And they answered me saying, “No, not one. There is none whole save such as are yet too young to read the Scripture and to understand its commandment.”
And when we had come out of the temple, I straightway left that Blessed City; for I was not too young, and I could read the scripture.
The Good God and the Evil God
The Good God and the Evil God met on the mountain top.
The Good God said, “Good day to you, brother.”
The Evil God did not answer.
And the Good God said, “You are in a bad humour today.”
“Yes,” said the Evil God, “for of late I have been often mistaken for you, called by your name, and treated as if I were you, and it ill-pleases me.”
And the Good God said, “But I too have been mistaken for you and called by your name.”
The Evil God walked away curing the stupidity of man.
Defeat, my Defeat, my solitude and my aloofness;
You are dearer to me than a thousand triumphs,
And sweeter to my heart than all world-glory.
Defeat, my Defeat, my self-knowledge and my defiance,
Through you I know that I am yet young and swift of foot
And not to be trapped by withering laurels.
And in you I have found aloneness
And the joy of being shunned and scorned.
Defeat, my Defeat, my shining sword and shield,
In your eyes I have read
That to be enthroned is to be enslaved,
and to be understood is to be leveled down,
And to be grasped is but to reach one’s fullness
and like a ripe fruit to fall and be consumed.
Defeat, my Defeat, my bold companion,
You shall hear my songs and my cries an my silences,
And none but you shall speak to me of the beating of wings,
And urging of seas,
And of mountains that burn in the night,
And you alone shall climb my steep and rocky soul.
Defeat, my Defeat, my deathless courage,
You and I shall laugh together with the storm,
And together we shall dig graves for all that die in us,
And we shall stand in the sun with a will,
And we shall be dangerous.
Night and the Madman
“I am like thee, O, Night, dark and naked; I walk on the flaming path which is above my day-dreams, and whenever my foot touches earth a giant oak tree comes forth.”
“Nay, thou art not like me, O, Madman, for thou still lookest backward to see how large a foot-print thou leavest on the sand.”
“I am like thee, O, Night, silent and deep; and in the heart of my loneliness lies a Goddess in child-bed; and in him who is being born Heaven touches Hell.”
“Nay, thou art not like me, O, Madman, for thou shudderest yet before pain, and the song of the abyss terrifies thee.”
“I am like thee, O, Night, wild and terrible; for my ears are crowded with cries of conquered nations and sighs for forgotten lands.”