How soon are you swallowed up by the depths?

Who would here descend?
How soon is he swallowed up by the depths?
Thou, Zarathustra, still lovesth the abysses
Lovesth them as dosth the fur tree

The fur flings its roots
And the rock itself gazes
Shuddering at the depths
The fur pauses before the abysses where all around
Would feign descent amid the impatience of wild, rolling, leaping torrents
It waits so patient, stern, and silent

Lonely, who would venture here?
To be guest, to be thy guest
A bird of prey, per chance
Joyous at other’s misfortune
Will cling persistent to the heir of the steadfast watcher
With frenzied laughter, a vulture’s laughter

Wherefor so steadfast?
Mocks he so cruel
He must have wings who loves the abyss
He must not stay on the cliff
As thou, who hangesth there

Oh Zarathustra
Cruelest nimrod!
Of late still a hunter of God
A spider’s web, to capture virtue
An arrow of evil
Now hunted by thyself
Thine own prey
Caught in the grip of thine own soul

Now lonely to me and thee
Twofold in thine own knowledge
‘Mid a hundred mirrors
False to thyself
‘Mid a hundred memories
Uncertain and weary from every wound
shivering at every frost
Throttled in thine own noose

Why didsth bind thyself
with the noose of thy wisdom?
Why luresth thyself
To the old serpent’s paradise?
Why stowesth into thyself

A sick man now
Sick of serpent’s poison
A captive now
Who has drawn the hardest lot
In thine own shaft
Now doesth thou workesth
In thine own cavern?
Digging in thyself
Helpless quite
stiff, a cold corpse
Overwhelmed with a hundred burdens
Overburdened by thyself
A knower, a self-knower
The wise Zarathustra

Thou soughtesth the heaviest burden
So foundesth thou thyself
And cansth not shake thyself off

One that stands up right no more
Thou with grow deformed
Even in thy grave
Deformed spirit

And of late, still so proud
On all the stilts of thy pride
Of late, still the godless hermit,
The hermit with one comrade, the devil
The scarlet prince of every devilmen’s
Now between two nothings
Huddled up a question mark
A weary riddle
A riddle for vultures

They will solve thee
they hunger already for thy solution
They flutter already about their riddle
About thee
The doomed one
Oh Zarathustra


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