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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2020-01-15 20:28:17
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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7 1

到了下一章我们还要重点介绍布莱克。但是在此之前我们还要再接触一位重要的十八世纪诗人。此人就像斯玛特一样也受到精神疾病的困扰,并且在福音派基督教当中找寻到了慰藉。本章节此前介绍的诗歌全都各成一家,其中有些恶搞了英雄体裁,有些表达了对于优雅姿态的强烈渴望,有些彰显了细致入微的白描功夫,有些体现了深切的宗教感情,还有些抒发了对于乡村生活的热爱。可是有没有这样一位诗人能将所有这些套路融为一体呢?在蒲柏的时代已经过去了两代人之后,有没有这样一位诗人能够担当时代精神的化身呢?确实有一位威廉.柯珀应声出列。此人一副神经紧张的样子,但却有着于无声处摧枯拉朽的性格。

柯珀是一位杰出的学生,也是一位求不得的心碎情郎,平生曾经三次自杀未遂。最终他在白金汉郡奥尔尼镇安顿下来并且得到了朋友们的关怀。他在奥尔尼遇到了曾经的黑奴商人、如今的皈依基督徒以及《奇异恩典》的词作者约翰.牛顿,并在其影响下投入了废奴运动。废奴是本时期英国诗歌的一大主题,从丹尼尔.笛福到汉娜.摩尔再到恢复自由的前尼日利亚黑奴奥拉达.艾奎亚诺都创作过涉及这方面的诗歌。但是柯珀围绕这一主题创作的诗歌却比任何其他人的作品都更加优美且怒火中烧。他的同情心比蒲柏更重,或许也因此而更受折磨。他很理解节律、清新文笔以及固定套路对于遏制恐惧维持理智的重要性,并且在这方面竭尽了全力。他是个用心的听众,也是可靠的女性伴侣。他热爱动物,而且热衷于针砭时弊。但是在所有这一切表象之下他并不快乐,因为他总是难以自抑地觉得自己即将永坠地狱。正如前文所见,十八世纪是英国的海洋时代,而柯珀则觉得大海是一个无所不在且饱含威胁的比喻。他以大海为题创作了最著名的一首赞美诗《上主作为何等奥秘》(God moves in a mysterious way),这首诗深刻揭露了英国人的集体意识:

God moves in a mysterious way

His wonders to perform

He plants His footsteps in the sea

And rides upon the storm

上主作为何等奥秘,行事伟大神奇;

海洋之中有其足迹,驾御风暴飞驰。

Deep in unsearchable mines

Of never failing skill

He treasures up His bright designs

And works His sovereign will

上主大能深不可测,历来有成无败,

珍藏各种奇妙设计,由他意旨主宰。

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take

The clouds you so much dread

Are big with mercy and shall break

In blessings, on your head

圣徒应当鼓勇振奋,不怕天空多云;

云中深藏慈爱怜悯,化为恩雨降临。

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense

But trust Him for His grace

Behind a frowning providence

He hides a smiling face

莫凭感觉臆断上主,一心靠主恩典;

愁云惨雾隐密之处,有主仁慈笑脸。

His purposes will ripen fast

Unfolding every hour

The bud may have a bitter taste

But sweet will be the flower

上主用意迅速成熟,时刻向人彰显。

花蕾或许味道苦涩,鲜花多么香甜。

Blind unbelief is sure to err

And scan His work in vain

God is His own interpreter

And He will make it plain

盲目不信导致错误,观察却不领悟;

惟神自己洞悉其工,向人启发显明。

在另一首更伟大的诗作《落水者》(The Castaway)当中,柯珀做出了一个可怖的比喻。当时海军上将乔治.安森在航行期间有一位水兵不慎落水失踪,柯珀将这一事件与他本人在心理与宗教层面漂泊无着的感受联系了起来。这首诗淋漓尽致地表达了新教个人主义对诗人的影响。这种宗教感受对于蒲柏来说想必十分陌生:

Obscurest night involved the sky,

The Atlantic billows roared,

When such a destined wretch as I,

Washed headlong from on board,

Of friends, of hope, of all bereft,

His floating home forever left.

