And I saw a great sadness come over mankind. The best turned weary of their works.
A doctrine appeared, a faith ran beside it: All is empty, all is alike, all hath been!
And from all hills there re-echoed: All is empty, all is alike, all hath been!
To be sure we have harvested; but why have all our fruits become rotten and brown? What was it fell last night from the evil moon?
In vain was all our labour, poison hath our wine become, the evil eye hath singed yellow our fields and hearts.
Arid have we all become; and fire falling upon us, then do we turn dust like ashesyea, the fire itself have we made aweary.
All our fountains have dried up, even the sea hath receded. All the ground trieth to gape, but the depth will not swallow!
Alas! where is there still a sea in which one could be drowned? So soundeth our plaintacross shallow swamps.
Verily, even for dying have we become too weary; now do we keep awake and live onin sepulchres.
Thus did Zarathustra hear a soothsayer speak; and the foreboding touched his heart and transformed him. Sorrowfully did he go about and wearily; and he became like unto those of whom the soothsayer had spoken.
Verily, said he unto his disciples, a little while, and there cometh the long twilight. Alas, how shall I preserve my light through it!
That it may not smother in this sorrowfulness! To remoter worlds shall it be a light, and also to remotest nights!
Thus did Zarathustra go about grieved in his heart, and for three days he did not take any meat or drink; he had no rest, and lost his speech. At last it came to pass that he fell into a deep sleep. His disciples, however, sat around him in long night-watches, and waited anxiously to see if he would awake, and speak again, and recover from his affliction.
And this is the discourse that Zarathustra spake when he awoke; his voice, however, came unto his disciples as from afar:
Hear, I pray you, the dream that I dreamed, my friends, and help me to divine its meaning!
A riddle is it still unto me, this dream; the meaning is hidden in it and encaged, and doth not yet fly above it on free pinions.
All life had I renounced, so I dreamed. Night-watchman and grave-guardian had I become, aloft, in the lone mountain-fortress of Death.
There did I guard his coffins; full stood the musty vaults of those trophies of victory. Out of glass coffins did vanquished life gaze upon me.
The odour of dust-covered eternities did I breathe; sultry and dust-covered lay my soul. And who could have aired his soul there!
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