45. XLV. THE WANDERER.
Then, when it was about midnight, Zarathustra went his way over the ridge
of the isle, that he might arrive early in the morning at the other coast;
because there he meant to embark. For there was a good roadstead there, in
which foreign ships also liked to anchor: those ships took many people
with them, who wished to cross over from the Happy Isles. So when
Zarathustra thus ascended the mountain, he thought on the way of his many
solitary wanderings from youth onwards, and how many mountains and ridges
and summits he had already climbed.
I am a wanderer and mountain-climber, said he to his heart, I love not the
plains, and it seemeth I cannot long sit still.
And whatever may still overtake me as fate and experience--a wandering will
be therein, and a mountain-climbing: in the end one experienceth only
The time is now past when accidents could befall me; and what COULD now
fall to my lot which would not already be mine own!
It returneth only, it cometh home to me at last--mine own Self, and such of
it as hath been long abroad, and scattered among things and accidents.
And one thing more do I know: I stand now before my last summit, and
before that which hath been longest reserved for me. Ah, my hardest path
must I ascend! Ah, I have begun my lonesomest wandering!
He, however, who is of my nature doth not avoid such an hour: the hour
that saith unto him: Now only dost thou go the way to thy greatness!
Summit and abyss--these are now comprised together!
Thou goest the way to thy greatness: now hath it become thy last refuge,
what was hitherto thy last danger!
Thou goest the way to thy greatness: it must now be thy best courage that
there is no longer any path behind thee!
Thou goest the way to thy greatness: here shall no one steal after thee!
Thy foot itself hath effaced the path behind thee, and over it standeth