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

2020-02-10 04:01:33万年看客
革命3

这一时期有不少主要诗人都在竭力应对政治自由以及农村与城市生活飞速变化的黑暗面。有趣的是,他们当中最为今天的读者们津津乐道的两位都是农民出身。在埃尔郡,罗伯特.彭斯发现了针砭时弊与宣扬他本人的充实性生活的全新方式;向南几百英里,或许是英国诗歌史上最纯粹的乡村诗人约翰.克莱尔最终将会发疯——或许是受到了身边生活一日千里的飞速变化的逼迫。

多年以来,人们围绕罗伯特.彭斯这个名字养成了一套全年到头的狂欢式崇拜,刻意强调他笔下最感伤的几首诗歌以及他对“姑娘们”的眷恋。这一风气极大地扭曲了彭斯的原本形象。真正的彭斯是一位心志坚定的激进派,他笔下最杰出的作品戳破了联盟之后苏格兰长老会社会的虚伪风气,而且就像布莱克那样竭力为“底层败犬”们代言。正如华兹华斯与济慈这样的仰慕者们理解的那样,彭斯是第一流的英语诗人。但是由于他毕生坚持只用苏格兰方言作诗,今天的英语读者们每每会觉得与他隔了一层。彭斯之所以如此坚持的原因其实很简单:正如他本人所主张的那样,他用苏格兰方言写作更加得心应手。他更愿意努力发掘苏格兰老百姓口中丰富而又重口的坊间土语,而不是跟在伦敦的文坛时尚后面亦步亦趋。这一决定一方面使他独树一帜,没有沦为又一位浪漫主义时代前期蹩脚诗人,另一方面也使得在苏格兰以外成长起来的读者们难以理解他的作品的精妙之处。因此我们今天更熟悉彭斯的短诗而不是长诗,尽管例如《佃农的星期六晚》(The Cotter's Saturday Night)与《汤姆.奥桑特》(Tam O’Shanter)这样的作品的确堪称传世名篇。以下的选段来自后者的开篇部分,从中我们可以发现一项事实:古往今来的酒汉们都喜欢在热情的酒馆里扎堆,而他们的老婆们也总会气哼哼地在家里等他们回来:

When chapman billies leave the street,

And drouthy neebors neebors meet,

As market-days are wearing late,

And folk begin to tak the gate;

While we sit bousin, at the nappy,

And gettin fou and unco happy,

We think na on the lang Scots miles,

The mosses, waters, slaps, and stiles,

That lie between us and our hame,

Whare sits our sulky, sullen dame,

Gathering her brows like gathering storm,

Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.

小贩们收摊离开街道,

贪杯的邻居碰上了同好,

赶集的人渐渐走散,

天色不早,都把路来赶;

这时候,我们捧一杯啤酒,

开怀痛饮,无虑无忧,

忘了苏格兰的里程特别长,

还有沼泽、水塘、山坡、断墙,

隔在酒店和老家之间,

老家门后守着老婆的铁青脸,

阴沉得象暴风雨就要来到,

她暂按心头火,只待发作大开炮!

This truth fand honest Tam o' Shanter,

As he frae Ayr ae night did canter:

(Auld Ayr, wham ne'er a town surpasses,

For honest men and bonie lasses.)

汤姆刚从艾尔镇半夜骑驴上归途,

这事他心里已有数。

(古老的艾尔镇别处哪能比,

出好人、出美女天下第一!)

O Tam! had'st thou but been sae wise

As taen thy ain wife Kate's advice!

She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum,

A bletherin, blusterin, drunken blellum;

That frae November till October,

Ae market-day thou was na sober;

呵,汤姆,如果你聪明一点,

就该听了你老婆凯蒂的金玉良言!

她早说你是二流子不干正经,

只一味贪杯、吹牛、打扰四邻,

从正月到除夕整整一年长,

哪一天你赶集不灌黄汤?【王佐良译】

就像许多同代人一样,彭斯在壮年时期见证了法国大革命的爆发,并且在毕生当中受到了两股思潮的来回拉扯,其一是爱国主义,其二则是对于自由的渴望。不过对于他来说还另有一个必须思考的问题:所谓爱国主义究竟爱的是哪个国,究竟是新兴汉诺威王朝治下的大不列颠,还是多比亚斯.斯摩莱特尽情哀悼过的那个战败残破、与詹姆斯二世党人站在同一边的苏格兰?彭斯在人生的不同阶段也曾给出过不同的答案。另一方面,彭斯从始至终都与穷人们感同身受,对于饱食终日自以为是的富裕阶层则一贯充满了厌恶。下面这首《威利长老的祷词》(Holy Willie's Prayer)堪称是彭斯讽刺诗歌的典范。诗中的主人公是一位言清行浊的长老会牧师,此人一方面信奉上帝预先已经决定了谁能得救的主张,另一方面又满嘴流油地对上帝大加奉承。这首诗的题材与风格在英国诗歌史上可谓绝无仅有,因此笔者毫无愧疚之心地将整首诗都收录在了这里:

O Thou, that in the heavens does dwell,

As it pleases best Thysel',

Sends ane to Heaven an' ten to Hell,

For Thy glory,

And no for onie guid or ill

They've done afore Thee!

