On The Olive-mount
Winter, a bad guest, sitteth with me at home; blue are my hands with his friendly hand-shaking.
I honour him, that bad guest, but gladly leave him alone. Gladly do I run away from him; and when one runneth well, then one escapeth him!
With warm feet and warm thoughts do I run where the wind is calmto the sunny corner of mine olive- mount.
There do I laugh at my stern guest, and am still fond of him, because he cleareth my house of flies, and quieteth many little noises.
For he suffereth it not if a gnat wanteth to buzz, or even two of them; also the lanes maketh he lonesome, so that the moonlight is afraid there at night.
A hard guest is hebut I honour him, and do not worship, like the tenderlings, the pot-bellied fire-idol.
Better even a little teeth-chattering than idol-adoration! So willeth my nature. And especially have I a grudge against all ardent, steaming, steamy fire-idols.
Him whom I love, I love better in winter than in summer; better do I now mock at mine enemies, and more heartily, when winter sitteth in my house.
Heartily, verily, even when I creep into bedthere still laugheth and wantoneth my hidden happiness; even my deceptive dream laugheth.
I, acreeper? Never in my life did I creep before the powerful; and if ever I lied, then did I lie out of love. Therefore am I glad even in my winter-bed.
A poor bed warmeth me more than a rich one, for I am jealous of my poverty. And in winter she is most faithful unto me.
With a wickedness do I begin every day: I mock at the winter with a cold bath; on that account grumbleth my stern house-mate.
Also do I like to tickle him with a wax-taper, that he may finally let the heavens emerge from ashy-grey twilight.
For especially wicked am I in the morning: at the early hour when the pail rattleth at the well, and horses neigh warmly in grey lanes
Impatiently do I then wait, that the clear sky may finally dawn for me, the snow-bearded winter-sky, the hoary one, the white-head
The winter-sky, the silent winter-sky, which often stifleth even its sun!
Did I perhaps learn from it the long clear silence? Or did it learn it from me? Or hath each of us devised it himself?
Of all good things the origin is a thousandfoldall good roguish things spring into existence for joy; how could they always do so for once only!
A good roguish thing is also the long silence, and to look, like the winter-sky, out of a clear, round-eyed countenance
Like it, to stifle ones sun, and ones inflexible solar will: verily, this art and this winter-roguishness have I learnt well!
|Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.|