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必死之人何必高傲?

凌風 譯

 

噢,必死之人何必心高氣傲?
像一個飛馳的流星,一片快過的雲霧,
一閃的電,一個碎浪的沫泡,
人從生命進入他安息的墳墓。
橡樹和楊柳的葉子必要凋敝,
四散飄落又堆積在一起;
年輕的和年老的,卑賤和高貴,
都必腐朽化為塵土一坯。
母親對她的嬰孩愛護關懷,
嬰孩向母親報以情愛;
丈夫有母子是他的恩賜,
一個一個,全都要歸宿安息。
那少女的面頰,眉梢,和眼睛,
閃耀着美貌和快樂—藉以得勝;
那些對她愛慕和稱讚的記憶,
俱都從活着的心頭抹除消逝。
君王那曾握過權杖的手;
祭司那戴過聖冠的眉頭;
智者的眼睛和勇者的心,
都沉埋在墓中無處可尋。
農夫的分是撒種和收割;
牧人領他的羊爬上陡坡;
乞丐為了討飯到處流浪,
凋落像被踐踏的草一樣。
那曾享受與天堂團契的聖徒;
或頑強的罪人執迷不肯悔悟;
義人和罪咎者,智慧和劣愚,
都默然的埋骨混雜着塵土。
這樣,群眾都像花或雜草消失
凋謝枯乾讓另一代繼起代替;
這樣,群眾來過,當我們注視,
重複再絮說那些已常聽的故事。
我們仍然像先人的故我舊樣;
我們看的是先人看過的景象,—
我們飲於同一泉源看同一太陽,
也同先人跑在那同一路徑上。
我們的心意想先人同樣的思想;
我們逃避死亡像先人逃避死亡,
我們想延長生命先人也想延長,
但生命如飛而去像鳥展開翅膀。
他們愛過,那些艷事已難以再講;
他們輕蔑,那驕傲的心已經冰涼;
他們悲傷,長眠者沒有哀哭聲響;
他們歡樂,舌頭無聲喜信難傳揚。
他們死去,唉!死了:我們現在存留,
我們走在他們躺臥的墓地上頭,
這裏只是他們暫時的寄身之處,
要遇到那些在朝聖旅途所曾相遇。
是啊!希望和失望,痛苦和喜樂,
在晴天和陰雨中我們交互會合;
有歡笑和眼淚,有哀曲和樂歌,
仍然要互相伴隨,一波又一波。
只是轉瞬之間,只是呼吸的一息,
從盛壯的健康就到蒼白的死,
從鍍金的廳堂到棺架和屍衣,
噢,必死的人何必心高氣傲?


這是林肯總統(Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865
從早年就特別喜愛的一首詩。

 

Why Should the Spirit of Mortal be Proud?

O, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?
Like a swift-fleeting meteor, a fast-flying cloud,
A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave,
Man passes from life to his rest in the grave.
The leaves of the oak and the willow shall fade,
Be scattered around and together be laid;
And the young and the old, and the low and the high,
Shall moulder to dust and together shall lie.
The infant a mother attended and loved,
The mother that infant's affection who proved;
The husband that mother and infant who blessed,
Each, all, are away to their dwellings of rest.
The maid on whose cheek, on whose brow, in whose eye,
Shone beauty and pleasure,- her triumphs are by;
And the memory of those who loved her and praised,
Are alike from the minds of living erased.
The hand of the king that the sceptre hath borne;
The brow of the priest that the mitre hath worn;
The eye of the sage and the heart of the brave,
Are hidden and lost in the depth of the grave.
The peasant, whose lot was to sow and to reap;
The herdsman, who climbed with his goats up the steep;
The beggar, who wandered in search of his bread,
Have faded away like the grass that we tread.
The saint who enjoyed the communion of heaven,
The sinner who dared to remain unforgiven,
The wise and the foolish, the guilty and just,
Have quietly mingled their bones in the dust.
So the multitude goes, like the flowers or the weed
That withers away to let others succeed;
So the multitude comes, even those we behold,
To repeat every tale that has often been told.
For we are the same our fathers have been;
We see the same sights our fathers have seen,-
We drink the same stream and view the same sun,
And run the same course our fathers have run.
The thoughts we are thinking our fathers would think;
From the death we are shrinking our fathers would shrink,
To the life we are clinging they also would cling;
But it speeds for us all, like a bird on the wing.
They loved, but the story we cannot unfold;
They scorned, but the heart of the haughty is cold;
They grieved, but no wail from their slumbers will come;
They joyed, but the tongue of their gladness is dumb.
They died, ay! they died: and we things that are now,
Who walk on the turf that lies over their brow,
Who make in their dwelling a transient abode,
Meet the things that they met on their pilgrimage road.
Yea! hope and despondency, pleasure and pain,
We mingle together in sunshine and rain;
And the smiles and the tears, the song and the dirge,
Still follow each other, like surge upon surge.
'T is the wink of an eye,'t is the draught of a breath,
From the blossom of health to the paleness of death,
From the gilded saloon to the bier and the shroud,-
O, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?

威廉.諾克司(William Knox, 1789-1825)十九世紀美國詩人。

 

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2019.11

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