最晦暗的夜幕笼罩了苍穹,

四面八方都是大西洋的吼声,

一位像我这样命中注定的可怜虫,

被巨浪从甲板上扫到了海中。

失去朋友,失去希望,一切都被夺去,

远离了海上家园,再也回不去。

No braver chief could Albion boast

Than he with whom he went,

Nor ever ship left Albion's coast,

With warmer wishes sent.

He loved them both, but both in vain,

Nor him beheld, nor her again.

阿尔比恩再没有如此勇敢的船长

陪同他一起出海经受磨炼,

离开阿尔比恩的船只全都赶不上

这条船承载的温暖祝愿。

他热爱船长与船,但两者均是徒劳,

船长无处寻觅,船也再见不着。

Not long beneath the whelming brine,

Expert to swim, he lay;

Nor soon he felt his strength decline,

Or courage die away;

But waged with death a lasting strife,

Supported by despair of life.

他并未长久被无边咸水淹没,

因为他水性极佳,漂在海面;

他也并未很快感到体力衰弱,

他的勇气并未消失不见。

但是对抗死亡是一刻不停的斗争,

生命的绝望充斥了他的心胸。

He shouted: nor his friends had failed

To check the vessel's course,

But so the furious blast prevailed,

That, pitiless perforce,

They left their outcast mate behind,

And scudded still before the wind.

他高声呼喊,朋友们并未见死不救,

急忙纠正船只的航向,

只可惜海面上止不住的浪高风骤,

如此毫不留情的力量,

迫使他们只得将落水同伴舍弃,

狂风裹挟着他们迅速远去。

Some succour yet they could afford;

And, such as storms allow,

The cask, the coop, the floated cord,

Delayed not to bestow.

But he (they knew) nor ship, nor shore,

Whatever they gave, should visit more.

他们依然提供了力所能及的帮助,

顶着风暴的强大阻力

将木桶,绳索,以及各种漂浮物

朝他身边抛掷过去。

但是无论抛过去什么,他们心里都知道,

这条船,或者海岸,他都再也见不到。

Nor, cruel as it seemed, could he

Their haste himself condemn,

Aware that flight, in such a sea,

Alone could rescue them;

Yet bitter felt it still to die

Deserted, and his friends so nigh.

这做法看似残酷,但他却实在不能

谴责他们弃他而不顾,

这样狂暴的大海,这样危险的航程,

唯有逃命才是唯一活路。

但是死到临头他心里依然难受,

他的朋友们将他落在了身后。

He long survives, who lives an hour

In ocean, self-upheld;

And so long he, with unspent power,

His destiny repelled;

And ever, as the minutes flew,

Entreated help, or cried, "Adieu!"

他坚持了一个小时,不肯轻易死去

一直在海面上漂浮;

只要他还没有耗尽最后一丝体力

就不肯向宿命屈服。

随着时间分分钟消逝如飞

他不断呼救,直到最后意冷心灰。

At length, his transient respite past,

His comrades, who before

Had heard his voice in every blast,

Could catch the sound no more.

For then, by toil subdued, he drank

The stifling wave, and then he sank.

到头来他再不能苟延残喘,

此前他的船上同伴

在风中听到了他的每一声呼喊,

现在他们再也听不见。

屈服于疲劳,他饱饮了一顿

令人窒息的海浪,然后沉沦。

……

No voice divine the storm allayed,

No light propitious shone;

When, snatched from all effectual aid,

We perished, each alone:

But I beneath a rougher sea,

And whelmed in deeper gulfs than he.

