31. XXXI. THE NIGHT-SONG.
'Tis night: now do all gushing fountains speak louder. And my soul also
is a gushing fountain.
'Tis night: now only do all songs of the loving ones awake. And my soul
also is the song of a loving one.
Something unappeased, unappeasable, is within me; it longeth to find
expression. A craving for love is within me, which speaketh itself the
language of love.
Light am I: ah, that I were night! But it is my lonesomeness to be begirt
Ah, that I were dark and nightly! How would I suck at the breasts of
And you yourselves would I bless, ye twinkling starlets and glow-worms
aloft!--and would rejoice in the gifts of your light.
But I live in mine own light, I drink again into myself the flames that
break forth from me.
I know not the happiness of the receiver; and oft have I dreamt that
stealing must be more blessed than receiving.
It is my poverty that my hand never ceaseth bestowing; it is mine envy that
I see waiting eyes and the brightened nights of longing.
Oh, the misery of all bestowers! Oh, the darkening of my sun! Oh, the
craving to crave! Oh, the violent hunger in satiety!
They take from me: but do I yet touch their soul? There is a gap 'twixt
giving and receiving; and the smallest gap hath finally to be bridged over.
A hunger ariseth out of my beauty: I should like to injure those I
illumine; I should like to rob those I have gifted:--thus do I hunger for
Withdrawing my hand when another hand already stretcheth out to it;
hesitating like the cascade, which hesitateth even in its leap:--thus do I
hunger for wickedness!