主题:Andrew Marr:我们英国人——英国诗歌文学简史 -- 万年看客

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2020-01-09 02:21:31
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万年看客`28000`/bbsIMG/face/0000.gif`70`238`25695`188502`正五品下:朝议大夫|宁远将军`2008-09-25 10:28:43`
理性时代以及奴隶与污秽等等6 1

这段诗文当中特别提到了桦树枝教鞭,这一点难免让读者们想到十八世纪男性生活的另一个基本方面:体罚盛行的学校生活。这方面的情况在大部分诗歌当中仅仅被附带提及,不过有一首诗是个例外。威廉.申斯通是一位出身什罗普郡的诗人,生前广为人知,身后却声名不显。在《女教师》(The Schoolmistress)一诗中,他描绘了英国农村地区常见的学堂,这些学堂勉强承担了英国的小学教育。诗文在序言中写道:“仿斯威夫特戏谑风格而作。”但是今天的读者们读到这些诗文只怕根本笑不出来:

IN every village marked with little spire,

Embowered in trees, and hardly known to fame,

There dwells, in lowly shed and mean attire,

A matron old, whom we schoolmistress name,

Who boasts unruly brats with birch to tame;

They grieven sore, in piteous durance pent,

Awed by the power of this relentless dame,

And ofttimes, on vagaries idly bent,

For unkempt hair, or task unconned, are sorely shent.

在每一个具备教堂尖顶的小小村镇,

周围绿树环绕,几乎不被外人所知,

都有一间低矮小屋,室内陈设寒碜,

住着一位老年妇女,人人尊称女教师。

她夸口专管熊孩子,全凭一根桦树枝,

他们的疼痛,只能虔诚地在肚里憋着,

在这位无情的女士手下没少找苦吃。

经常只因为这样那样的微小过错,

头发凌乱,忘记看书,就要遭受鞭笞。

And all in sight doth rise a birchen tree,

Which Learning near her little dome did stow,

Whilom a twig of small regard to see,

Though now so wide its waving branches flow,

And work the simple vassals mickle woe;

For not a wind might curl the leaves that blew,

But their limbs shuddered, and their pulse beat low,

And as they looked they found their horror grew,

And shaped it into rods, and tingled at the view.

那棵桦树就竖立在在私塾门前,

校长女士曾亲手将这棵树培养,

曾经只是一根细枝,离远了看不见,

如今却亭亭如盖,树冠随风飘扬,

让多少小孩子将苦头饱尝。

就算有一阵微风甚至无法吹动树叶,

依然吓得孩子们脉搏减慢,手脚冰凉,

眼看桦树的树干,恐惧越发迫切,

化作教鞭的形状,刺痛得愈发强烈。

So have I seen (who has not, may conceive)

A lifeless phantom near a garden placed,

So doth it wanton birds of peace bereave,

Of sport, of song, of pleasure, of repast;

They start, they stare, they wheel, they look aghast;

Sad servitude! such comfortless annoy

May no bold Briton’s riper age e’er taste!

Ne superstition clog his dance of joy,

Ne vision empty, vain, his native bliss destroy.

我曾经见过(没见过的想象一下也行)

毫无生机的鬼怪监视着花园,

凶恶剥夺了欢快鸟儿的和平,

吓得他们不敢唱歌,休憩或者游玩,

一惊一乍,两眼圆瞪,神情骇然。

可悲的奴役!多么生硬无情,

惟愿更年长的英国人不必受此摧残。

希望他的欢乐之舞不会被迷信逼停,

空洞虚荣的执念不会毁坏他的安宁。

Near to this dome is found a patch so green

On which the tribe their gambols do display.

And at the door imprisoning board is seen,

Lest weakly wights of smaller size should stray,

Eager, perdie, to bask in sunny day!

The noises intermixed, which thence resound,

Do Learning’s little tenement betray;

Where sits the dame disguised in look profound,

And eyes her fairy throng, and turns her wheel around.

在房舍附近是一片如茵绿草,

别的孩子们在草地上欢乐嬉戏。

禁锢的木板将门口封堵好,

以免身体瘦小的学生偷偷溜出去。

一心只想将温暖的阳光沐浴!

草地上玩乐的喧闹声响,

穿透了狭小教室的屋门锁闭,

女校长装出一脸高深莫测,

转身打量学生们拥挤就坐。

Her cap, far whiter than the driven snow,

Emblem right meet of decency does yield;

Her apron, dyed in grain, as blue, I trow,

As is the harebell that adorns the field;

And in her hand, for sceptre, she does wield

Tway birchen sprays; with anxious fear entwined,

With dark distrust, and sad repentance filled,

And steadfast hate, and sharp affliction joined,

And fury uncontrolled, and chastisement unkind.