主呵,我主坐镇在天上,

凡事随心所欲,

叫一人上天堂,十人下地狱,

都只为主的荣光,

与他们自身无关:作恶,行善,

全不相干。

I bless and praise Thy matchless might,

When thousands Thou hast left in night,

That I am here afore Thy sight,

For gifts an' grace

A burning and a shining light

To a' this place.

我赞美主的威力无边!

主将千万人丢在黑暗的深渊,

唯独我在主的面前,

受主的恩典。

论才干和品德,谁都承认

我是此地的明灯!

What was I, or my generation,

That I should get sic exaltation?

I wha deserv'd most just damnation

For broken laws,

Six thousand years 'ere my creation,

Thro' Adam's cause.

我何幸,我的一代又何幸,

居然获得这特殊的恩宠?

我本来只配永世沉沦,

因亚当罪孽深重!

六千年前他犯了天条,

我生前就有罪难逃!

When from my mither's womb I fell,

Thou might hae plung'd me deep in hell,

To gnash my gums, and weep and wail,

In burnin lakes,

Where damned devils roar and yell,

Chain'd to their stakes.

自从我走出娘胎,

打入地狱本应该,

您本可将我丢进火焰海,

烧得我苦苦叫哀。

铁柱上锁住了永不超生的鬼,

哭号声叫人心摧!

Yet I am here a chosen sample,

To show thy grace is great and ample;

I'm here a pillar o' Thy temple,

Strong as a rock,

A guide, a buckler, and example,

To a' Thy flock.

但我却活在人间,还以贤德中选,

显示天主的恩泽无边。

我站在这里,作教堂的支柱,

比岩石还坚。

我是您子民的护卫和榜样,

并把他们导引如牛羊。

O Lord, Thou kens what zeal I bear,

When drinkers drink, an' swearers swear,

An' singing here, an' dancin there,

Wi' great and sma';

For I am keepit by Thy fear

Free frae them a'.

主呵,您知道我满腔热忱,

不管他们如何酗酒骂人,

唱歌跳舞,玩的还挺好,

无论身份高低大小;

只因我对您充满恐惧,

所以才能将罪孽远避。

But yet, O Lord! confess I must,

At times I'm fash'd wi' fleshly lust:

An' sometimes, too, in worldly trust,

Vile self gets in;

But Thou remembers we are dust,

Defil'd wi' sin.

可是主呵,我又必须承认——

好些时,春意浓,心痒难受,

也曾经,见钱眼开,孽根不净,

恶性又冒头!

不过主呵,您记得我们本是尘世身,

从头起便是罪恶人。

O Lord! yestreen, Thou kens, wi' Meg

Thy pardon I sincerely beg;

O may't ne'er be a livin' plague

To my dishonour,

An' I'll ne'er lift a lawless leg

Again upon her.

昨夜晚,主知道,我同美琪相聚——

呵,我惶恐,求主宽恕!

但愿没闯大祸,不至于

毁了一生名誉!

我决不让无法无天的风流腿

再上她的小床去捣鬼。

Besides, I farther maun avow,

Wi' Leezie's lass, three times I trow -

But Lord, that Friday I was fou,

When I cam near her;

Or else, Thou kens, Thy servant true

Wad never steer her.

除此外,还有一事要招:

莉西的女儿也来过——大约三遭。

不过,主呵,那一晚碰上她,

我早已黄汤灌饱。

不是酒,您的忠仆哪会出丑,

更不会将她引诱。

Maybe Thou lets this fleshly thorn

Buffet Thy servant e'en and morn,

Lest he owre proud and high shou'd turn,

That he's sae gifted:

If sae, Thy han' maun e'en be borne,

Until Thou lift it.

也许主故意叫淫欲生刺,

刺得您奴仆日夜烦恼,

免得他趾高气扬太骄傲,

自以为天生才高?

如果这样,多少刺我也将忍受,

直到您高抬贵手。

Lord, bless Thy chosen in this place,

For here Thou has a chosen race!

But God confound there stubborn face,

An' blast their name,

Wha brings Thy elders to disgrace

An' open shame.

愿主赐福本地的教徒,

他们是您特选的子民。

但是,主呵,诅咒那倔强的一群,

让他们把脸面丢尽!

他们曾使您的管事们蒙羞,

而且当众出丑。

Lord, mind Gaw'n Hamilton's deserts;

He drinks, an' swears, an' plays at cartes,

Yet has sae mony takin arts,

Wi' great an' sma',

Frae God's ain priest the people's hearts

He steals awa'.

