Philosophy Index

Friedrich Nietzsche

Thus Spake Zarathurstra

LX. THE SEVEN SEALS.

(or THE YEA AND AMEN LAY.)

1.

If I be a diviner and full of the divining spirit which wandereth on high mountain-ridges, 'twixt two seas,—

Wandereth 'twixt the past and the future as a heavy cloud—hostile to sultry plains, and to all that is weary and can neither die nor live:

Ready for lightning in its dark bosom, and for the redeeming flash of light, charged with lightnings which say Yea! which laugh Yea! ready for divining flashes of lightning:—

—Blessed, however, is he who is thus charged! And verily, long must he hang like a heavy tempest on the mountain, who shall one day kindle the light of the future!—

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity and for the marriage-ring of rings—the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O Eternity!

FOR I LOVE THEE, O ETERNITY!

2.

If ever my wrath hath burst graves, shifted landmarks, or rolled old shattered tables into precipitous depths:

If ever my scorn hath scattered mouldered words to the winds, and if I have come like a besom to cross-spiders, and as a cleansing wind to old charnel- houses:

If ever I have sat rejoicing where old Gods lie buried, world-blessing, world-loving, beside the monuments of old world-maligners:—

—For even churches and Gods'-graves do I love, if only heaven looketh through their ruined roofs with pure eyes; gladly do I sit like grass and red poppies on ruined churches—

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the marriage-ring of rings—the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O Eternity!

FOR I LOVE THEE, O ETERNITY!

3.

If ever a breath hath come to me of the creative breath, and of the heavenly necessity which compelleth even chances to dance star-dances:

If ever I have laughed with the laughter of the creative lightning, to which the long thunder of the deed followeth, grumblingly, but obediently:

If ever I have played dice with the Gods at the divine table of the earth, so that the earth quaked and ruptured, and snorted forth fire-streams:—

—For a divine table is the earth, and trembling with new creative dictums and dice-casts of the Gods:

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the marriage-ring of rings—the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O Eternity!

FOR I LOVE THEE, O ETERNITY!

4.

If ever I have drunk a full draught of the foaming spice- and confection- bowl in which all things are well mixed:

If ever my hand hath mingled the furthest with the nearest, fire with spirit, joy with sorrow, and the harshest with the kindest:

If I myself am a grain of the saving salt which maketh everything in the confection-bowl mix well:—

—For there is a salt which uniteth good with evil; and even the evilest is worthy, as spicing and as final over-foaming:—

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the marriage-ring of rings—the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O Eternity!

FOR I LOVE THEE, O ETERNITY!

5.

If I be fond of the sea, and all that is sealike, and fondest of it when it angrily contradicteth me:

If the exploring delight be in me, which impelleth sails to the undiscovered, if the seafarer's delight be in my delight:

If ever my rejoicing hath called out: "The shore hath vanished,—now hath fallen from me the last chain—

The boundless roareth around me, far away sparkle for me space and time,— well! cheer up! old heart!"—

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the marriage-ring of rings—the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O Eternity!

FOR I LOVE THEE, O ETERNITY!

6.

If my virtue be a dancer's virtue, and if I have often sprung with both feet into golden-emerald rapture:

If my wickedness be a laughing wickedness, at home among rose-banks and hedges of lilies:

—For in laughter is all evil present, but it is sanctified and absolved by its own bliss:—

And if it be my Alpha and Omega that everything heavy shall become light, every body a dancer, and every spirit a bird: and verily, that is my Alpha and Omega!—

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the marriage-ring of rings—the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O Eternity!

FOR I LOVE THEE, O ETERNITY!

7.

If ever I have spread out a tranquil heaven above me, and have flown into mine own heaven with mine own pinions:

If I have swum playfully in profound luminous distances, and if my freedom's avian wisdom hath come to me:—

—Thus however speaketh avian wisdom:—"Lo, there is no above and no below! Throw thyself about,—outward, backward, thou light one! Sing! speak no more!

—Are not all words made for the heavy? Do not all words lie to the light ones? Sing! speak no more!"—

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the marriage-ring of rings—the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O Eternity!

FOR I LOVE THEE, O ETERNITY!

Thus Spake Zarathurstra by Friedrich Nietzsche.