她的头发远比积雪更白,

看上去确实可敬而又体面;

她的围裙染成了蓝色,我猜

就像风铃草将田野铺遍。

恰似权杖握在她手中,只见

桦树枝条上缠绕着不安与恐惧,

暗黑的质疑与悲哀的积怨,

不动不摇的憎恨,尖锐的焦虑,

失控的怒火,以及惩处充满恶意。

到目前为止我们还没怎么听到十八世纪女性诗人的声音。不过既然谈到了童年的话题,那就有必要介绍一下玛丽.巴伯。她是都柏林人,在诗歌创作方面深受斯威夫特的影响。她本人生育了九个孩子,她笔下的最优秀诗作要么以孩子为题,要么是写给他们的。巴伯很不待见当时英国盛行的鞭笞教育法,她的诗作《写给吾子,由他在学校朗读,有感于老师首次亮出教鞭》(Written for my Son, and spoken by him in School, upon his Master's first bringing in a Rod)明确表达了她的观点。在笔者看来,我们不妨将这首作品视为当代教育的第一声呼吁:

Our Master, in a fatal Hour,

Brought in this Rod, to shew his Pow'r.

O dreadful Birch! O baleful Tree!

Thou Instrument of Tyranny!

Thou deadly Damp to youthful Joys!

The Sight of thee our Peace destroys.

Not Damocles, with greater Dread,

Beheld the Weapon o'er his Head.

我们的大人,在那生死攸关的时刻,

抽出这根教鞭,以示自己大权在握。

哦可怖的树枝,哦该死的桦树!

你这器械只会为暴君服务!

少年的欢乐惨遭你的压抑,

和平的景象被你打翻在地。

就算达摩克利斯也从未这般害怕,

悬在他头顶的杀器带不来此等惊吓。

That Sage was surely more discerning,

Who taught to play us into Learning,

By 'graving Letters on the Dice:

May Heav'n reward the kind Device,

And crown him with immortal Fame,

Who taught at once to read and game!

曾经的明师远远更加高明,

寓教于乐的手段真有水平,

骰子刻上字母,用来将知识宣讲,

愿这件教具为他赢得天国的奖赏,

愿他英名流传直到后世,

戏耍之间就教会孩子们认字!

Take my Advice; pursae that Rule;

You'll make a Fortune by your School.

You'll soon have all the elder Brothers,

And be the Darling of their Mothers.

听取我的建议,遵循这条原则,

你将会拥有幸运的教学生活。

学生们都会将你视作兄长,

母亲们都会为你热烈鼓掌。

O may I live to hail the Day,

When Boys shall go to School to play!

To Grammar Rules we'll bid Defiance;

For Play will then become a Science.

愿我能欢呼那一天的来到,

愿孩子们为了嬉戏而前往学校!

再不必死记硬背语法口诀,

玩耍届时将成为一门科学。

看多了十八世纪肖像画的人们都知道,当时的男孩在小时候都要穿裙子而不是裤子。大约在五六岁的时候他们则会改穿紧腿马裤,假领子以及挤脚的鞋子。巴伯对此同样颇有微词。她显然鼓励过自己的儿子当众念诵她的诗作《写给吾子,由他在第一次试穿马裤时朗读》(Written for my Son, and spoken by him at his first putting on Breeches)。

What is it our Mamma's bewitches,

To plague us little Boys with Breeches?

To Tyrant Custom we must yield,

Whilst vanquish'd Reason flies the Field.

Our Legs must suffer by Ligation,

To keep the Blood from Circulation;

And then our Feet, tho' young and tender,

We to the Shoemaker surrender;

Who often makes our Shoes so strait,

Our growing Feet they cramp and fret;

Whilst, with Contrivance most profound,

Across our Insteps we are bound;

Which is the Cause, I make no Doubt,

Why Thousands suffer in the Gout.

Our wiser Ancestors wore Brogues,

Before the Surgeons brib'd these Rogues,

With narrow Toes, and Heels like Pegs,

To help to make us break our Legs.

Then, ere we know to use our Fists;

Our Mothers closely bind our Wrists;

And never think our Cloaths are neat,

Till they're so tight we cannot eat.

And, to increase our other Pains,

The Hat-band helps to cramp our Brains.

The Cravat finishes the Work,

Like Bow-string sent from the Grand Turk.

