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兄妹孤兒

凌風 譯

 

我的馬車到達鄉村的旅舍,
  最後餘暉的夕陽
斜映着街對面古老的教堂,
  把屋頂的風旗染上燦爛金黃。

為了打發晚餐前的時間,
  我默默的踱過到對面,
在苔封的古老墓叢
  尋味死者的遺願。

那裏許多寒素的青綠墳墓,
  是貧困缺乏勞苦的安息之處;
也有許多諂諛的墓石,
  表明他們曾擁有財富。

一棵凋落的椈樹褐色的影子,
  投射在一座墳是憂患的眠息,
在那裏稀疏的草還未長起,
  有兩名襤褸的孩子坐着哭泣。

在當中放着一塊麵包,
  他們二人都無意去取,
但他們看來是那麼貧苦,
  使我的心酸楚。

“我的孩子,對我來講
  為甚你們這樣的憂傷,
又為甚浪費丟掉那麵包,
  會使許多人吃了歡暢?”

那小男孩,用可愛的語聲回答,
  眼淚成串的下滴:
“夫人哪!我們在挨餓缺食,
  即使有我們也不會任意拋棄。”

“只是妹妹瑪莉變得淘氣,
  我說好說歹她總不肯吃,
雖然我知道那麵包實在是她的,
  因為她全天都不曾吃過東西。”

蒼白瘦弱的瑪莉說:“肯定的,
  除非亨利吃,我決不再吃半點,
因為昨天我吃過一點麵包,
  他甚麼都沒吃打從前天。”

我的心膨漲,胸口起伏,
  我感覺好像是無法言語;
靜默的我坐在那墳墓,
  把冰冷的小手用我雙手握住。

所表現的憂苦是如此真實,
  所表現傳達了感恩的心意,
那抖顫的小男孩更挨近我,
  說出了一個簡單的故事:

“在父親離開我們以前,
  他被壞人引誘去作海員,
妹妹和我不作一事只是貪玩,—
  我們家就在那大白楊樹旁邊。

“但可憐的母親時常哭泣,
  眼看改變忒多,我形容不來;
她跟我們說不久就要死,
  囑咐我們要好好彼此相愛。

“她說,也許我們會見到爸;
  那天要等戰爭過去,
如果我們不能再見他,
  上帝會作我們的父!

“她同我們親嘴然後死了,
  我們就此不再有母親;
有好多天我們坐着哭號,
  一同在可憐母親的墳。

“雖然我們的爸不回家,
  我以為在海上會把他找着,
在那裏我們定能遇到他,
  重聚在一起就會再快樂。

“我們手牽着手走過許多哩,
  一個又一個逢人就問路;
有的人只微笑,有的人嘆息,
  也有人給我們一些食物。

“但我們到海的時候才發現,
  原來是一片無邊大水汪洋,
想來父親必然已經淹死,
  哭着,恨不得我們也都死亡。

“因此,我們回到媽的墓上,
  只希望能跟她在一塊;
好姨來給我們這些乾糧,
  說是爸已經死在海外。

“既然在這裏我們沒有父母,
  我們要去到處尋找上帝;
夫人,求你,能不能告訴我們
  那位上帝,我們的爸,祂在哪裏?

“我們的媽說,上帝在天上,
  好姨說,那也是媽的所在;
所以如果媽知道我們需要祂幫忙,
  我想,她或許要祂到這裏來。”

我拉緊這兩個孩子在我胸前,
  哭着說:“來吧,你倆,跟我同住;
我要作你們第二個母親,
  給你穿,給你吃,給你安息照顧。

“上帝仍然是你們的父親,
  是祂的恩典差我到這裏,
教導你們好順從祂的旨意,
  引導你的腳步,使你的心歡喜。”

佚名

 

The Orphans

My chaise the village inn did gain,
  Just as the setting sun's last ray
Tipped with refulgent gold the vane
  Of the old church across the way.

Across the way I silent sped,
  The time till supper to beguile,
In moralizing o'er the dead
  That mouldered round the ancient pile.

There many a humble green grave showed
  Where want and pain and toil did rest;
And many a flattering stone I viewed
  O'er those who once had wealth possest.

A faded beech its shadow brown
  Threw o'er a grave where sorrow slept,
On which, though scarce with grass o'ergrown,
  Two ragged children sat and wept.

A piece of bread between them lay,
  Which neither seemed inclined to take,
And yet they looked so much a prey
  To want, it made my heart to ache.

"My little children, let me know
  Why you in such distress appear,
And why you wasteful from you throw
  That bread which many a one might cheer?"

The little boy in accents sweet,
  Replied, while tears each other chased,—
"Lady! we 've not enough to eat,
  Ah! if we had, we could not waste.

"But Sister Mary 's naughty grown,
  And will not eat whate'er I say,
Though sure I am the bread's her own,
  For she has tasted none to-day."

"Indeed," the wan, starved Mary said,
  "Till Henry eats, I'll eat no more,
For yesterday I got some bread,
  He 's had none since the day before."

My heart did swell, my bosom heave,
  I felt as though deprived of speech;
Silent I sat upon the grave,
  And clasped the clay-cold hand of each.

With looks of woe too sadly true,
  With looks that spoke a grateful heart,
The shivering boy then nearer drew,
  And did his simple tale impart:

"Before my father went away,
  Enticed by bad men o'er the sea,
Sister and I did naught but play,—
  We lived beside yon great ash-tree.

"But then poor mother did so cry,
  And looked so changed, I cannot tell;
She told us that she soon should die,
  And bade us love each other well.

"She said that when the war was o'er,
  Perhaps we might our father see;
But if we never saw him more,
  That God our father then would be!

"She kissed us both, and then she died,
  And we no more a mother have;
Here many a day we've sat and cried
  Together at poor mother's grave.

"But when my father came not here,
  I thought if we could find the sea,
We should be sure to meet him there,
  And once again might happy be.

"We hand in hand went many a mile,
  And asked our way of all we met;
And some did sigh, and some did smile,
  And we of some did victuals get.

"But when we reached the sea and found
  'T was one great water round us spread,
We thought that father must be drowned,
  And cried, and wished we both were dead.

"So we returned to mother's grave,
  And only longed with her to be;
For Goody, when this bread she gave,
  Said father died beyond the sea.

"Then since no parent we have here,
  We'll go and search for God around;
Lady, pray, can you tell us where
  That God, our Father, may be found?

"He lives in heaven, our mother said,
  And Goody says that mother 's there;
So, if she knows we want his aid,
  I think perhaps she 'll send him here."

I clasped the prattlers to my breast,
  And cried, "Come, both, and live with me;
I'll clothe you, feed you, give you rest,
  And will a second mother be.

"And God shall be your Father still,
  'T was he in mercy sent me here,
To teach you to obey his will,
  Your steps to guide, your hearts to cheer."

Anonymous

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2019.7

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