神灵缄口不语,不曾将风暴平复,

从未亮起救苦救难的光芒;

我们总会被夺去所有切实援助,

每一个人都要孤独地消亡。

可我正在更凶险的汪洋里沦落,

更可怖的无底深渊已经将我吞没。

很可能柯珀抵御疯狂的手段就是写诗。他笔下篇幅最长的诗作《任务》(The Task)一开头是仿照蒲柏的恶搞英雄诗风格:他的一位女性资助人请他为一座沙发写一首诗,这可谓是一切诗歌题材当中最不起眼的一种了。柯珀的诗文信马由缰,从冬日雪地漫步写到了阅读报纸的愉悦,从修剪花园写到了爱国主义,从可怖的城市污秽写到了围炉夜读的幸福感,然后又写到了针对奴隶制火力全开的激烈批判。引领这一切内容的全诗开篇只是一句平平无奇的“我为沙发歌唱”。任何其他英语诗歌都无法在这样的开局之后展现出更有文采的内容。以下是他的反奴隶制发言:

Oh for a lodge in some vast wilderness,

Some boundless contiguity of shade,

Where rumour of oppression and deceit,

Of unsuccessful or successful war,

Might never reach me more! My ear is pained,

My soul is sick with every day's report

Of wrong and outrage with which earth is filled.

There is no flesh in man's obdurate heart,

It does not feel for man. The natural bond

Of brotherhood is severed as the flax

That falls asunder at the touch of fire.

He finds his fellow guilty of a skin

Not coloured like his own, and having power

To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause

Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.

Lands intersected by a narrow frith

Abhor each other. Mountains interposed

Make enemies of nations, who had else

Like kindred drops been mingled into one.

Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys;

And worse than all, and most to be deplored,

As human nature's broadest, foulest blot,

Chains him, and tasks him, and exacts his sweat

With stripes, that mercy, with a bleeding heart,

Weeps when she sees inflicted on a beast.

Then what is man? And what man, seeing this,

And having human feelings, does not blush

And hang his head, to think himself a man?

I would not have a slave to till my ground,

To carry me, to fan me while I sleep,

And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth

That sinews bought and sold have ever earned.

No: dear as freedom is, and in my heart's

Just estimation prized above all price,

I had much rather be myself the slave

And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him.

We have no slaves at home—then why abroad?

And they themselves, once ferried o'er the wave

That parts us, are emancipate and loosed.

Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs

Receive our air, that moment they are free,

They touch our country and their shackles fall.

That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud

And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then,

And let it circulate through every vein

Of all your empire; that where Britain's power

Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too.

啊,多希望能在无边荒野当中有一间小屋,

位于无限蔓延的阴影里,

关于压迫与欺骗,

成功与失败的战争的谣言

再也不会传到我这里!我两耳生疼,

日复一日的报告令我的灵魂作呕,

人世间充斥着多少恶行与暴行,

愚顽的人心里没有丝毫血肉,

对他人毫无感情。天然的

兄弟情谊如同麻线一般,

被火舌一撩就立刻绷断。

他发现其他人类同胞犯下了

肤色与他不同的罪状,而且他也有力量

作恶为祸,为了有利可图的事业

祸害了他们,当成自己的合法猎物。

被一水之隔分开的两块陆地

却相互厌恶。区区几道山脉

就能造就多少敌国,其实他们

就像雨滴一般并无区别,终将汇入一体。

于是人类致力于毁灭自己的兄弟;

比一切都更恶劣,并且最为可悲,

人性最大最肮脏的污点,

束缚了他,役使着他,用皮鞭榨取他的血汗,

心中流血的慈悲女神

看到他遭到牲畜般的对待,忍不住落泪。

人是什么?见到此情此景,

凡是还有人性的人,怎会不满脸通红,

低下头颅,因为自己也是人而羞愧?

我绝不会让奴隶为我耕田,

抬我代步,为我睡觉时扇风,

在我醒来时颤抖,无论这奴隶的筋骨

能在一买一卖之间换来多少资财。

绝不,自由多么宝贵,在我心中

超过一切宝物的估价,

我宁愿自身为奴,

披枷带锁,也不愿束缚别人。

既然国内不允许蓄奴——为何国外就行?

