The Sublime Ones
Calm is the bottom of my sea; who would guess that it hideth droll monsters!
Unmoved is my depth; but it sparkleth with swimming enigmas and laughters.
A sublime one saw I today, a solemn one, a penitent of the spirit. Oh, how my soul laughed at his ugliness!
With up-raised breast, and like those who draw in their breath: thus did he stand, the sublime one, and in silence.
Oerhung with ugly truths, the spoil of his hunting, and rich in torn raiment; many thorns also hung on himbut I saw no rose.
Not yet had he learned laughing and beauty. Gloomy did this hunter return from the forest of knowledge.
From the fight with wild beasts returned he home; but even yet a wild beast gazeth out of his seriousnessan unconquered wild beast!
As a tiger doth he ever stand, on the point of springing, but I do not like those strained souls; ungracious is my taste towards all those self-engrossed ones.
And ye tell me, friends, that there is to be no dispute about taste and tasting? But all life is a dispute about taste and tasting!
Taste: that is weight at the same time, and scales and weigher; and alas, for every living thing that would live without dispute about weight and scales and weigher!
Should he become weary of his sublimeness, this sublime one, then only will his beauty beginand then only will I taste him and find him savoury.
And only when he turneth away from himself will he oerleap his own shadowand verily, into his sun.
Far too long did he sit in the shade; the cheeks of the penitent of the spirit became pale. He almost starved on his expectations.
Contempt is still in his eye, and loathing hideth in his mouth. To be sure, he now resteth, but he hath not yet taken rest in the sunshine.
As the ox ought he to do; and his happiness should smell of the earth, and not of contempt for the earth.
As a white ox would I like to see him, which snorting and lowing, walketh before the plough-share; and his lowing should also laud all that is earthly!
Dark is still his countenance; the shadow of his hand danceth upon it. Oershadowed is still the sense of his eye.
His deed itself is still the shadow upon him; his doing obscureth the doer. Not yet hath he overcome his deed.
To be sure, I love in him the shoulders of the ox: but now do I want to see also the eye of the angel.
Also his hero-will hath he still to unlearn; an exalted one shall he be, and not only a sublime onethe ether itself should raise him, the will-less one!
He hath subdued monsters, he hath solved enigmas. But he should also redeem his monsters and enigmas; into heavenly children should he transform them.
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