28. XXVIII. THE RABBLE. (continued)
And on the rulers turned I my back, when I saw what they now call ruling:
to traffic and bargain for power--with the rabble!
Amongst peoples of a strange language did I dwell, with stopped ears: so
that the language of their trafficking might remain strange unto me, and
their bargaining for power.
And holding my nose, I went morosely through all yesterdays and to-days:
verily, badly smell all yesterdays and to-days of the scribbling rabble!
Like a cripple become deaf, and blind, and dumb--thus have I lived long;
that I might not live with the power-rabble, the scribe-rabble, and the
Toilsomely did my spirit mount stairs, and cautiously; alms of delight were
its refreshment; on the staff did life creep along with the blind one.
What hath happened unto me? How have I freed myself from loathing? Who
hath rejuvenated mine eye? How have I flown to the height where no rabble
any longer sit at the wells?
Did my loathing itself create for me wings and fountain-divining powers?
Verily, to the loftiest height had I to fly, to find again the well of
Oh, I have found it, my brethren! Here on the loftiest height bubbleth up
for me the well of delight! And there is a life at whose waters none of
the rabble drink with me!
Almost too violently dost thou flow for me, thou fountain of delight! And
often emptiest thou the goblet again, in wanting to fill it!
And yet must I learn to approach thee more modestly: far too violently
doth my heart still flow towards thee:--
My heart on which my summer burneth, my short, hot, melancholy, over-happy
summer: how my summer heart longeth for thy coolness!
Past, the lingering distress of my spring! Past, the wickedness of my
snowflakes in June! Summer have I become entirely, and summer-noontide!