The Boat of Mystery

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The Boat of Mystery  (1910)  by Friedrich Nietzsche, translated by [[Author:Paul V. Cohn and Maude D. Petre|Paul V. Cohn and Maude D. Petre]]
Songs of Prince Free-as-a-Bird
German original published 1887 as part of the second edition of The Joyful Wisdom ('La Gaya Scienza'). This translation published in 1910 as part of Oscar Levy's The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche volume 10.

Yester-eve, when all things slept—
 Scarce a breeze to stir the lane—
I a restless vigil kept,
 Nor from pillows sleep could gain,
Nor from poppies nor—most sure
Of opiates—a conscience pure.
Thoughts of rest I 'gan forswear,
 Rose and walked along the strand.
Found, in warm and moonlit air,
 Man and boat upon the sand,
Drowsy both, and drowsily
Did the boat put out to sea.

Passed an hour or two perchance,
 Or a year? then thought and sense
Vanished in the engulfing trance
 Of a vast Indifference.
Fathomless, abysses dread
Opened—then the vision fled.

Morning came: becalmed, the boat
 Rested on the purple flood:
"What had happened?" every throat
 Shrieked the question: "was there—Blood?"
Naught had happened! On the swell
We had slumbered, oh, so well!

This is a translation and has a separate copyright status from the original text. The license for the translation applies to this edition only.
This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.
This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).