主呵,请给汉弥登应受的惩罚;

他骂街打牌,又喝酒,

到处笼络,不论年长年幼,

小恩小惠有一手!

这样就从主的牧师手上,

把人心完全偷光。

And when we chasten'd him therefore,

Thou kens how he bred sic a splore,

And set the world in a roar

O' laughing at us;

Curse Thou his basket and his store,

Kail an' potatoes.

为此我们要加以管教,

不料惹起一场大纠纷,

他一声喊,引来一群闲人,

个个都嘲笑我们。

主呵,咒诅他的篮筐和伙房,

让他的白菜、土豆烂光。

Lord, hear my earnest cry and pray'r,

Against that Presbyt'ry o' Ayr;

Thy strong right hand, Lord mak it bare

Upo' their heads;

Lord visit them, an' dinna spare,

For their misdeeds.

主呵,我迫切向您呼吁祈求:

一定要惩治艾尔城全体长老教友!

主呵,高举您山岳似的右手,

猛敲他们的秃头!

请主严厉对待,决不容情,

处罚他们的罪行!

O Lord my God! that glib-tongu'd Aitken,

My vera heart an' flesh are quakin,

To think how we stood sweatin, shakin,

An' pish'd wi' dread,

While he, wi' hingin lip an' snakin,

Held up his head.

还有,主呵,那油嘴滑舌的艾肯!

想起他我至今胆战心惊,

那一天他骂得我黄汗象雨淋,

一害怕小便又失禁。

他这条花言巧语的毒蛇,

偏偏在我面前洋洋自得!

Lord, in Thy day o' vengeance try him,

Lord, visit them wha did employ him,

And pass not in Thy mercy by them,

Nor hear their pray'r,

But for Thy people's sake destroy them,

An' dinna spare.

主呵,只等审判的日子一来到,

惩罚了他,还要重办他的雇主,

对他们决不要踌躇,

也不要听他们诉苦。

为了子民之故快将他们处死,

不能有半点仁慈!

But, Lord, remember me an' mine

Wi' mercies temporal and divine,

That I for grace an' gear may shine,

Excell'd by nane,

And a' the glory shall be Thine,

Amen, Amen!

但是主呵,请记住我和我的家人,

赐我天,上地下的一切鸿运,

让我有福有财无比光彩,

荣华超过任何人!

一切荣耀归我主,

阿门!阿门!【王佐良译,有修正】

彭斯是个心境多变的人,时而感伤,时而粗俗,时而激进革命,时而慷慨爱国,时而生涩如黏土,时而精细如砂糖。像本书这样挂一漏万地拣选他的诗作根本无法展现他的全貌。但是如果说革命时代的标志是感性认知的变化与认识世界的全新方式,那么显然有几首彭斯诗歌彰显了时代的变迁。若是再早几年,就算是彭斯恐怕也写不出这样的诗歌,其他诗人就更别提了。《不管那一套》(A Man's a Man for A' That)——彭斯本人在1795年1月曾经忍不住吐槽“这篇文字算不得一首诗”——是歌颂普世兄弟情谊的赞歌。彭斯读过托马斯.潘恩的《人权论》,这首诗也显然受到了潘恩的影响。此外另一位影响本诗的人物则是苏格兰激进民主派人士托马斯.穆尔,彭斯成诗之际此人已经因为煽动作乱的罪名身披铁链被押赴了爱丁堡。正因为如此,彭斯才特意选择了朗朗上口的精炼措辞来宣泄满腔怒火。本诗共计263个单词,其中单音节单词就有240个,可谓是简明用语的大胜利。有时直白的确等于美:

Is there for honest Poverty

That hings his head, an' a' that;

The coward slave - we pass him by,

We dare be poor for a' that!

For a' that, an' a' that.

Our toils obscure an' a' that,

The rank is but the guinea's stamp,

The Man's the gowd for a' that.

有没有人,为了正大光明的贫穷

而垂头丧气,挺不起腰——

这种怯懦的奴才,我们不齿他!

我们敢于贫穷,不管他们那一套,

管他们这一套那一套,

什么低贱的劳动那一套,

官衔只是金币上的花纹,

人才是真金,不管他们那一套!

What though on hamely fare we dine,

Wear hodden grey, an' a that;

Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;

A Man's a Man for a' that:

For a' that, and a' that,

Their tinsel show, an' a' that;

The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,

Is king o' men for a' that.

我们吃粗粮,穿破烂,

但那又有什么不好?

让蠢才穿罗着缎,坏蛋饮酒作乐,

大丈夫是大丈夫,不管他们那一-套!

管他们这一套那一套,

他们是绣花枕头

正大光明的人,尽管穷得要死,

才是人中之王,不管他们那一套!

Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord,

Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that;

Tho' hundreds worship at his word,

He's but a coof for a' that:

For a' that, an' a' that,

His ribband, star, an' a' that:

The man o' independent mind

He looks an' laughs at a' that.

你瞧那个叫做老爷的家伙

装模作样,大摆大摇,

尽管他一呼百诺,

尽管他有勋章绶带一大套,

白痴还是白痴!

管他们这一套那一套,

一个有独立人格的人

看了只会哈哈大笑!

A prince can mak a belted knight,

A marquis, duke, an' a' that;

But an honest man's abon his might,

Gude faith, he maunna fa' that!

For a' that, an' a' that,

Their dignities an' a' that;

The pith o' sense, an' pride o' worth,

Are higher rank than a' that.

国王可以封官:

公侯伯子男一大套。

光明正大的人不受他管——

他也别梦想弄圈套!

管他们这一套那一套,

什么贵人的威仪那一套,

实实在在的真理,顶天立地的品格,

才比什么爵位都高!

Then let us pray that come it may,

(As come it will for a' that,)

That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth,

Shall bear the gree, an' a' that.

For a' that, an' a' that,

It's coming yet for a' that,

That Man to Man, the world o'er,

Shall brothers be for a' that.

好吧,让我们来为明天祈祷,

不管怎么变化,明天一定会来到,

那时候真理和品格

将成为整个地球的荣耀!

管他们这一套那一套,

总有一天会来到:

那时候全世界所有的人

都成了兄弟,不管他们那一套!【王佐良译】

这首诗固然写得华彩洋溢,但是并不特别能代表彭斯的全貌,因为彭斯还有冷幽默的另一面。许多人都更喜欢他的另一首作品《写给小鼠》(To a Mouse)。诗歌的前半截很有十八世纪早期的风格,后半截则彰显了更富同情心与平等主义的本能。彭斯的同代人正在到处寻找同情与平等,并且比起祖辈们更加频繁地有所发现:

Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie,

O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!

Thou need na start awa sae hasty,

Wi’ bickerin brattle!

I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee

Wi’ murd’ring pattle!

呵,光滑、胆怯、怕事的小东西,

多少恐惧藏在你的心里!

你大可不必这样匆忙,

一味向前乱闯!

我哪会忍心拖着凶恶的铁犁

在后紧紧追你!

I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion

Has broken Nature’s social union,

An’ justifies that ill opinion,

Which makes thee startle,

At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,

An’ fellow-mortal!

我真抱憾人这个霸道的东西,

破坏了自然界彼此的友谊,

于是得了一个恶名,

连我也叫你吃惊。

可是我呵,你可怜的友伴,土生土长,

同是生物本一样!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;

What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!

A daimen-icker in a thrave

’S a sma’ request:

I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,

An’ never miss ’t!

我知道你有时不免偷窃,

但那又算什么?你也得活着呼吸!

一串麦穗里捡几颗,

这点要求不苛。

剩下的已够我称心,

不在乎你那一份。

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!

It’s silly wa’s the win’s are strewin!

An’ naething, now, to big a new ane,

O’ foggage green!

An’ bleak December’s winds ensuin,

Baith snell an’ keen!

可怜你那小小的房屋被摧毁,

破墙哪经得大风来回地吹!

要盖新居没材料,

连荒草也难找!

眼看十二月的严冬就逼近,

如刀的北风刮得紧!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,

An’ weary Winter comin fast,

An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,

Thou thought to dwell,

Till crash! the cruel coulter past

Out thro’ thy cell.

你早见寂寞的田野已荒芜,

快到的冬天漫长又艰苦,

本指望靠这块避风地,

舒舒服服过一季。

没想到那残忍的犁头一声响,

就叫你家园全遭殃!

That wee-bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble

Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!

Now thou’s turn’d out, for a’ thy trouble,

But house or hald,

To thole the Winter’s sleety dribble,

An’ cranreuch cauld!

这小小一堆树叶和枯枝,

费了你多少疲倦的日子!

如今你辛苦的经营全落空,

赶出了安乐洞!

无家无粮,就凭孤身去抵挡

漫天风雪,遍地冰霜!

But Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,

In proving foresight may be vain:

The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men

Gang aft agley,

An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,

For promis’d joy!

但是鼠呵,失望不只是你的命运,

人的远见也一样成泡影!

人也罢,鼠也罢,最如意的安排

也不免常出意外!

只剩下痛苦和悲伤,

代替了快乐的希望。

Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me!

The present only toucheth thee:

But Och! I backward cast my e’e,

On prospects drear!

An’ forward tho’ I canna see,

I guess an’ fear!

比起我,你还大值庆幸,

你的烦恼只在如今。

我呢,唉,向后看

一片黑暗;

向前看,说不出究竟,

猜一下,也叫人寒心!【王佐良译】

帖:4472709 复 4344063
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