THE GREAT LONGING
O my soul, I have taught thee to say “to-day” as “once on a time” and “formerly,” and to dance thy measure over every Here and There and Yonder.
O my soul, I delivered thee from all by-places, I brushed down from thee dust and spiders and twilight.
O my soul, I washed the petty shame and the by-place virtue from thee, and persuaded thee to stand naked before the eyes of the sun.
With the storm that is called “spirit” did I blow over thy surging sea; all clouds did I blow away from it; I strangled even the strangler called “sin.”
O my soul, I gave thee the right to say Nay like the storm, and to say Yea as the open heaven saith Yea: calm as the light remainest thou, and now walkest through denying storms.
O my soul, I restored to thee liberty over the created and the uncreated; and who knoweth, as thou knowest, the voluptuousness of the future?
O my soul, I taught thee the contempt which doth not come like worm-eating, the great, the loving contempt, which loveth most where it contemneth most.
O my soul, I taught thee so to persuade that thou persuadest even the grounds themselves to thee: like the sun, which persuadeth even the sea to its height.
O my soul, I have taken from thee all obeying and knee-bending and homage-paying; I have myself given thee the names, “Change of need” and “Fate.”
O my soul, I have given thee new names and gay-coloured playthings, I have called thee “Fate” and “the Circuit of circuits” and “the Navel-string of time” and “the Azure bell.”
O my soul, to thy domain gave I all wisdom to drink, all new wines, and also all immemorially old strong wines of wisdom.
O my soul, every sun shed I upon thee, and every night and every silence and every longing:—then grewest thou up for me as a vine.
O my soul, exuberant and heavy dost thou now stand forth, a vine with swelling udders and full clusters of brown golden grapes:—
—Filled and weighted by thy happiness, waiting from superabundance, and yet ashamed of thy waiting.
O my soul, there is nowhere a soul which could be more loving and more comprehensive and more extensive! Where could future and past be closer together than with thee?
O my soul, I have given thee everything, and all my hands have become empty by thee:—and now! Now sayest thou to me, smiling and full of melancholy: “Which of us oweth thanks?—
—Doth the giver not owe thanks because the receiver received? Is bestowing not a necessity? Is receiving not—pitying?”—
O my soul, I understand the smiling of thy melancholy: thine over-abundance itself now stretcheth out longing hands!
Thy fulness looketh forth over raging seas, and seeketh and waiteth: the longing of over-fulness looketh forth from the smiling heaven of thine eyes!
And verily, O my soul! Who could see thy smiling and not melt into tears? The angels themselves melt into tears through the over-graciousness of thy smiling.
Thy graciousness and over-graciousness, is it which will not complain and weep: and yet, O my soul, longeth thy smiling for tears, and thy trembling mouth for sobs.
“Is not all weeping complaining? And all complaining, accusing?” Thus speakest thou to thyself; and therefore, O my soul, wilt thou rather smile than pour forth thy grief—
—Than in gushing tears pour forth all thy grief concerning thy fulness, and concerning the craving of the vine for the vintager and vintage-knife!
But wilt thou not weep, wilt thou not weep forth thy purple melancholy, then wilt thou have to SING, O my soul!—Behold, I smile myself, who foretell thee this:
—Thou wilt have to sing with passionate song, until all seas turn calm to hearken unto thy longing,—
—Until over calm longing seas the bark glideth, the golden marvel, around the gold of which all good, bad, and marvellous things frisk:—
—Also many large and small animals, and everything that hath light marvellous feet, so that it can run on violet-blue paths,—
—Towards the golden marvel, the spontaneous bark, and its master: he, however, is the vintager who waiteth with the diamond vintage-knife,—
—Thy great deliverer, O my soul, the nameless one—for whom future songs only will find names! And verily, already hath thy breath the fragrance of future songs,—
—Already glowest thou and dreamest, already drinkest thou thirstily at all deep echoing wells of consolation, already reposeth thy melancholy in the bliss of future songs!—
O my soul, now have I given thee all, and even my last possession, and all my hands have become empty by thee:—THAT I BADE THEE SING, behold, that was my last thing to give!
That I bade thee sing,—say now, say: WHICH of us now—oweth thanks?— Better still, however: sing unto me, sing, O my soul! And let me thank thee!—
Thus spake Zarathustra.