Thus Dress, that should prolong our Date,

Is made to hasten on our Fate.

Fair Privilege of nobler Natures,

To be more plagu'd than other Creatures!

The wild Inhabitants of Air

Are cloath'd by Heav'n with wondrous Care:

Their beauteous, well-compacted Feathers

Are Coats of Mail against all Weathers;

Enamell'd, to delight the Eye;

Gay, as the Bow that decks the Sky.

The Beasts are cloath'd with beauteous Skins:

The Fishes arm'd with Scales and Fins;

Whose Lustre lends the Sailer Light,

When all the Stars are hid in Night.

O were our Dress contriv'd like these,

For Use, for Ornament, and Ease!

我们的母亲为何遭受迷惑,

让孩童们遭受马裤的灾祸?

我们必须屈服于传统的暴虐,

将飞扬的理性在田野里消灭。

我们的双腿被捆扎束缚,

以至血液循环遭到禁锢。

我们的双脚如此娇嫩,

却要听任鞋匠的蹂躏。

他们的童鞋总是太过逼仄,

正在发育的双脚多么难过。

最别扭的设计,最造作的局限,

紧紧束缚了我们的脚面。

我毫不怀疑,这就是致病根源,

为何许多人日后会患上关节炎。

明智的先辈都穿雕花皮鞋,鞋身镂空,

只可恨外科医师后来与可恶的鞋匠串通。

鞋尖局促狭窄,鞋跟好似木橛,

害得我们随时可能把腿摔瘸。

还没等我们学会使用双手,

母亲就牢牢扎紧了我们的袖口。

她们从不认为我们的衣服合体好看,

除非紧绷在身上,害得我们没法吃饭。

身体其他部位也不让我们好受,

勒住头脑的帽带堪比紧箍咒。

还要再扎一条领巾才算大功告成,

恰似突厥人的弓弦死命勒住喉咙。

服装的本意是便利生活,

如今却成了催命的网罗。

人为万物灵长,衣物蔽体本是特权,

却要饱受折磨,不如鸟兽自由周旋。

自由不羁的群鸟在天空中栖息,

上帝精心为它们织就一身羽衣。

优美的羽毛片片排列致密,

恰似甲胄将雨雪风霜抵御。

鲜艳美丽,为眼目带来欢乐,

恰似天上彩虹的明快彩色。

地上的走兽身披丰美的毛皮,

水里的游鱼身上有鳞又有鳍。

鳞光闪烁,借给水手点点光明,

当他们在无星之夜摸黑航行。

哦,惟愿我们的服装也能如此设计,

为了实用,为了装饰,为了行动便利!

十八世纪的都柏林是英国的诗歌与文学中心之一,这一点并不能完全归功于斯威夫特。哲学家扎堆的爱丁堡则紧随其后。在罗伯特.彭斯出现之前,同时代最著名的诗人是罗伯特.弗格森。爱丁堡的皇家一英里大街上有他的雕像。他的塑像化身看上去既年轻又瘦削,尽管塑像面容是金属质地,但是看上去依然洋溢着营养不良的气质。弗格森在二十四岁得那年就英年早逝了,但是他在生前早已抓紧时间将爱丁堡的权贵阶层骂了个狗血淋头。日后彭斯将会继承他的戏谑诗风并且一炮打响。他的诗作《犯傻的日子》(The Daft Days)描述了苏格兰当地庆祝新年的景象。早在当时苏格兰人的狂放作风就已经举世闻名了。诗文当中的苏格兰腔调很重,但是只要大声念诵出来还是很容易理解的:

Now mirk December’s dowie face

Glours our the rigs wi sour grimace,

While, thro’ his minimum of space,

The bleer-ey’d sun,

Wi blinkin light and stealing pace,

His race doth run.

十二月摆着一张阴沉苦脸,

斜视着我们做出酸涩鬼脸,

露面时间不能再短

的太阳,睡眼惺忪,

光线闪烁,偷偷摸摸把路赶,

一直向前冲。

From naked groves nae birdie sings,

To shepherd’s pipe nae hillock rings,

The breeze nae od’rous flavour brings

From Borean cave,

And dwyning nature droops her wings,

Wi visage grave.

赤裸的树林里没有百鸟鸣唱,

山丘四周听不到牧笛明亮,

空气中闻不到一丝芬芳

源自北风的洞窟,

郁闷的自然将双翼沉降,

触目所及尽是光秃。

Mankind but scanty pleasure glean

Frae snawy hill or barren plain,

Whan winter, ‘midst his nipping train,

Wi frozen spear,

Sends drift our a’ his bleak domain,

And guides the weir.

