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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2020-05-17 22:23:47
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在勃朗宁之后,许多后来的诗人也效仿他的先例玩起了高端腹语术——埃兹拉.庞德就是个好例子——但是勃朗宁的名声也伴随着沉重的代价,具体来说就是他那位兴许比他更有才华的妻子伊丽莎白.巴雷特完全被他掩盖了下去。伊丽莎白于1806年出生在杜伦,她家颇有资财,家中产业包括农场、牙买加的甘蔗种植园以及几座磨坊。伊丽莎白具有强烈的道德观与异见宗教观,她的做人立场与她父亲的财富来源之间的紧张关系贯穿了她的一生。成人之后她成为了废止奴隶贸易的主要倡导者之一,大力主张要针对雇佣童工的工厂施加人道限制。尽管她毕生疾病缠身——几乎可以肯定是肺结核——但是在从事社会活动之余她依然创作了一大批诗歌。她的作品如此脍炙人口,以至于当初丁尼生成为桂冠诗人时很多人都认为她也有资格争一争这一头衔。她秘密地嫁给了勃朗宁,激怒了她的家庭,以至于他们与她断绝了关系。随后勃朗宁夫妇迁往意大利,她本人则于1861年在佛罗伦萨逝世。伊丽莎白从年轻时就主张女性权益,也是玛莉.渥斯顿克雷福特的热心读者。她的著名诗作《沃尔特勋爵的妻子》(Lord Walter’s Wife)彰显了真正的维多利亚人与不谙房事的古板形象之间差距多么大,在性关系当中女性甘愿被动的迷思与男性口是心非的真相被高明的诗人扎了个前所未有的透心凉:

'But where do you go?' said the lady, while both sat under the yew,

And her eyes were alive in their depth, as the kraken beneath the sea-blue.

“但你为什么要走?”女士问道,两人正坐在红豆杉下休憩,

她的双眼暗流汹涌,恰似庞然海兽正在碧波深处游弋。

'Because I fear you,' he answered; - 'because you are far too fair,

And able to strangle my soul in a mesh of your gold-coloured hair.'

“因为我害怕你,”男士答道,“因为你过于美丽,

你的满头金发如同网罗,足以将我的灵魂勒毙。”

'Oh that,' she said, 'is no reason! Such knots are quickly undone,

And too much beauty, I reckon, is nothing but too much sun.'

“哦这个啊,”她说,“这不算事!轻轻一拽满头发髻都会披散,

而且我觉得美貌不可能过分,恰如阳光不可能过于和煦温暖。”

'Yet farewell so,' he answered; - 'the sunstroke's fatal at times.

I value your husband, Lord Walter, whose gallop rings still from the limes.

“话不能这么说,”他答道;“多少人都死于暴晒中暑。

我很尊敬您的丈夫沃尔特勋爵,石板路上他的马蹄声脆清清楚楚。”

'Oh that,' she said, 'is no reason.You smell a rose through a fence:

If two should smell it what matter? who grumbles, and where's the pretense?

“哦他呀,”她说,“那又不碍事。隔着篱笆也能轻嗅玫瑰芬芳:

两人共赏一朵花有什么要紧?何必板着面孔嘟嘟囔囔?”

'But I,' he replied, 'have promised another, when love was free,

To love her alone, alone, who alone from afar loves me.'

“但是我,”他答道,“早已心有所属,舍弃了恋爱的自由,

我只会爱她一个,她心里也别无所求。”

'Why, that,' she said, 'is no reason. Love's always free I am told.

Will you vow to be safe from the headache on Tuesday, and think it will hold?

“你这是何苦,”她说,“实在没必要。我听说爱情就该无拘无束。

你要是发誓周二当天不能头疼,莫非就一定能将誓言守住?”

'But you,' he replied, 'have a daughter, a young child, who was laid

In your lap to be pure; so I leave you: the angels would make me afraid."

“但是你,”他答道,“还有个女儿,年幼的孩子,躺在你的怀里

多么纯洁,所以请容我告退,我真不敢触犯天使。”

'Oh that,' she said, 'is no reason. The angels keep out of the way;

And Dora, the child, observes nothing, although you should please me and stay.'

“哦你说她呀,”她说,“别往心里去,天使不会将我们搅扰;

朵拉还小不懂人事,不过我看你倒是应该懂得不少。”

At which he rose up in his anger, - 'Why now, you no longer are fair!

Why, now, you no longer are fatal, but ugly and hateful, I swear.'

他愤怒地陡然起身——“住口!你已经不再美丽!

我发誓你已经不再动人心魄,而是丑陋得充满恨意!”

At which she laughed out in her scorn: 'These men! Oh these men overnice,

Who are shocked if a colour not virtuous is frankly put on by a vice.'

