The Fool's Dilemma

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The Fool's Dilemma  (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.

Ah, what I wrote on board and wall
With foolish heart, in foolish scrawl,
I meant but for their decoration!

Yet say you, "Fools' abomination!
Both board and wall require purgation,
And let no trace our eyes appal!"
Well, I will help you, as I can,
For sponge and broom are my vocation,
As critic and as waterman.

But when the finished work I scan,
I'm glad to see each learned owl
With "wisdom" board and wall defoul.

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).