The Slow Arrow of Beauty

by Peter Saint-Andre

The noblest beauty leads a modest life
Within the soul: it lodges deep inside,
Fermenting in the brain, and does not hide
But slowly grows unseen, avoiding strife.

To make a thing of art the workman takes
His time and finds his pleasure in the small
Details of his craft. From this will flow all
That he bestows, the beauty that he makes.

And yet there is a far more weighty art:
To make from smaller parts a greater whole
And step by step climb closer to life's goal,
Thus crafting inner beauty in the heart.

The needed skills are slow and hard to master,
But beauty's arrow won't go any faster.

(Human, All Too Human, Volume I, §149, §163)

Peter Saint-Andre > Writings > Nietzsche