrow is dangerous —

like no arrow — away from here! For your own good! . . .

You're turning around?— O heart, you deceive enough,

            your hopes stayed strong:

hold your door open for new friends!

Let the old ones go! Let go the memory!

Once you were young, now — you are even younger!

What bound us then, a band of one hope —

            who reads the signs,

love once etched there — still pale?

I compare it to parchment which the hand

fears to touch — like that discoloured, burned.

No more friends — they are . . . But how can I name that?—

            Just friendly ghosts!

That knocks for me at night on my window and my heart,

that looks at me and says, "But we were friends?"—

— O shrivelled word, once fragrant as a rose!

O youthful longing which misunderstands itself!

            Those yearned for,

whom I imagined changed to my own kin,

they have grown old, have exiled themselves.

Only the one who changes stays in touch with me.

O noon of life! A second youthful time!

            O summer garden!

Restless happiness in standing, gazing, waiting!

I wait for friends, ready day and night.

You friends, where are you? Come! It's time! It's time

                               *           *

                                      *                    

The song is done — the sweet cry of yearning

            died in my mouth:

A magician did it, a friend at the right hour,

a noontime friend — no! Do not ask who it might be —

it was at noon when one turned into two . . . .

Now we celebrate, certain of victory, united,

            the feast of feasts:

friend Zarathustra came, the guest of guests!

Now the world laughs, the horror curtain splits,

the wedding came for light and darkness . . . .

Friedrich NietzscheBeyond Good and Evil: Aftersong - Aphorism #29717086 years, 8 months ago