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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2020-03-20 06:21:50
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万年看客万年看客`28000`/bbsIMG/face/0000.gif`70`7`25625`186730`从五品上:朝请大夫|游骑将军`2008-09-25 10:28:43`
不列颠时代2 1

菲利西娅.赫门兹一方面全心接受了维多利亚时代的宗教与敌国热情,另一方面又抱有私密的怀疑主义。这一特点在另一位更伟大的诗人身上也有体现。此人还是她的兰开夏郡同乡。亚瑟.休.克拉夫是著名的拉格比公学的学生,这座学校不仅以基督教作为立校之本,而且洋溢着雄赳赳的气质。后来他还在一段时间里成为了热情的高派教会成员。他最出名的诗作《不要说奋斗是徒劳》(Say not the Struggle nought Availeth)慷慨激昂地号召士兵们坚持斗争,还在更广泛的层面上批驳了失败主义。这首诗措辞巧妙,行文紧凑干脆,足以与吉卜林相媲美。可见并非每一篇体训教官拿来给受训人员打气的文字都是假大空话:

Say not the struggle nought availeth,

The labour and the wounds are vain,

The enemy faints not, nor faileth,

And as things have been they remain.

不要说奋斗终是徒劳,

辛劳和创伤白费无功,

敌人尚未力竭,更未被打倒,

事物一切照旧,依然毫无变动。

If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;

It may be, in yon smoke concealed,

Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers,

And, but for you, possess the field.

倘若希望是虚妄,恐慌则是骗徒,

你可看见远处的硝烟弥漫?

即便在此刻,战友们也在将逃敌驱逐,

若非你拖后腿,早已将敌军阵地攻占。

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking

Seem here no painful inch to gain,

Far back through creeks and inlets making,

Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

疲惫的波浪徒然拍打海滩,

仿佛再努力也无法向前一寸,

可是就在附近的河口与港湾,

大海的满潮已经无声涌进。

And not by eastern windows only,

When daylight comes, comes in the light,

In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly,

But westward, look, the land is bright.

每当白昼来到世间,

光芒不仅仅射进东窗,

在正面,太阳攀援多么迟缓,

但向西看吧,遍地洒满霞光!

要想研究维多利亚时代英国国民的精神风貌,克拉夫其人是个很有趣的研究对象。后来他背弃了建制派教会,将精力转向了海外游历。意大利革命期间他游历了罗马与威尼斯。克拉夫是一位受过彻底训练的古典主义者,格律技法出类拔萃。不过他并没有利用这套技艺去一味描写古典题材,而是更关注当代时事。1850年,克拉夫创作了《旅途之恋》(Amours de Voyage)。此前他目睹了短命的罗马共和国如何被前来支援教皇并反对朱塞佩.马志尼以及意大利爱国者们的法军击溃。这首诗是他的最伟大杰作。诗人采用了经典的六音步长诗行格式,刻画了一位有些话痨的主人公克劳德。诗文的表现形式全都是克劳德写给国内友人的信件。克劳德是一位有些缺乏干劲的英国游客,他就像绝大多数维多利亚时期的英国人一样出于本能地支持自由派立宪主义。但是国外的政治环境以及外国人的政治热情让他感到很不以为然。克拉夫借助自己笔下的主人公绘声绘色地传达了当时英国人说话的口吻,此外他对细节的捕捉能力也远超一般小说家:

WHAT do the people say, and what does the government do? - you

Ask, and I know not at all. Yet fortune will favour your hopes; and

I, who avoided it all, am fated, it seems, to describe it.

I, who nor meddle nor make in politics, - I, who sincerely

Put not my trust in leagues nor any suffrage by ballot,

Never predicted Parisian milleniums, never beheld a

New Jerusalem coming down dressed like a bride out of heaven

Right on the Place de la Concorde," - I, nevertheless, let me say it,

Could in my soul of souls, this day, with the Gaul at the gates, shed

One true tear for thee, thou poor little Roman republic!

人们说什么?政府又做什么?

——你问我,我问谁去?但是命运将会青睐你的希望;

而对这一切避之不及的我,似乎必须将其描述。

我从未掺和或者操纵过政治——我这人历来真心诚意地

从未信任过任何政治团体或者投票活动

从未预言过新时代的来临,从未见过

新耶路撒冷身着婚纱从天而降*

降落在协和广场上——尽管如此,我还是要

掏心窝子地说一句,高卢人兵临城下的这一天

我要为你流一滴真心泪,可怜的罗马共和国!