她轻蔑地大笑道:“呵呵,男人!你们这些假殷勤当真可乐,

罪孽若是没有披上美德的伪装,就吓得你们手足无措。”

Her eyes blazed upon him - 'And you! You bring us your vices so near

That we smell them! You think in our presence a thought 'twould defame us to hear!

她眼神灼灼盯着他——“还有你!带着一身恶行接近我们,

真是恶臭不堪!眼下你心里的念头不知有多么恶心人!”

'What reason had you, and what right, - I appeal to your soul from my life, -

To find me so fair as a woman? Why, sir, I am pure, and a wife.

“我凭着性命发问,请你以灵魂作答——你有什么理由,依仗什么权利,

夸奖我是个美女?这位先生,我可是良家女子,还是他人的妻室。”

'Is the day-star too fair up above you? It burns you not. Dare you imply

I brushed you more close than the star does, when Walter had set me as high?

“高悬的金星是否也过于美丽?星光并不会将你灼伤。你竟敢以为

在沃尔特心中与星辰相当的我,比星辰更乐意与你厮混?你以为你是谁?”

'If a man finds a woman too fair, he means simply adapted too much

To use unlawful and fatal. The praise! shall I thank you for such?

“男人要是觉得女人过于美丽,他不过意味着她太过容易

遭到非法致命手段的侵害。好一句夸奖!我莫非还得谢谢你?”

'Too fair? not unless you misuse us! and surely if, once in a while,

You attain to it, straightaway you call us no longer too fair, but too vile.

“过于美丽?除非你错待我们!当然,偶尔你兴许也能得手,

然后就会立刻翻脸,之前夸我们多美,之后就骂我们多丑。”

'A moment, I pray your attention! I have a poor word in my head

I must utter, though womanly custom would set it down better unsaid.

“先等等,请你再多听片刻!有几句粗鄙之语我一定要讲,

尽管身为女性,礼数要求我应该只在心里想一想。”

'You grew, sir, pale to impertinence, once when I showed you a ring.

You kissed my fan when I dropped it. No matter! I've broken the thing.

“当初我向你展示婚戒,你的脸色冒然变得煞白,褪去了每一丝血气。

你捡起我掉落的扇子,还要先亲一口。哈!那不过是我玩坏的玩意!”

'You did me the honour, perhaps, to be moved at my side now and then

In the senses, a vice, I have heard, which is common to beasts and some men.

“或许你还真看得起我,有事没事就爱在我身边逡巡,

你这个毛病,据我所知,常见于畜生野兽与一部分男人。”

'Love's a virtue for heroes! as white as the snow on high hills,

And immortal as every great soul is that struggles, endures, and fulfils.

“爱情是英雄的美德!恰似高山巅峰的积雪洁白,

如同每一个伟大的灵魂同样不朽,正是那斗争,忍耐,满溢胸怀。”

'I love my Walter profoundly, you, Maude, though you faltered a week,

For the sake of . . . what is it, an eyebrow? or, less still, a mole on the cheek?

“我深爱我的沃尔特,至于你,毛德,我看你只会三心二意,

就为了……那什么,一道眼眉?甚至仅仅为了面颊上一颗美人痣?”

'And since, when all's said, you're too noble to stoop to the frivolous cant

About crimes irresistable, virtues that swindle, betray and supplant.

“话说至此,你过于高贵,不屑于说那些空话轻佻好似儿戏,

什么克制不住的犯罪,所谓美德无非是欺骗、背叛、始乱终弃。”

'I determined to prove to yourself that, whate'er you might dream or avow

By illusion, you wanted precisely no more of me than you have now.

“我决心向你证明,无论你做过什么梦,或者因为鬼迷心窍

发过什么誓:你满心盘算不多不少,无非眼馋我的容貌。”

'There! Look me full in the face! in the face. Understand, if you can,

That the eyes of such women as I am are clean as the palm of a man.

“很好!那就仔细端详我的脸!不管你信或不信,

我这样一位女人的双眼就像正人君子的双手一样干净。”

'Drop his hand, you insult him. Avoid us for fear we should cost you a scar,

You take us for harlots, I tell you, and not for the women we are.

“别握他的手,你这是侮辱他。今后离我们远点,否则我们非得给你留一道疤痕。

我看你只会拿我们当娼妓,而不会将我们视为本来面目的女人。”

'You wronged me: but then I considered . . . there's Walter! And so at the end

I vowed that he should not be mulcted, by me, in the hand of a friend.

“你错待了我,不过我转念一想——啊,沃尔特过来了!那咱们姑且算完,

因为我曾发誓,不会让他为了我在哪位朋友面前为难。”

'Have I hurt you indeed? We are quits then. Nay, friend of my Walter, be mine!

Come, Dora, my darling, my angel, and help me to ask him to dine.'……

“我这人说话比较直,你可别往心里去。沃尔特的朋友我都不会怠慢。

朵拉宝贝,乖,赶紧过来,帮妈妈问问这位叔叔来不来咱家吃饭?”

