32. XXXII. THE DANCE-SONG.
One evening went Zarathustra and his disciples through the forest; and when
he sought for a well, lo, he lighted upon a green meadow peacefully
surrounded with trees and bushes, where maidens were dancing together. As
soon as the maidens recognised Zarathustra, they ceased dancing;
Zarathustra, however, approached them with friendly mein and spake these
Cease not your dancing, ye lovely maidens! No game-spoiler hath come to
you with evil eye, no enemy of maidens.
God's advocate am I with the devil: he, however, is the spirit of gravity.
How could I, ye light-footed ones, be hostile to divine dances? Or to
maidens' feet with fine ankles?
To be sure, I am a forest, and a night of dark trees: but he who is not
afraid of my darkness, will find banks full of roses under my cypresses.
And even the little God may he find, who is dearest to maidens: beside the
well lieth he quietly, with closed eyes.
Verily, in broad daylight did he fall asleep, the sluggard! Had he perhaps
chased butterflies too much?
Upbraid me not, ye beautiful dancers, when I chasten the little God
somewhat! He will cry, certainly, and weep--but he is laughable even when
And with tears in his eyes shall he ask you for a dance; and I myself will
sing a song to his dance:
A dance-song and satire on the spirit of gravity my supremest, powerfulest
devil, who is said to be "lord of the world."--
And this is the song that Zarathustra sang when Cupid and the maidens
Of late did I gaze into thine eye, O Life! And into the unfathomable did I
there seem to sink.
But thou pulledst me out with a golden angle; derisively didst thou laugh
when I called thee unfathomable.