The Three Evil Things


In my dream, in my last morning-dream, I stood today on a promontory — beyond the world; I held a pair of scales and weighed the world.

Alas, that the rosy dawn came too early to me; she glowed me awake, the jealous one! Jealous is she always of the glows of my morning-dream.

Measurable by him who hath time, weighable by a good weigher, attainable by strong pinions, divinable by divine nutcrackers: thus did my dream find the world —

My dream, a bold sailor, half-ship, half-hurricane, silent as the butterfly, impatient as the falcon; how had it the patience and leisure today for world-weighing!

Did my wisdom perhaps speak secretly to it, my laughing, wide-awake day-wisdom, which mocketh at all ‘infinite worlds’? For it saith: ‘Where force is, there becometh number the master: it hath more force.’

How confidently did my dream contemplate this finite world; not new-fangledly, not old-fangledly, not timidly, not entreatingly —

As if a big round apple presented itself to my hand, a ripe golden apple, with a coolly-soft, velvety skin: thus did the world present itself unto me —

As if a tree nodded unto me, a broad-branched, strong-willed tree, curved as a recline and a foot-stool for weary travellers: thus did the world stand on my promontory —

As if delicate hands carried a casket towards me — a casket open for the delectation of modest adoring eyes: thus did the world present itself before me today —

Not riddle enough to scare human love from it, not solution enough to put to sleep human wisdom: a humanly good thing was the world to me today, of which such bad things are said!

How I thank my morning-dream that I thus at today’s dawn weighed the world! As a humanly good thing did it come unto me, this dream and heart-comforter!

And that I may do the like by day, and imitate and copy its best, now will I put the three worst things on the scales, and weigh them humanly well.

He who taught to bless taught also to curse: what are the three best-cursed things in the world? These will I put on the scales.

Voluptuousness, passion for power, and selfishness: these three things have hitherto been best cursed, and have been in worst and falsest repute—these three things will I weigh humanly well.

Well, here is my promontory, and there is the sea! It rolleth hither unto me, shaggily and fawningly, the old faithful, hundred-headed dog-monster that I love!

Well, here will I hold the scales over the weltering sea; and also a witness do I choose to look on—thee, the anchorite-tree, thee, the strong-odoured, broad-arched tree that I love!

On what bridge goeth the now to the hereafter? By what constraint doth the high stoop to the low? And what enjoineth even the highest still—to grow upwards?

Now stand the scales poised and at rest: three heavy questions have I thrown in; three heavy answers carrieth the other scale.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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