In the South

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In the South  (1910)  by Friedrich Nietzsche, translated by 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.


I swing on a bough, and rest
My tired limbs in a nest,
In the rocking home of a bird,
Wherein I perch as his guest,
In the South!


I gaze on the ocean asleep, On the purple sail of a boat; On the harbour and tower steep, On the rocks that stand out of the deep, In the South!

For I could no longer stay, To crawl in slow German way; So I called to the birds, bade the wind Lift me up and bear me away To the South!

No reasons for me, if you please; Their end is too dull and too plain; But a pair of wings and a breeze, With courage and health and ease, And games that chase disease From the South!

Wise thoughts can move without sound, But I've songs that I can't sing alone; So birdies, pray gather around, And listen to what I have found In the South!

"You are merry lovers and false and gay, "In frolics and sport you pass the day; "Whilst in the North, I shudder to say, "I worshipped a woman, hideous and gray, "Her name was Truth, so I heard them say, "But I left her there and I flew away "To the South!"

  1. Translated by Miss M. D. Petre. Inserted by permission of the editor of the Nation, in which it appeared on April 17, 1909.

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This work was published before January 1, 1928, 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, 1928.

The longest-living author of this work died in 1942, so this work is in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.