*【暗指法国二月革命后的新形势】

What, with the German restored, with Sicily safe to the Bourbon,

Not leave one poor corner for native Italian exertion?

France, it is foully done! and you, my stupid old England, -

You, who a twelve month ago said nations must choose for themselves, you

Could not, of course, interfere, - you now, when a nation has chosen

Pardon this folly! The Times will, of course, have announced the occasion,

Told you the news of today; and although it was slightly in error

When it proclaimed as a fact the Apollo was sold to a Yankee,

You may believe when it tells you the French are at Civita Vecchia.

什么?德国已经复辟,西西里也被波旁家吞下,

难道就不能为意大利人留下一个自主的偏僻角落?

法国,瞧你干的好事!还有你,我那愚蠢的英格兰——

你在十二个月之前还说国家命运应当自决,

你当然不能干预——可是现在呢?这个国家已经做出了选择!

原谅这一愚行吧!《泰晤士报》肯定已经报道了这一事件,

向你告知了今天的新闻,尽管该报此前犯过小错,

曾经信誓旦旦地声称某个美国人买下了太阳,

但你不妨相信该报关于法军打到了奇维塔韦基亚的报道。

意大利共和派的热情一时间裹挟了克劳德。就像许多英国人一样,他越是目击战争就越觉得英国应该出手干预。但是现在已经太迟了。话说回来,如果真要轮到他拿出勇气,他能拿出多少呢?没多少:

NOW supposing the French or the Neapolitan soldier

Should by some evil chance come exploring the Maison Serny,

(Where the family English are all to assemble for safety,)

Am I prepared to lay down my life for the British female?

Really, who knows? One has bowed and talked, till, little by little,

All the natural heat has escaped of the chivalrous spirit.

Oh, one conformed, of course; but one doesn't die for good manners,

Stab or shoot, or be shot, by way of a graceful attention.

假设法国兵或者来自尼泊尔的佣兵

因为邪恶的机会,闯进了瑟尼大饭店,

(英国侨民家属为了安全都在那里集合)

我是否具有为了保护英国女性而捐躯的觉悟?

这种事谁知道呢?我大概会站出来斡旋一会儿,直到

骑士精神的勇气在我心里逐渐消失殆尽。

当然,做人要老实规矩;但是讲风度并不值得搭上性命,

无论是被刀捅死还是被枪打死,只为赢得佳人一顾。

现在真正的战斗开始了,但是当地人的日常生活不知怎的还在继续。攥紧导游指南的克劳德详细描绘了此时的超现实氛围。通过这段文字可以看出他具有天生的采访报道天赋。

YES, we are fighting at last, it appears. This morning, as usual,

Murray, as usual, in hand, I enter the Caffe Nuovo;

Seating myself with a sense as it were of a change in the weather,

Not understanding, however, but thinking mostly of Murray,

And, for to day is their day, of the Campidoglio Marbles,

Caffe-latte! I call to the waiter--and Non c'e latte,

This is the answer he makes me, and this the sign of a battle.

So I sit; and truly they seem to think any one else more

Worthy than me of attention. I wait for my milkless nero,

Free to observe undistracted all sorts and sizes of persons,

Blending civilian and soldier in strangest costume, coming in, and

Gulping in hottest haste, still standing, their coffee, -withdrawing

Eagerly, jangling a sword on the steps, or jogging a musket

Slung to the shoulder behind. They are fewer, moreover, than usual,

Much, and silenter far; and so I begin to imagine

Something is really afloat. Ere I leave, the Caffe is empty,

Empty too the streets, in all its length the Corso

Empty, and empty I see to my right and my left the Condotti.

是的,我们似乎终于开战了。今天早晨,像往常一样,

我像往常一样手拿《莫里导游手册》,走进了诺沃咖啡馆;

坐下之后总感觉天气变了,

当时我还没明白过来,心里还在琢磨《手册》上的内容,

因为今天这日子特别,卡比托利欧博物馆要展览一批古玩,

来杯拿铁!——我对侍者喊道——拿铁没了!

