Many a shrewd one did I find: he veiled his countenance and made his water muddy, that no one might see therethrough and thereunder.
But precisely to him came the shrewder distrusters and nut-crackers: precisely from him did they fish his best-concealed fish!
But the clear, the honest, the transparent- these are for me the wisest silent ones: in them, so profound is the depth that even the clearest water does not- betray it.-
You snow-bearded, silent, winter-sky, you round-eyed whitehead above me! Oh, you heavenly parable of my soul and its wantonness!
And must I not conceal myself like one who has swallowed gold- lest my soul should be ripped up?
Must I not wear stilts, that they may overlook my long legs- all those enviers and injurers around me?
Those dingy, fire-warmed, used-up, green-tinted, ill-natured souls- how could their envy endure my happiness!
Thus do I show them only the ice and winter of my peaks- and not that my mountain winds all the solar girdles around it!
They hear only the whistling of my winter-storms: and know not that I also travel over warm seas, like longing, heavy, hot south-winds.
They commiserate also my accidents and chances:- but my word says: "Suffer the chance to come to me: innocent is it as a little child!"
How could they endure my happiness, if I did not put around it accidents, and winter-privations, and bear-skin caps, and enmantling snowflakes!
-If I did not myself commiserate their pity, the pity of those enviers and injurers!