人类此时找不到多少乐趣,

从大雪封山到贫瘠的平地,

寒冬的队列多么犀利,

用冻结的长矛

驱赶积雪覆盖他的惨淡领地,

水闸无法移动分毫。

……

Fidlers, your pins in temper fix,

And roset weel your fiddle-sticks;

But banish vile Italian tricks

Frae out your quorum,

Not fortes wi pianos mix –

Gie’s Tulloch Gorum.

提琴手们,快调整琴码舒张,

快为琴弓涂一层松香;

难听的意大利曲调可别开张,

你们的乐队要知道——

更不需要钢琴来帮腔——

来一段图洛克.格罗姆的曲调。*

*【以奔放著称的曲调。】

For nought can cheer the heart sae weel

As can a canty Highland reel;

It even vivifies the heel

To skip and dance:

Lifeless is he wha canna feel

Its influence.

要说到怎样让人心花怒放,

高地回旋舞最令气氛高涨;

简直让脚跟忍不住歌唱;

一双双脚步流转,

除非你毫无生气一脸死相,

才不会受到感染。

Let mirth abound, let social cheer

Invest the dawning of the year;

Let blithesome innocence appear

To crown our joy;

Nor envy wi sarcastic sneer

Our bliss destroy.

让欢乐遍及四方,用欢呼连连

迎接即将到来的新一年;

愿愉悦的纯真浮现

为我们的欢笑献上王冠,

不要让尖酸的假笑糟践

我们的快乐联欢。

And thou, great god of Aqua Vitae!

Wha sways the empire of this city,

When fou we’re sometimes capernoity,

Be thou prepar’d

To hedge us frae that black banditti,

The City Guard.

还有你,伟大的美酒之神!

这座城市眼下奉你为尊,

为了你我们偶尔会脑子发昏,

请你做好准备,

保护我们免受黑衣匪徒的袭侵,

那帮所谓的城市守卫。*

*【即爱丁堡警察,当时素有暴力执法的恶名,曾与弗格森多次起冲突。】

苏格兰是全英国宗教氛围最浓厚的地区,更何况当时依然是宗教盛行的时代。十八世纪的宗教复兴主义为英国留下了许多传唱至今的赞美诗。《奇妙十架》(When I survey the Wondrous Cross)的作者以撒.华滋与《灵友歌》(Jesus, Lover of My Soul)的作者查理.卫斯理是两位最著名的赞美诗作者。不过笔者更欣赏另一位诗人,也就是非同寻常的克里斯托弗.斯玛特。此人毕生饱受精神问题折磨,最终死在了债务人监狱里。斯玛特是个天才,也是以塞缪尔.约翰逊为代表的诸多文坛大家心目中的偶像。他的圣诞颂歌《救主基督耶稣诞生礼赞》(The Nativity of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ)在笔者眼中堪称自从乔治.赫伯特以来最优美的宗教作品:

Where is this stupendous stranger,

Swains of Solyma, advise?

Lead me to my Master's manger,

Show me where my Saviour lies.

神奇陌客现在何方,

犹太牧人可知分晓?

带我前去救主身旁,

领我去看我主马槽。

O Most Mighty! O Most Holy!

Far beyond the seraph's thought,

Art thou then so mean and lowly

As unheeded prophets taught?

无上圣洁无上威赫!

炽焰天使亦不能比。

您可也曾如此卑弱,

先知预言谁人记起?

O the magnitude of meekness!

Worth from worth immortal sprung;

O the strength of infant weakness,

If eternal is so young!

何等柔顺既深且远!

永生之源宝中之宝;

赤子虽弱伟力彰显,

永恒竟能如此幼小!

If so young and thus eternal,

Michael tune the shepherd's reed,

Where the scenes are ever vernal,

And the loves be Love indeed!

如此幼小亦能永存,

米迦勒也吹起牧笛,

彼时彼地四季常春,

世间众爱均为一体!

See the God blasphem'd and doubted

In the schools of Greece and Rome;

See the pow'rs of darkness routed,

Taken at their utmost gloom.

希腊罗马学校荒悖,

竟将上帝亵渎质疑;

黑暗权柄一击即溃,

就在最为昏沉时期。

Nature's decorations glisten

Far above their usual trim;

Birds on box and laurels listen,

As so near the cherubs hymn.