笔者认为这首诗精彩地描绘了一位棱角分明的杰出女性,满头金色卷发,两眼灼灼放光。作为一名废奴运动家,伊丽莎白很清楚英国国内的政治问题。她的《国家的诅咒》(A Curse For A Nation)一诗以抨击美国奴隶制为题。一名天使呼吁她去诅咒美国,但她却首先与天使争辩起来。英国的政治文化早已腐败不堪,她这个英国人哪还有资格朝着大西洋彼岸指指点点呢?

I heard an angel speak last night,

And he said 'Write!

Write a Nation's curse for me,

And send it over the Western Sea.'

昨夜听得天使说,

有件事情要我做,

写下针对一个国家的咒怨,

而后寄到大西洋的彼岸。

I faltered, taking up the word:

'Not so, my lord!

If curses must be, choose another

To send thy curse against my brother.

我满怀敬畏,声音颤抖地道出心曲:

“不要如此,我的上帝!

请另选他人吧,假如诅咒是必须,

让他把对我兄弟的诅咒寄给你。”

'For I am bound by gratitude,

By love and blood,

To brothers of mine across the sea,

Who stretch out kindly hands to me.'

“我内心充满感激,

还有爱和血缘的关系。

兄弟们虽与我隔海相望,

却曾伸出援助之手帮忙。”

'Therefore,' the voice said, 'shalt thou write

My curse to-night.

From the summits of love a curse is driven,

As lightning is from the tops of heaven.'

“那么,”这个声音说。

“今夜可否将诅咒创作?

诅咒源自爱之巅峰,

恰似道道霹雳闪出天宫。”

'Not so,' I answered. 'Evermore

My heart is sore

For my own land's sins: for little feet

Of children bleeding along the street:

“不要如此,”我回答道,

“痛苦正在我心中缠绕。

我的祖国罪孽深重,赤足的孩子

在街头巷尾血流不止。”

'For parked-up honors that gainsay

The right of way:

For almsgiving through a door that is

Not open enough for two friends to kiss:

“荣誉、声望齐集一身,

阻断往来令人愤恨。

一道细小的门缝,不肯痛快敞开

朋友对面不能相吻,只能将施舍递出来。”

'For love of freedom which abates

Beyond the Straits:

For patriot virtue starved to vice on

Self-praise, self-interest, and suspicion:

“对于自由的热爱一旦

越过海峡就踪迹不见。*

因为爱国者的美德因为饥渴而堕落,

沦为了自诩、利己与怀疑的罪恶。”

*【即直布罗陀海峡,英国在海峡对面的非洲有多处殖民地。】

'For an oligarchic parliament,

And bribes well-meant.

What curse to another land assign,

When heavy-souled for the sins of mine?'

“我们独裁的贵族政府,

善意的贿赂丑闻层出。

此时又有何颜面对别人诅咒,

眼看自己的罪恶使灵魂内疚?”

'Therefore,' the voice said, 'shalt thou write

My curse to-night.

Because thou hast strength to see and hate

A foul thing done within thy gate.'

“那么,”这个声音说。

“今夜可否将诅咒创作?

因为你敢于正视与憎恨一切恶行,

甘愿将家丑诉诸外人。”

'Not so,' I answered once again.

'To curse, choose men.

For I, a woman, have only known

How the heart melts and the tears run down.'

“不要如此,”我再次重申,

“要诅咒,去找男人。

因为我,一个女子,仅仅知晓,

心如何溶化,泪水怎样淹没微笑。”

'Therefore,' the voice said, 'shalt thou write

My curse to-night.

Some women weep and curse, I say

(And no one marvels), night and day.

“那么,”这个声音说。

“今夜可否将诅咒创作?

一些女人边诅咒边哭泣,

从夜晚到天明也无人惊奇。”

'And thou shalt take their part to-night,

Weep and write.

A curse from the depths of womanhood

Is very salt, and bitter, and good.'

“今夜你要扮演她们的角色,

哭泣并写作。

因为诅咒若是出自女人心底,

必然万分尖刻而又严厉。”

So thus I wrote, and mourned indeed,

What all may read.

And thus, as was enjoined on me,

I send it over the Western Sea.

于是我写下了诸位读到的笔记,

心中着实哀痛不已。

于是按照所吩咐的那样,

将它寄过了大西洋

这还是诗人为美国辩护时的表现。等到针对美国的诅咒全力发动之后,诗人的词锋就更加凶狠了:

The Curse

诅咒

Because ye have broken your own chain

With the strain

Of brave men climbing a Nation's height,

Yet thence bear down with brand and thong

On souls of others, -- for this wrong

This is the curse. Write.

