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A Winter Walking II

(2009-12-19 23:00:47)
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杂谈

After two seasons, this rude dwelling does not deform the scene. Already the birds resort to it, to build their nests, and you may track to its door the feet of many quadrupeds. Thus, for a long time, nature overlooks the encroachment and profanity of man. The wood still cheerfully and unsuspiciously echoes the strokes of the axe that fells it , and while they are few and seldom, they enhance its wildness, and all the elements strive to naturalize the sound.

      

       两个季节过去了,但这间简陋的茅舍并没有破坏景色;鸟儿都筑起了巢穴,门前还可以看到其它四足动物路过的痕迹。长期以来,大自然并没有理会人类的侵蚀和亵渎,你听树林依旧欢快地、毫无戒备地回响着伐木声,虽然不常听到这种声音,但这加强了树林的萧索之意,似乎所有的一切都是为了将这声音变成大自然的一部分。

       ……

 

       In winter, nature is a cabinet of curiosities, full of dried specimens, in their natural order and position. The meadows and forests are a hortus siccus. The leaves and grasses stand perfectly pressed by air without screw or gum, and the bird’s nests are not hung on an artificial twig, but where they builded them. We go about dry-shod to inspect the summer’s work in the rank swamp, and see what a growth has got the alders, the willows, and the maples; testifying to how many warm suns, and fertilizing dews and showers. See what strides their boughs took in the luxuriant summer—and anon these dormant buds will carry them onward and upward another span into the heavens.

       冬日里,大自然就像一个天然的大橱柜,被塞满了各种干枯的标本,它们还保持着原来的样子和位置。草原和树林成了一座“植物标本馆”,叶子和野草在空气的压力下保持着完美的形态,而不需要铆钉或胶水;鸟巢不用挂在人工制造的树枝上,虽然那已经枯萎了,但毕竟是真的。我们到已经干涸的沼泽中去探寻夏日留下的痕迹,去看看赤杨、柳树和枫树生长的情况——它们到底吸收了多少阳光、沐浴了多少雨露,过不了多久,这些沉睡的枝桠就要茁壮成长,总有一天它们会伸向“天国”。

 

       Occasionally we wade through fields of snow, under whose depths the river is lost for many rods, to appear again to the right or left, where we least expected; still holding on its way underneath, with a faint, stertorous, rumbling sound, as if, like the bear and marmot, it too had hibernated, and we had followed its faint summer trail to where it earthed itself in snow and ice. At first we should have thought that rivers would be empty and dry in midwinter, or else frozen solid fill the spring thawed them; but their volume is not diminished even, for only a superficial cold bridges their surfaces. The thousand springs, which feed the lakes and streams are flowing still. The issues of a few surface springs only are closed, and they go to swell the deep reservoir. Nature’s wells are below the frost. The summer brooks are not filled with snow-water, nor does the mower quench his thirst with that alone. The streams are swollen when the snow melts in the spring, because nature’s work has been delayed, the water being turned into ice and snow, whose particles are less smooth and round, and do not find their level so soon.

       我们不时穿越雪地,河流已不见踪影,但是出乎意料的是它忽左忽右地隐现;仍保持原来的流向,河水在深雪下依然奔流不息,这就像冬眠的熊或土拨鼠,我们只有依据夏天的轨迹在冰和雪下探寻其踪迹。我们起先以为在这隆冬之季,河流早已干涸或者至少被冰封了,但实际上水流并未减少,而仅仅是表面结了层薄冰。这些充盈了江河湖海的小溪仍静静地流淌着,只有少数贴近地面的水流才被冻结。夏天溪水的上涨并非仅靠消融的冰雪,割草者渴了也不是只能喝这些雪水。到了春天,小溪涨水了,这是由于自然界的工作被拖延了,水变成了不太圆润的冰雪,而且无法保持以前的高度。

 

       Far over the ice, between the hemlock woods and snow-clad hills, stands the pickerel-fisher, his lines set in some retired cove, like a Finlander, with his arms thrust into the pouches of his dreadnaught; with dull, snowy, fishy thoughts, himself a finless fish, separated a few inches from his race, dumb, erect, and made to be enveloped in clouds and snows, like the pines on shore. In these wild scenes, men stand about in the scenery, or move deliberately and heavily, having sacrifices the sprightliness and vivacity of towns to the dumb sobriety of nature. He does not make the scenery less wild, more than the jays and muskrats, but stand there as a part of it, as the natives are represented in the voyages of early navigators, at Nootka Sound, and on the Northwest coast with their furs about them, before they were tempted to loquacity by a scrape of iron, He belongs to the natural family of man, and is planted deeper in nature and has more root than the inhabitants of towns. Go to him, ask what luck, and you will learn that he too is a worshiper of the unseen, Hear with what sincere deference and waving gesture in his tone he speaks of the lake pickerel, which he was never seen, his primitive and ideal race of pickerel. He is connected with the shore still, as by a fishline, and yet remembers the season when he took fish through the ice on the pond, while the peas were up in his garden at home.