自然装饰熠熠生辉

远比平时更加好看;

群鸟栖息黄杨月桂,

凑近倾听天使礼赞。

Boreas now no longer winters

On the desolated coast;

Oaks no more are riv'n in splinters

By the whirlwind and his host.

北风不与寒冬共论

不再横行荒凉海岸;

橡树再不会被阵阵

回旋寒风撕成碎片。

Spinks and ouzels sing sublimely,

"We too have a Saviour born";

Whiter blossoms burst untimely

On the blest Mosaic thorn.

雉鸟黑鸫齐声高唱,

“我们也有救主降世”;

洁白花朵神奇绽放,

开满蒙恩摩西荆刺。

God all-bounteous, all-creative,

Whom no ills from good dissuade,

Is incarnate, and a native

Of the very world He made.

至美上帝造物大能,

万难岂能阻祂为善,

道成肉身人世降生,

来到祂创造的世界。【感谢atr网友的指正】

此外斯玛特还是十八世纪最不同凡响的动物诗歌的作者,尽管这一点看上去有点怪。他在《羔羊颂》(Jubilate Agno)一诗中专门抽出篇幅描写了自己的宠物猫杰弗里。顾名思义,《羔羊颂》首先是一首赞美诗,诗人将神性深切延展进入了动物世界。对于一本像本书这样借助诗歌来品读英国国民性的作品来说,似乎没什么理由选入这首诗。但是笔者实在忍不住还是将这段诗文收录了进来,因为我们英国人确实很喜欢动物:

For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.

For he is the servant of the Living God duly and daily serving him.

For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.

For this is done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.

For then he leaps up to catch the musk, which is the blessing of God upon his prayer.

For he rolls upon prank to work it in.

For having done duty and received blessing he begins to consider himself.

For this he performs in ten degrees.

For first he looks upon his forepaws to see if they are clean.

For secondly he kicks up behind to clear away there.

For thirdly he works it upon stretch with the forepaws extended.

For fourthly he sharpens his paws by wood.

For fifthly he washes himself.

For sixthly he rolls upon wash.

For seventhly he fleas himself, that he may not be interrupted upon the beat.

For eighthly he rubs himself against a post.

For ninthly he looks up for his instructions.

For tenthly he goes in quest of food.

For having consider'd God and himself he will consider his neighbour.

For if he meets another cat he will kiss her in kindness.

For when he takes his prey he plays with it to give it a chance.

For one mouse in seven escapes by his dallying.

For when his day's work is done his business more properly begins.

For he keeps the Lord's watch in the night against the adversary.

For he counteracts the powers of darkness by his electrical skin and glaring eyes.

For he counteracts the Devil, who is death, by brisking about the life.

For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him.

For he is of the tribe of Tiger.

For the Cherub Cat is a term of the Angel Tiger.

我想起了我家猫儿杰弗里。

他是上帝的仆役,忠诚为祂服务。

他崇拜每天上帝光辉从东方投射的第一瞥。

崇拜仪式是以头顾尾,优雅迅捷地转七圈。

然后他一跃而起去扑麝香花,这是上帝回应他祈祷的恩赐。

他在花丛里撒欢,将香气沾满全身。

完成了职责,领受了恩典,他开始打理自己。

打理过程一共分十步。

第一步他检查前爪是否干净。

第二步他后爪踢土清理污物。

第三步他伸直前爪来一个懒腰。

第四步他在木料上打磨爪子。

第五步他清洁自身。

第六步他继续清洁前半身。

第七步他清除身上的跳蚤,以免出击时遭到干扰。

第八步他在柱子上蹭痒。

第九步他听人训话。

第十步他去找吃的。

礼敬过了上帝,照顾好了自己,之后他将为邻居们考虑。

他若是遇到另一只猫,一定会亲切接吻。

若是抓到猎物,必定玩弄片刻,给予其逃命的机会。

抓到一只老鼠总要七纵七擒才肯罢休。

忙完了白天的工作,他才要开始干正事。

夜里他是上帝的哨兵,负责监视敌人。

因为他的皮毛泛着电光,两眼如火,对抗黑暗的势力。

因为他对抗死亡化身的魔鬼,凭借旺盛的生命力。

每日晨祷之际,他热爱太阳,太阳也热爱他。

他是猛虎的同族。

猫之于虎,恰似基路伯之于天使。【感谢首fool网友的指正】

常言说猫是老虎的师傅,在这里斯玛特笔下的猫肯定是威廉.布莱克的老虎的师傅。


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最后于2020-01-15 20:35:54改,共2次;
2020-01-09 02:21:31

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