FOURTH AND LAST PART.
70. LXX. NOONTIDE.
--And Zarathustra ran and ran, but he found no one else, and was alone and
ever found himself again; he enjoyed and quaffed his solitude, and thought
of good things--for hours. About the hour of noontide, however, when the
sun stood exactly over Zarathustra's head, he passed an old, bent and
gnarled tree, which was encircled round by the ardent love of a vine, and
hidden from itself; from this there hung yellow grapes in abundance,
confronting the wanderer. Then he felt inclined to quench a little thirst,
and to break off for himself a cluster of grapes. When, however, he had
already his arm out-stretched for that purpose, he felt still more inclined
for something else--namely, to lie down beside the tree at the hour of
perfect noontide and sleep.
This Zarathustra did; and no sooner had he laid himself on the ground in
the stillness and secrecy of the variegated grass, than he had forgotten
his little thirst, and fell asleep. For as the proverb of Zarathustra
saith: "One thing is more necessary than the other." Only that his eyes
remained open:--for they never grew weary of viewing and admiring the tree
and the love of the vine. In falling asleep, however, Zarathustra spake
thus to his heart:
"Hush! Hush! Hath not the world now become perfect? What hath happened
As a delicate wind danceth invisibly upon parqueted seas, light, feather-light, so--danceth sleep upon me.
No eye doth it close to me, it leaveth my soul awake. Light is it, verily,
It persuadeth me, I know not how, it toucheth me inwardly with a caressing
hand, it constraineth me. Yea, it constraineth me, so that my soul
stretcheth itself out:--
--How long and weary it becometh, my strange soul! Hath a seventh-day
evening come to it precisely at noontide? Hath it already wandered too
long, blissfully, among good and ripe things?
It stretcheth itself out, long--longer! it lieth still, my strange soul.
Too many good things hath it already tasted; this golden sadness oppresseth
it, it distorteth its mouth.