他们一旦被渡过了分隔

我们的波涛,就会得到解放与解脱。

奴隶不能在英格兰呼吸;一旦他们的肺

纳入了我们的空气,那一刻他们就自由了,

他们一踏入我们的国土,镣铐就脱落。

多么高尚,这才是一国应有的骄傲。

他国都要嫉妒我们的福祉。将福祉扩散吧,

让它流经你的帝国的每一根

血管,在一切能感到不列颠强权

的土地上,让人们也感到她的慈悲。

作为政论文字而言,这段诗文的力度毫不亚于威廉.威伯福斯的任何一篇演讲。但是《任务》是一首情绪多变的叙事诗,生活的喜悦也是诸多情绪之一。接下来这段关于冬日漫步的诗文足以与托尔斯泰的文字交相辉映:

’TIS the morning, and the sun with ruddy orb

Ascending fires the horizon; while the clouds,

That crowd away before the driving wind,

More ardent as the disc emerges more,

Resembles most some city in a blaze,

Seen through the leafless wood. His slanting ray

Slides ineffectual down the snowy vale,

And, tingeing all with his own rosy hue,

From every herb and every spiry blade

Stretches a length of shadow o’er the field.

The verdure of the plain lies buried deep

Beneath the dazzling deluge; and the bents,

And coarser grass, upspearing o’er the rest,

Of late unsightly and unseen, now shine

Conspicuous, and in bright apparel clad,

And, fledged with icy feathers, nod superb.

The cattle mourn in corners, where the fence

Screens them, and seem half petrified to sleep

In unrecumbent sadness. There they wait

Their wonted fodder; not, like hungering man,

Fretful if unsupplied; but silent, meek,

And patient of the slow-paced swain’s delay.

He from the stack carves out the accustomed load

Deep-plunging, and again deep-plunging oft,

His broad keen knife into the solid mass:

Smooth as a wall the upright remnant stands,

With such undeviating and even force

He severs it away: no needless care,

Lest storms should overset the leaning pile

Deciduous, or its own unbalanced weight.

Forth goes the woodman, leaving unconcerned

The cheerful haunts of men,—to wield the axe

And drive the wedge in yonder forest drear,

From morn to eve his solitary task.

Shaggy and lean and shrewd with pointed ears,

And tail cropped short, half lurcher and half cur,

His dog attends him. Close behind his heel

Now creeps he slow; and now, with many a frisk

Wide-scampering, snatches up the drifted snow

With ivory teeth, or ploughs it with his snout;

Then shakes his powdered coat, and barks for joy.

这样的清晨,太阳是一枚红润的宝珠

向地平线泼洒火焰;天上的流云

被强风聚拢,堆积在天边,

随着日轮逐渐露脸,越发赤红夺目,

恰似烈火熊熊的城市,

透过片叶不存的树林。斜射下来的光线

无力地滑过积雪覆压的山谷,

将一切染上一层玫瑰色,

每一片草叶与每一棵树尖,

在地面上拖曳了漫长的阴影。

青青的草地被深深掩埋

在反炫目的融雪水流之下,芦苇

与更坚韧的粗草,顶开了其他同类,

它们多日以来隐而不显,如今

却慨然露面,身披亮丽的服色,

身披冰霜的羽毛,骄傲地点头。

牛在角落里呻吟,牛棚的围墙

遮蔽着它们,看它们一边昏昏欲睡

一边难过得不肯倒卧。它们等待着

迟迟不至的草料;但却不像饥饿的人类那样

焦躁不安,而是沉静温顺,

耐心等待着脚步缓慢的牛倌。

他从柴火垛中劈砍出了惯常的负荷,

深入的一刀,紧接着同样深入的好几刀,

柴刀即宽且利,插入结实的木材

宛如顺着竖直的墙壁滑落,

他的发力端正且平稳,

将木柴一分两片,不多费神,

也不让倾斜的柴堆被大风吹倒

洒落一地,或者因为重量失衡而坍塌。

接下来,劈柴人踏实地离开了

愉快的男性消遣之所——抡起利斧

去阴暗的森林里制造缺口,

从清晨到夜晚他都孤独地劳动。

皮毛纠结,精瘦结实,竖着一对尖耳朵,

尾巴截断,勒车犬与土狗的串子,

他的狗紧跟着他的脚后跟。

他慢行,它便匍匐。现在它活蹦乱跳,

四处飞奔,露出象牙白的利齿

撕咬着积雪,或者用鼻子拱开雪层,

然后抖掉一身雪粉,快乐地吠叫。

伟大的英国诗人往往喜爱动物,往前数有乔叟,往后数有阿德里安.米切尔,柯珀也不例外。斯玛特养了猫儿杰弗里,柯珀则养了一对兔子。请看《悼野兔》(Epitaph on a Hare):