这是他的回答,这句话是即将打仗的信号。

我干坐在那里,他们似乎觉得别人全都

比我更值得关注。我叫的不加奶黑咖啡迟迟不来,

于是我趁机专心打量起了形形色色的其他顾客们,

平民与军人一起混杂着走进来,穿着最奇怪的衣服,

来不及坐下就急不可待地将咖啡牛饮一空——

然后又急匆匆冲出门去,腰间挎着剑,肩膀后面

斜挂着毛瑟枪。此外他们的人数比平时更少,

也比平时安静了许多,于是我不禁觉得

这回真出事了。我离开之前,咖啡馆已经没人了,

街上也没人了,科索大街从头到尾

空空荡荡,康多蒂大街的左右两边也见不着人……

这是一首精彩的长诗,笔者建议读者们阅读全篇。克拉夫本人是一位纠结的自由派,日后还会成为弗洛伦斯.南丁格尔的密切合作伙伴。维多利亚时代很看重宗教信仰,宗教与不可知论以及各种怀疑之间的冲突也很激烈。克拉夫的诗歌同样反映了这一方面。下面这首《十诫新编》(The Latest Decalogue)淋漓尽致地讲解了维多利亚时代英国人对待宗教了模棱两可态度:

THOU shalt have one God only; who

Would be at the expense of two?

No graven images may be

Worshipped, except the currency.

Swear not at all; for, for thy curse

Thine enemy is none the worse.

At church on Sunday to attend

Will serve to keep the world thy friend.

Honor thy parents; that is, all

From whom advancement may befall.

Thou shalt not kill; but need’st not strive

Officiously to keep alive.

Do not adultery commit;

Advantage rarely comes of it.

Thou shalt not steal; an empty feat,

When it’s so lucrative to cheat.

Bear not false witness; let the lie

Have time on its own wings to fly.

Thou shalt not covet, but tradition

Approves all forms of competition.

你只能崇拜一个神;

拜两个的代价高得吓人。

不能崇拜任何造像,

除非印刷在钞票上。

不可诅咒起誓将人辱骂,

敌人不会因此过得更差。

周日要参与教会活动,

唯此才能得到他人尊重。

要孝敬父母,因为归根结底,

他们的家产早晚都要归你。

你不可杀人,但也不必费力

给半死之人假惺惺吊一口气。

通奸行径万万不可,

因为肯定没好结果

你不可盗窃,这倒无所谓,

撒谎骗人本来就更有油水。

不可作假见证,只需袖手旁观,

给谎言留出满天飞舞的时间。

不可贪恋他人财物,但是要谨记,

我们的传统将一切竞争形式鼓励。

光看这首诗,读者们很容易一位诗人看不起一切宗教信仰,但是情况并非如此。维多利亚时代的英国人在拿不定主意的时候最有趣,一旦拿定主意反而无趣了。请看《上帝并不存在》(There Is No God):

"There is no God," the wicked saith,

"And truly it's a blessing,

For what He might have done with us

It's better only guessing."

“上帝并不存在,”恶人这样说,

“这一点实在喜人,

不然我们实在不敢猜测

祂打算怎样收拾我们。”

"There is no God," a youngster thinks,

"or really, if there may be,

He surely did not mean a man

Always to be a baby."

“上帝并不存在,”年轻人这样想,

“退一步说,就算祂当真存在,

祂也肯定不希望人类

永远处于童稚状态。”

"There is no God, or if there is,"

The tradesman thinks, "'twere funny

If He should take it ill in me

To make a little money."

“上帝并不存在,”商人这样想,

“不过就算存在也无所谓,

我只想赚两个小钱而已,

祂老人家想必不会反对。”

"Whether there be," the rich man says,

"It matters very little,

For I and mine, thank somebody,

Are not in want of victual."

“不管有没有上帝,”富人说,

“其实都差不了太多,

鄙人一家谢天谢地,

从来都不缺吃少喝。”

Some others, also, to themselves,

Who scarce so much as doubt it,

Think there is none, when they are well,

And do not think about it.

还有其他人,在他们心里

几乎没有产生过怀疑,

平时他们想当然地认为上帝

并不存在,不去想这个问题。

But country folks who live beneath

The shadow of the steeple;

The parson and the parson's wife,

And mostly married people;

但是要说起那些乡下居民

在教堂尖顶的阴影里居住;

教区牧师与他的妻子,

还有大多数已婚夫妇。

Youths green and happy in first love,

So thankful for illusion;

And men caught out in what the world

Calls guilt, in first confusion;

陷入初恋的青葱少年

真心感谢这层幻象;

还有人因为一时糊涂

被人世间将罪名加上;

And almost everyone when age,

Disease, or sorrows strike him,

Inclines to think there is a God,

Or something very like Him.

以及几乎所有人,当他们

遭受衰老、悲恸与病恙,

都倾向于相信上帝确实存在,

至少也有某种存在与祂相像。


最后于2020-03-23 02:12:29改,共1次;
2020-03-20 06:21:50