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奴役

凌風 譯

 

噢,那棚屋在廣袤的原野,
無盡連綿的綠蔭,
那裏壓榨和詐欺的謠言
成功與不成功的戰爭,
可以全不關我!每天傳聞
世界充滿了不公和暴行
使我耳朵痛苦靈魂厭恨。
全沒有肉在人剛硬的心;
對人失去了感覺;
那自然的兄弟關連受了傷損
如同麻遇到火焰破碎無存。
他發現同類的罪過在於皮膚
顏色和他不同,並且有力量
就可以為了這無價值的借口而動武
判定其作為合法的獵物。
土地僅一帶水之隔彼此恨惡。
山脈連接使國與國構成仇隙,
本該是親族像水滴匯合為一。
如此人惡待他的弟兄而且毀滅,
最壞的,最可悲哀的是
人性最粗野,最穢臭的污點,
是給他帶鎖鏈,役使他,榨取他的汗
用鞭打,如果慈憐看見
這樣的虐待牲畜她也會流血悲泣。
人又如何?甚麼人,有人的情感,
看到這樣,能不羞慚,
垂下頭,想他自己也是人?
我絕不要一個奴隸耕我的田,
抬着我,在睡覺時為我打扇,
當我醒來他就發顫,任多大財富,
那筋力所得的我不能買賣賺錢。
不;自由如此可貴,在我心中衡量
珍視在所有的價值之上,
我深願自己作奴隸,
被捆綁,而不願把鎖鏈加於他人身上。
我們沒有奴隸在本鄉。—這樣,為甚麼在外邦?
他們一度曾自己航過波浪
使我們部分人得到自由和解放。
奴隸不能夠存在於英國;如果他們的肺
接受了我們的空氣,他們立即自由;
他們踏上我們的國土,他們的枷鎖就脫落。
那是高貴的,表明一個國家自豪
享有可羡慕的福分。因此,應該散播,
讓這福分周流在每個血管
在我們全國;這樣,當不列顛
權力所及,人類也可感受她的慈惠。

 

Slavery

  From The Timepiece

O for a lodge in some vast wilderness,
Some boundless contiguity of shade,
Where rumour of oppression and deceit
Of unsuccessful or successful war,
Might never reach me more! My ear is pained,
My soul is sick, with every day's report
Of wrong and outrage with which earth is filled.
There is no flesh in man's obdurate heart;
It does not feel for man; the natural bond
Of brotherhood is severed as the flax
That falls asunder at the touch of fire.
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and, having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
Lands intersected by a narrow frith
Abhor each other. Mountains interposed
Make enemies of nations, who had else
Like kindred drops been mingled into one.
Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys;
And, worse than all, and most to be deplored
As human nature's broadest, foulest blot,
Chains him, and tasks him, and exacts his sweat
With stripes, that Mercy, with a bleeding heart,
Weeps, when she sees inflicted on a beast.
Then what is man? And what man, seeing this,
And having human feelings, does not blush,
And hang his head, to think himself a man?
I would not have a slave to till my ground,
To carry me, to fan me while I sleep,
And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth
That sinews bought and sold have ever earned.
No; dear as freedom is, and in my heart's
Just estimation prized above all price,
I had much rather be myself the slave,
And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him.
We have no slave at home.— Then why abroad?
And they themselves once ferried o'er the wave
That parts us are emancipate and loosed.
Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs
Receive our air, that moment they are free;
They touch our country, and their shackles fall.
That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud
And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then,
And let it circulate through every vein
Of all your empire; that, where Britain's power
Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too.

William Cowper (1731-1800)
English poet & hymn writer.

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