       一个渔夫站在冰面上,位于铁杉树林与覆盖了皑皑白雪的小山之间,像芬兰人一样,他将鱼线垂放在小河湾中,手插在大衣口袋里,一动不动,像有着鱼一样的思维,因此他自己就是一个无鳍的鱼,而他的同类在冰面下的不远处;他静谧地伫立着,被云和雪包裹着,就像岸边的松树。在这寂静的旷野中,人处于其中即使有所行动也变得迟缓而简单,因为你已经脱略了城市的浮躁和多动。你不要认为由于人的存在这里就不再荒凉,因为人已经成了其中的一部分,就像松鸦和麝鼠一样。正如早期航海家提到的生活在努特卡海湾和美洲西北海岸的土著人一样,他们全身裹着厚厚的毛皮衣服,除非凿开他的嘴,否则他们是不会和陌生人主动交流的。这个渔夫已经属于大自然的一员,像被深深地植入了土壤中,根基比城里的人牢固得多。我们走到渔夫的面前,问他今天的运气如何,我们发现他也崇拜一些无法看到的东西;你听,他无比虔诚地用手势比划着,论说湖里的梭鱼——但他从未见过。通过一条鱼线,他和湖里的鱼连成了一体,他说他还记得当在湖上凿冰钓鱼时,家里菜园中的豌豆正茁壮地生长。

 

       But now, while we have loitered, the clouds have gathered again, and a few straggling snowflakes are beginning to descend. Faster and faster they fall, shutting out the distant objects from sight. The snow falls on every wood and field, and no crevice is forgotten; by the river and the pond, on the hill and in the valley. Quadrupeds are confined to their coverts and the birds sit upon their perches this peaceful hour. There is not so much sound as in fair weather, but silently and gradually every slope, and the way walks and fences, and the polished ice, and the sere leaves, which were not buried before, are concealed, and the tracks of men and beasts are lost. With so little effort does nature reassert her rule and blot out the trace of men. Hear how Homer has described the same:” The snowflakes fall thick and fast on a winter’s day. The winds are lulled, and the now falls incessant, covering the tops of the mountains, and the hills, and the plains where the lotus tree grows, and the cultivated fields, and they are falling by the inlets and shores of the foaming sea, but are silently dissolved by the waves.” The snow levels all things, and infolds them deeper in the bosom of nature, as in the slow summer, vegetation creeps up to the entablature of the temple, and the turrets of the castle, and helps her to prevail over art.

       但在我们四处游荡的时候,乌云又聚集起来,稀疏的雪片开始落下,渐渐地,雪越落越快,逐渐将远处的东西遮蔽。雪花落在每一寸树林和田野,不留一丝空隙;足迹遍布河流、池塘以及山林和村庄。在这静謐的时刻,四足动物躲在温暖的窝中,而鸟儿则藏身于枝头。现在比任何风和日丽的日子还要安静,但是默默地、逐步地每个山坡、小路、篱笆、光洁的冰面、那些没有被雪掩埋的枯叶都被这飘雪遮盖,包括人和动物的足迹。大自然就这样轻而易举地执行了她的法则,将人类的痕迹抹得一干二净。听听荷马的诗中是这么说的:“冬雪飘下迅且密,覆盖山林风已止;无声悄然落平原,大海扬波都不现。”任何东西在白雪的覆盖下似乎都处于一样的地位,自然把它们包裹在自己的怀抱中,就像夏季里爬上庙宇柱顶或城堡角楼的植被,覆盖了人类的艺术品。

 

       The surely night wind rustles through the wood, and warns us to retrace our steps, while the sun goes down behind the thickening storm, and  birds seek their roosts, and cattle their stalls.

       夜里风呼啸着刮过树林,它似乎是警告我们停止脚步,此时太阳也被浓重的风暴遮挡,鸟儿归巢,牛儿进栏。

 

       “Drooping the lab`rer ox

     Stands covered o’er with snow, and now demands

     The fruit of all his toil.”

       “牛耷拉着脑袋

      身上披着雪,现在是

      所求回报的时候了.”

