Page:Complete works of Nietzsche vol 10.djvu/370

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358

THE JOYFUL WISDOM

THE POET'S CALL.

As 'neath a shady tree I sat
After long toil to take my pleasure,
I heard a tapping "pit-a-pat"
Beat prettily in rhythmic measure.
Tho' first I scowled, my face set hard,
The sound at length my sense entrapping
Forced me to speak like any bard,
And keep true time unto the tapping.
 
As I made verses, never stopping,
Each syllable the bird went after,
Keeping in time with dainty hopping!
I burst into unmeasured laughter!
What, you a poet? You a poet?
Can your brains truly so addled be?
"Yes, yes, good sir, you are a poet,"
Chirped out the pecker, mocking me.

What doth me to these woods entice?
The chance to give some thief a trouncing?
A saw, an image? Ha, in a trice
My rhyme is on it, swiftly pouncing!
All things that creep or crawl the poet
Weaves in his word-loom cunningly.
"Yes, yes, good sir, you are a poet,"
Chirped out the pecker, mocking me.

Like to an arrow, methinks, a verse is,
See how it quivers, pricks and smarts
When shot full straight (no tender mercies!)
Into the reptile's nobler parts!