【P3C15】The Second Dance Song


“Into your eyes gazed I lately, O Life: gold saw I gleam in your nighteyes,- my heart stood still with delight:

-A golden bark saw I gleam on darkened waters, a sinking, drinking, reblinking, golden swing-bark!

At my dance-frantic foot, do you cast a glance, a laughing, questioning, melting, thrown glance:

Twice only moved you your rattle with your little hands- then did my feet swing with dance-fury.My heels reared aloft, my toes they hearkened,- you they would know: has not the dancer his ear- in his toe!

To you did I spring: then fled you back from my bound; and towards me waved your fleeing, flying tresses round!

Away from you did I spring, and from your snaky tresses: then stood you there half-turned, and in your eye caresses.

With crooked glances- do you teach me crooked courses; on crooked courses learn my feet- crafty fancies!

I fear you near, I love you far; your flight allures me, your seeking secures me:- I suffer, but for you, what would I not gladly bear!

For you, whose coldness inflames, whose hatred misleads, whose flight enchains, whose mockery- pleads:

-Who would not hate you, you great bindress, in-windress, temptress, seekress, findress! Who would not love you, you innocent, impatient, wind-swift, child-eyed sinner!

Where pull you me now, you paragon and tomboy? And now fool you me fleeing; you sweet romp does annoy!

I dance after you, I follow even faint traces lonely. Where are you? Give me your hand! Or your finger only!

Here are caves and thickets: we shall go astray!- Halt! Stand still! See you not owls and bats in fluttering fray?

You bat! you owl! you would play me foul? Where are we? From the dogs have you learned thus to bark and howl.

You gnash on me sweetly with little white teeth; your evil eyes shoot out upon me, your curly little mane from underneath!

This is a dance over stock and stone: I am the hunter,- will you be my hound, or my chamois anon?

Now beside me! And quickly, wickedly springing! Now up! And over!- Alas! I have fallen myself overswinging!

Oh, see me lying, you arrogant one, and imploring grace! Gladly would I walk with you- in some lovelier place!

-In the paths of love, through bushes variegated, quiet, trim! Or there along the lake, where gold-fishes dance and swim!

You are now a-weary? There above are sheep and sun-set stripes: is it not sweet to sleep- the shepherd pipes?

You are so very weary? I carry you there; let just your arm sink! And are you thirsty- I should have something; but your mouth would not like it to drink!-

-Oh, that cursed, nimble, supple serpent and lurking-witch! Where are you gone? But in my face do I feel through your hand, two spots and red blotches itch!

I am verily weary of it, ever your sheepish shepherd to be. You witch, if I have hitherto sung to you, now shall you- cry to me!

To the rhythm of my whip shall you dance and cry! I forget not my whip?- Not I!”-


Then did Life answer me thus, and kept thereby her fine ears closed:

“O Zarathustra! Crack not so terribly with your whip! You know surely that noise kills thought,- and just now there came to me such delicate thoughts.

We are both of us genuine ne’er-do-wells and ne’er-do-ills. Beyond good and evil found we our island and our green meadow- we two alone! Therefore must we be friendly to each other!

And even should we not love each other from the bottom of our hearts,- must we then have a grudge against each other if we do not love each other perfectly?

And that I am friendly to you, and often too friendly, that know you: and the reason is that I am envious of your Wisdom. Ah, this mad old fool, Wisdom!

If your Wisdom should one day run away from you, ah! then would also my love run away from you quickly.”-

Then did Life look thoughtfully behind and around, and said softly: “O Zarathustra, you are not faithful enough to me!

You love me not nearly so much as you say; I know you think of soon leaving me.

There is an old heavy, heavy, booming-clock: it booms by night up to your cave:-

-When you hear this clock strike the hours at midnight, then think you between one and twelve thereon-

-You think thereon, O Zarathustra, I know it- of soon leaving me!””Yes,” answered I, hesitatingly, “but you know it also”- And I said something into her ear, in amongst her confused, yellow, foolish tresses.

“You know that, O Zarathustra? That knows no one- -“ And we gazed at each other, and looked at the green meadow o’er which the cool evening was just passing, and we wept together.- Then, however, was Life dearer to me than all my Wisdom had ever been.Thus spoke Zarathustra.



O man! Take heed!


What says deep midnight’s voice indeed? Three!

“I slept my sleepFour!

“From deepest dream I’ve woke and plead:Five!

“The world is deep, Six!

“And deeper than the day could read. Seven!

“Deep is its woeEight!

“Joy- deeper still than grief can be:


“Woe says: Hence! Go!


“But joys all want eternityEleven!

“Want deep profound eternity!”