One evening went Zarathustra and his disciples through the forest; and when he sought for a well, lo, he lighted upon a green meadow peacefully surrounded with trees and bushes, where maidens were dancing together. As soon as the maidens recognised Zarathustra, they ceased dancing; Zarathustra, however, approached them with friendly mien and spake these words:
Cease not your dancing, ye lovely maidens! No game-spoiler hath come to you with evil eye, no enemy of maidens.
Gods advocate am I with the devil; he, however, is the spirit of gravity. How could I, ye light-footed ones, be hostile to divine dances? Or to maidens feet with fine ankles?
To be sure, I am a forest, and a night of dark trees; but he who is not afraid of my darkness will find banks full of roses under my cypresses.
And even the little God may he find, who is dearest to maidens; beside the well lieth he quietly, with closed eyes.
Verily, in broad daylight did he fall asleep, the sluggard! Had he perhaps chased butterflies too much?
Upbraid me not, ye beautiful dancers, when I chasten the little God somewhat! He will cry, certainly, and weep but he is laughable even when weeping!
And with tears in his eyes shall he ask you for a dance; and I myself will sing a song to his dance
A dance-song and satire on the spirit of gravity my supremest, most powerful devil, who is said to be lord of the world.
And this is the song that Zarathustra sang when Cupid and the maidens danced together:
Of late did I gaze into thine eye, O Life! And into the unfathomable did I there seem to sink.
But thou pulledst me out with a golden angle; derisively didst thou laugh when I called thee unfathomable.
Such is the language of all fish, saidst thou; what they do not fathom is unfathomable.
But changeable am I only, and wild, and altogether a woman and no virtuous one:
Though I be called by you men the profound one, or the faithful one, the eternal one, the mysterious one.
But ye men endow us always with your own virtues alas, ye virtuous ones!
Thus did she laugh, the unbelievable one; but never do I believe her and her laughter, when she speaketh evil of herself.
And when I talked face to face with my wild Wisdom, she said to me angrily: Thou willest, thou cravest, thou lovest; on that account alone dost thou praise Life!
Then had I almost answered indignantly and told the truth to the angry one; and one cannot answer more indignantly than when one telleth the truth to ones Wisdom.
For thus do things stand with us three. In my heart do I love only Life and verily, most when I hate her!
But that I am fond of Wisdom, and often too fond, is because she remindeth me very strongly of Life!
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