因为你打碎了身上的枷锁,

以勇士的力量和气魄,

建立了属于自己的家国。

然而你却从此举起烙铁和皮鞭,

把别人的灵魂践踏、霸占。

这就是诅咒,写下这凶残。

Because yourselves are standing straight

In the state

Of Freedom's foremost acolyte,

Yet keep calm footing all the time

On writhing bond-slaves, -- for this crime

This is the curse. Write.

因为你扬眉吐气,

生活在属于自己的国土里,

自称是自由的头号徒弟。

然而你却如此心安理得,

长久立足于奴隶遭受的折磨。

这就是诅咒,写下这罪恶。

Because ye prosper in God's name,

With a claim

To honor in the old world's sight,

Yet do the fiend's work perfectly

In strangling martyrs, -- for this lie

This is the curse. Write.

因为你以上帝的名义富强繁荣,

于是便索要尊重,

来自旧世界的目光中。

然而你却将魔鬼的工作完美进行下去,

将无数殉道者活活勒毙。

这便是诅咒,写下这扯谎的语句。

Ye shall watch while kings conspire

Round the people's smouldering fire,

And, warm for your part,

Shall never dare -- O shame!

To utter the thought into flame

Which burns at your heart.

This is the curse. Write.

你远观诸国王相聚共谋,

民众怒火积郁,嫉恶如仇,

尽管你自己不必担心取暖——

耻辱啊!——却从来不敢

让思想的火种燃成烈焰,

哪怕它常常灼痛你的心田。

这就是诅咒,写下这无耻的嘴脸。

Ye shall watch while nations strive

With the bloodhounds, die or survive,

Drop faint from their jaws,

Or throttle them backward to death;

And only under your breath

Shall favor the cause.

This is the curse. Write.

你只远观众民族联合抗争,

与恶犬较量,全不顾生存或牺牲。

也许力竭昏厥倒在狗嘴下,

或者英勇搏击把恶犬绞杀。

然而你却从不敢将心声表白,

只会低声道出对正义的热爱。

这就是诅咒,将这份胆怯写下来。

Ye shall watch while strong men draw

The nets of feudal law

To strangle the weak;

And, counting the sin for a sin,

Your soul shall be sadder within

Than the word ye shall speak.

This is the curse. Write.

你只远观强者挥舞臂膀,

布下一张张封建的罗网,

将弱者窒息,使其命丧。

历数罪恶之罪恶,

灵魂经受的震慑

比你能述说的更多。

这就是诅咒,写下来,请记着。

When good men are praying erect

That Christ may avenge His elect

And deliver the earth,

The prayer in your ears, said low,

Shall sound like the tramp of a foe

That's driving you forth.

This is the curse. Write.

善良的人们向苍天祈祷。

请求基督为他的选民报仇,

将罪孽深重的人世间拯救。

祈祷声低低回荡耳畔,

有如敌人沉重的脚步来犯,

催你出发,驱你向前。

这就是诅咒,写下来,正如刚才那般。

When wise men give you their praise,

They shall praise in the heat of the phrase,

As if carried too far.

When ye boast your own charters kept true,

Ye shall blush; for the thing which ye do

Derides what ye are.

This is the curse. Write.

当智者对你不吝赞扬,

就在唇枪舌剑的火热现场,

或许其实是大言无当。

当你自夸严守了本国的宪章,

你一定会脸红,因为你的行为远非高尚,

你的本性罪恶昭彰。

这就是诅咒,写下来,无需粉饰和伪装。

When fools cast taunts at your gate,

Your scorn ye shall somewhat abate

As ye look o'er the wall;

For your conscience, tradition, and name

Explode with a deadlier blame

Than the worst of them all.

This is the curse. Write.

当愚者在门前大肆讥嘲,

你的轻蔑将会逐渐减少,

当你望断高墙,展望明朝。

因为你的良知、传统和名誉,

已经崩溃瓦解,随风逝去,

这致命责难都是你咎由自取。

这就是诅咒,写下来,我还要继续。

Go, wherever ill deeds shall be done,

Go, plant your flag in the sun

Beside the ill-doers!

And recoil from clenching the curse

Of God's witnessing Universe

With a curse of yours.

This is the curse. Write.

去吧,无论你在何处多行不义,

去吧,在阳光下插下你的旗帜,

在作恶者身边树立。

然而你却不敢正视这诅咒,

来自上帝主宰的四海五洲,

它只属你所有。

写下吧,这就是诅咒。【袁芳远、张清福、张玉平、董莉译,有修改】

这首源自一位激进异见者的诗歌着实看得人心惊肉跳,将残忍而不自觉的十九世纪中期维多利亚时代生活方式骂了个体无完肤。今天的读者们一想到伊丽莎白.巴雷特.勃朗宁,首先想到的往往是她那些优美动人的爱情诗歌。她的本事可绝不仅仅只有这么一点。


通宝推:桥上,
2020-05-17 22:23:47