Here lies, whom hound did ne’er pursue,

Nor swifter greyhound follow,

Whose foot ne’er tainted morning dew,

Nor ear heard huntsman’s hallo’,

长眠在此的生灵,从未与猎犬竞逐,

也没有被更迅捷的灵缇追赶,

他的四脚从未沾染过清晨的露珠,

也没有听过猎人的呼喊。

Old Tiney, surliest of his kind,

Who, nursed with tender care,

And to domesticate bounds confined,

Was still a wild jack-hare.

年迈的蒂尼,脾气恶劣超过一切同类

尽管毕生都受到了温柔的呵护,

尽管一直都被圈养在四壁之内,

但是骨子里依然是一只野兔。

Though duly from my hand he took

His pittance every night,

He did it with a jealous look,

And, when he could, would bite.

尽管每晚他要想领取果腹夜宵

都必须要凑近我的手,

但戾气总是布满他的眼角眉梢,

一有机会就咬我一口。

His diet was of wheaten bread,

And milk, and oats, and straw,

Thistles, or lettuces instead,

With sand to scour his maw.

他的主食是小麦面包,

以及牛奶、燕麦和稻草杆,

若是没有蓟草,莴苣也挺好,

助消化的沙粒也要来一点。

On twigs of hawthorn he regaled,

On pippins’ russet peel;

And, when his juicy salads failed,

Sliced carrot pleased him well.

山楂的幼芽嫩叶是无上美味,

褐红的苹果皮味道真不错,

若是多汁沙拉满足不了肠胃,

那就再给他切几片胡萝卜。

A Turkey carpet was his lawn,

Whereon he loved to bound,

To skip and gambol like a fawn,

And swing his rump around.

土耳其地毯是他的草地,

他就爱在这里连蹦带窜,

恰似小鹿,腾跃着跳来跳去,

后臀摇晃指向左边右边。

His frisking was at evening hours,

For then he lost his fear;

But most before approaching showers,

Or when a storm drew near.

到夜晚他就变得格外活泼,

这时候他不再害怕;

洗澡之前他总是难于捕捉,

暴风雨也会将他惊吓。

Eight years and five round-rolling moons

He thus saw steal away,

Dozing out all his idle noons,

And every night at play.

八年时光,外加五轮满月,

光阴飞逝匆匆过去,

他就这样度过悠闲岁月,

每晚都会尽情嬉戏。

I kept him for his humor’s sake,

For he would oft beguile

My heart of thoughts that made it ache,

And force me to a smile.

我豢养他因为性情契合,

他有一肚子鬼主意;

有时他气得我难过,

有时又让我忍不住笑意。

But now, beneath this walnut-shade

He finds his long, last home,

And waits in snug concealment laid,

Till gentler Puss shall come.

可是现在,这片核桃树的树荫

成了他最终的长眠之地,

他就在这隐秘的小窝里安身,

等着与温顺的普斯团聚。

He, still more aged, feels the shocks

From which no care can save,

And, partner once of Tiney’s box,

Must soon partake his grave.

年龄更大的普斯,这次深受打击,

多少关怀也无法缓解,

他曾与蒂尼在同一间兔舍栖息,

很快也将要死后同穴。

柯珀显然是老派英国的一部分,这个英国依然看重姿态与温文礼让并且相信持中之道,反对清教徒的狂热与复辟时代的犬儒。在这个英国,中上层人物依然会前往乡村度过退休生活,向女性致以最热烈的恭维,并且敬畏上帝。另一方面同样醒目的是,他针对不义的愤怒,面对弱者的感同身受以及跃跃欲试的心魔都表明了他期待着某种全然不同的国内氛围。日后的浪漫主义诗人们将会把他视为他们当中的一员。因此将他作为即将到来的革命时代的切入点可以说是很合适的。


2020-01-15 20:28:17

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