FROM HIGH MOUNTAINS
Oh noon of life! Oh summer garden site
There's restless joy in standing watch and waiting!
I wait for friends, I'm ready day and night
Where are you, friends? Do Come! The time is right!
For you , the glacier clothes its old gray hue
In rose attire,
The rivers seek you, running with desire,
The winds and clouds climb high into the blue,
As high as birds - to keep their watch for you.
My table waits for you with each delight:-
Such lonely ledges
Are home to few, save stars and chasms' edges.
My realm - its bounds reach past the range of sight,
My honey too - who dreams they'll taste the like?...
-Oh friends, you're there! But - What grave ill portends? -
Am I a stranger?
You pause; your wonder wounds far worse than anger!
I am no more? - In face, or stride or hands?
But am I not what I am for you, friends?
So was I once another? Self-unknown?
I've left my own source?
A strength too often set against its own force?
A wrestler beaten by himself alone,
And wounded by a victory of his own?
I've looked where sharpest winds blow frozen air?
I've made my home here,
On glaciers where no other soul dares roam near,
Forgot both man and god, both curse and prayer?
Became a ghost who walked with polar bears?
-Old friends! See here! Your faces have gone white,
With love - and pain too!
Just leave in peace: there's nothing to detain you:
Here in the distant ice-filled rocky height -
This realm belongs to hunters, born to fight!
I'm now a wicked huntsman! Look - my bow
Is stiff and stock straight!
The strong alone can pull back such a taut weight - -:
Take care! M arrow's speed is far from slow,
The danger's great - so flee to safety! go!...
You're turning back? - Oh heart, this blow hits hard,
But hope must stay fast:
Hold open doors as new friends make there way past!
Old friends must be left back! Old memories barred!
You once were young -now, youth has been restored!
We shared one hope - that was our common band, -
Now - who reads these signs
That love had once inscribed, such faded half-lines?
They look just like a parchment that the hand
is loath to touch, - they're just browned and tanned.
What are they called? - since friendship's at an end -
Just ghostly brothers!
Who rattle nightly on the heart and shutters,
Who look at me and say: "you were my friend" -
-Those wilted words once bore a rosebud scent!
Oh youthful longing; how you failed to see
Those friends turned family, seeming close relations,
- How they grew old, and turned their heels to flee:
For only those who change keep ties with me.
Oh noon of life! Oh summer garden bright!
Oh youth returning!
There's restless joy in waiting, watching, yearning!
I wait for friends I'm ready day and night
the new friends now! Do come! The time is right!
The song is gone, - the longing cries are through,
Their sweet sounds ended.
The work of a magician I'd befriended,
The friend of noon-time - but-no! don't ask who -
It was at noon, when one turned into two...
Now we can feast, with triumph in the air,
The fest of all fests:
Friend Zarathustra came, the guest of all guests!
The world can laugh, the gruesome curtain tear,
The wedding day of light and dark was here...