 

       Though winter is represented in the almanac as an old man, facing the wind and sleet, and drawing his cloak about him, we rather think of him as a merry woodchopper, and warm-blooded youth, as blithe as summer. The unexplored grandeur of the storm keeps up the spirits of the traveler. It does not trifle with us, but has a sweet earnestness. In winter we lead a more inward life. Our hearts are warm and cheery, like cottages under drifts, whose windows and doors are half concealed, but from whose chimneys the smoke cheerfully ascends. The imprisoning drifts increase the sense of comfort which the house affords, and in the coldest days we are content to sit over the hearth and see the sky through the chimney-top, enjoying the quiet and serene life that may be had in a warm corner by the chimney-side, or feeling our pulse by listening to the low of cattle in the street, or the sound of the flail in distant barns all the long afternoon. No doubt a skillful physician could determine our health by observing how these simple and natural sounds affected us. We enjoy now, not an Oriental, but a Boreal leisure, around warm stoves and fireplaces, and watch the shadow of motes in the sunbeams.

       尽管一年中冬天被看作是老年人,面对着风霜雪雨,紧紧地裹着他的大衣,但我们宁愿将冬天比作快乐的樵夫或热血的青年,他像夏天一样的快乐。风暴有着未被发现的宏大,它保有游历者的精神,它从没有轻视我们,反而有着无比的热情。在冬天,我们过着内敛的生活,但心却是温暖和愉悦的,就像披雪的茅屋——它的门和窗是虚掩的,但从烟囱中却升腾着愉快的烟雾。在飘雪的日子,这间屋子能增加更多的舒适感;当天气最冷的时候,围坐在火炉边,我们透过烟囱向天空张望,这些都能使人觉得惬意非凡;在享受这个温暖角落带来的静谧和祥和的生活时,我们的脉搏有时随着街上牛儿的低鸣而悸动,有时随着整个下午没有停歇的打谷声而跳动。毋庸置疑,高明的医生可以通过观察这些简单而自然的声响对身体的影响,从而判断我们的健康状况。我们现在享受的不是东方式的生活,而是北方式的——围坐在炉边,凝视太阳光中舞动的灰尘。

 

       Sometimes our fate grows too homely and familiarly serious ever to be cruel. Consider how for three months the human destiny is wrapped in furs. The good Hebrew Revelation takes no Cognizance of all this cheerful now. Is there no religion for the temperate and frigid zones? We now of no scripture which records the pure benignity of the gods on a New England winter night. Their praises have never been sung, only their wrath deprecated. The best scripture, after all, records but a meager faith. Its saints live reserved and austere. Let a brave, devout man spend the year in the woods of Maine or Labrador, and see if the Hebrew Scriptures speak adequately to his condition and experience, from the setting in of winter to the breaking up of the ice.

       有时我们的命运太安逸、太循规蹈矩而很难遭遇挫折。想一想,三个月里人就这样被裹在大衣里,但是《圣经》却没有认识到雪给人带来的愉悦,难道温带和寒带的人们就不信仰宗教么?但没有一本书记录了新英格兰的冬夜,尽管它是上天仁慈的恩惠。看来是人们从来不愿歌颂上天的好处,只是对上天的恶行耿耿于怀。最好的记载也只不过是苍白的信仰。圣人们的生活闭塞而单调,真的勇士应该在缅因州或拉布拉多的森林里住上一年,让他体会从初冬直到冰雪消融的日子,然后再回头看看《圣经》中的记载是否足够。

 

Now commences the long winter evening around the farmer’s hearth, when the thoughts of the indwellers travel far abroad, and men are by nature and necessity charitable and liberal to all creatures. Now is the happy resistance to cold, when the farmer reaps his reward, and thinks of his preparedness for winter, and , through the glittering panes, sees with equanimity” the mansion of the northern bear,” for now the storm is over,

“The full ethereal round,

Infinite worlds disclosing to the view,

Shines our intensely keen; and all one cope

Of starry glitter glows from pole to pole.”

现在,漫长的冬夜降临在农夫的火炉边,而人们的思想也开始了漫无边际的徜徉;此时,对天下苍生更怀有一颗悲怜之心。当农夫想到庄稼已经收割、已为越冬做好了各项准备,就止不住喜上眉梢;现在,他透过明亮的窗格,平静地观看“北极熊的家园”——风暴已然停歇,

“寂寥无边苍穹,

  毕生难尽其穷;

 笼罩四野八荒,

 闪烁无尽光芒。”

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