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于中旻編譯


遲來的搭客
C.S. Lewis(1898-1963)


雨聲急密,天空低沈而陰暗,
挪亞的兒子們站在方舟的窗前。

群獸都進來了,但雅弗說﹕"我見還有一種獸,
遲來了,孤獨無偶,在那門前直叩。”

含說﹕"讓它去叩門吧,任它淹死或練游泳,
看看我們的情形吧,這裡已經是無處可容。”

雅弗說﹕"它仍在叩門呢,拼命叩著焦急驚惶,
它四蹄像獨角那樣的堅硬,卻遍體帶著異香。”

含說﹕"莫作聲,你如果驚醒老爹來看
是甚麼在門外,準會增加我們的工作負擔。”

從下面的暗處,傳來挪亞的高聲大吼,
"有活物在叩門﹗放它進來再關閉方舟。”

含高喊回應,猛力戳那兩兄弟不要作聲﹕
"那不過是雅弗,他在用錘敲下一支鞋釘。”

挪亞說﹕"孩子們,我聽到像是馬的蹄聲。”
含說﹕"噢,那是可怕的豪雨敲擊著屋頂。”

挪亞倉皇的爬上頂層,探頭一看出去﹔
他的臉轉灰青,雙膝發軟,撕自己的鬍鬚,

"看,看﹗它不再等了。它離去,逃脫。
兒子們,今夜,你們合夥,真幹了絕活﹗

"就算我能趕過它,它也不會再轉回--
我們對它不客氣,自然贏得人家鄙視不理會。

"啊,高貴的孤獸,我的兒子們真不友好,
如此的黑夜你何處能尋得棚舍和草料﹖

"啊,那金的蹄,啊,飄洒的長鬃,翕張的鼻孔
充滿氣憤﹗啊,那彎弓的倔強頸項,可愛的傲性﹗

"啊,要多麼長久,在人的心上留下犁溝
要多久,它才會再度來到棚舍和槽頭,

"我們的種類要經歷漫長的黑暗彎曲路徑,
像莖枝折斷的花,頹喪的垂頭度過人生,

"含啊,全世界要以生你的那日子可詛可咒,
為了你,竟在方舟啟航時失落那獨角瑞獸。”

The Late Passenger

The sky was low, the sounding rain was falling dense and dark,
And Noah's sons were standing at the window of the ark.

The beasts were in, but Japhet said, "I see one creature more
Belated and unmated there come knocking at the door."

"Well let him knock," said Ham, "Or let him drown or learn to swim.
We're overcrowded as it is; we've got no room for him."

"And yet it knocks, how terribly it knocks," said Shem, "Its feet
Are hard as horn-but oh the air that comes from it is sweet."

"Now hush," said Ham, "You'll waken Dad, and once he comes to see
What's at the door, it's sure to mean more work for you and me."

Noah's voice came roaring from the darkness down below,
"Some animal is knocking. Take it in before we go."

Ham shouted back, and savagely he nudged the other two, 
"That's only Japhet knocking down a brad-nail in his shoe."

Said Noah, "Boys, I hear a noice that's like a horse's hoof."
Said Ham, "Why, that's the dreadful rain that drums upon the roof."

Noah tumbled up on deck and out he put his head;
His face went gray, his knees were loosed, he tore his beard and said,

"Look, look! It will not wait. It turns away. It takes its flight.
Fine work you've made of it, my sons, between you all tonight!

"Even if I could outrun it now, it would not turn again-Not now.
Our great discourtesy has earned its high disdain.

"Oh noble and unmated beast, my sons were all unkind;
In such a night what stable and what manger will you find?

"Oh golden hoofs, oh cataracts of mane, oh nostrils wide
What indignation! Oh the neck wave-arched, the lovely pride!

"Oh long shall be the furrows ploughed across the hearts of men
Before it comes to stable and to manger once again,

"And dark and crooked all the ways in which our race shall walk,
And shriveled all their manhood like a flower with broken stalk,

"And all the world, oh Ham, may curse the hour when you were born;
Because of you the Ark must sail without the Unicorn."


--C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)
English novelist, essayist, and educator
Author, The Screwtape Letters and The Chronicles of Narnia


                                           

 

 

  

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