“Why so hard!”—said to the diamond one day the charcoal; “are we then not near relatives?”—
Why so soft? O my brethren; thus do I ask you: are ye then not—my brethren?
Why so soft, so submissive and yielding? Why is there so much negation and abnegation in your hearts? Why is there so little fate in your looks?
And if ye will not be fates and inexorable ones, how can ye one day—conquer with me?
And if your hardness will not glance and cut and chip to pieces, how can ye one day—create with me?
For the creators are hard. And blessedness must it seem to you to press your hand upon millenniums as upon wax,—
—Blessedness to write upon the will of millenniums as upon brass,—harder than brass, nobler than brass. Entirely hard is only the noblest.
This new table, O my brethren, put I up over you: Become hard!—