Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning
ran to the market place, and cried incessantly:
'I seek God! I seek God!'
As many of those who did not believe in God
were standing around just then,
he provoked much laughter.
Has he got lost? asked one.
Did he lose his way like a child? asked another.
Or is he hiding?
Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? emigrated?
Thus they yelled and laughed.
The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes.
'Whither is God?' he cried; 'I will tell you.
We have killed him--you and I.
All of us are his murderers.
But how did we do this?
How could we drink up the sea?
Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon?
What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun?
Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving?
Away from all suns?
Are we not plunging continually?
Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions?
Is there still any up or down?
Are we not straying, as through an infinite nothing?
Do we not feel the breath of empty space?
Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us?
Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning?