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时计中的沙

凌风 译

 

一把红色的沙,来自
  阿拉伯荒漠高溫,
  盛在玻璃里成为时间的侦探,
  思索的使臣。

经过多少个厌倦的世纪
  在这些沙漠上吹积!
  见过多少的变迁奇異,
  有多少史蹟能认记!

也许以实玛利商旅的骆驼
  踏着这里经过,
  带着老人家膝前的爱子
  进入埃及的土地。

也许摩西赤着的双腳,
  践踏着沙地炙伤,
  也许法老飞速的车轮,
  驰过时使沙飞扬;

也许马利亚,把拿撒勒的基督
  紧抱在她的怀里,
  其盼望,爱,和信心的旅途
  启明这旷漠野地;

也许在隐基底棕树下的隐者
  漫步在死海的沙滩,
  以低微的语声,
  慢诵古老亚美利亚的诗篇;

也许西行的车队
  离开波斯拉的城门;
  也许往麦加的朝圣者坚信命运,
  怀着決意的內心!

这些经过了,或许曾经过!
  现在沙在水晶塔里面,
  最后被奇異的手监禁,
  计数旅过的时间,

当为注视,这些狭窄的牆扩展;—
  在我梦幻的眼前
  流沙和沙漠一同扩展,
  它无止无限的天。

持续的爆炸使它向上
  这细小的金线
  膨胀成为高大的巨柱,
  看来叫人敬畏恐惧。

向上,越过下落的太阳,
  越过无垠的平原,
  那巨柱和它更广的阴影伸展,
  直到思想无法追赶。

景象消失了!牆壁仍然
  隔绝火红的夕阳,
  隔绝那炎热,无边的平原,
  半小时的沙已完!

 

Sand of the Desert in an Hour-Glass

A handful of red sand, from the hot clime
Of Arab deserts brought,
Within this glass becomes the spy of Time,
The minister of Thought.

How many weary centuries has it been
About these deserts blown!
How many strange vicissitudes has seen,
How many histories known!

Perhaps the camels of the Ishmaelite
Trampled and passed it o'er,
When into Egypt from the patriarch's sight
His favorite son they bore.

Perhaps the feet of Moses, burnt and bare,
Crushed it beneath their tread,
Or Pharaoh's flashing wheels into the air
Scattered it as they sped;

Or Mary, with the Christ of Nazareth
Held close in her caress,
Whose pilgrimage of hope and love and faith
Illumed the wilderness;

Or anchorites beneath Engaddi's palms
Pacing the Dead Sea beach,
And singing slow their old Armenian psalms
In half-articulate speech;

Or caravans, that from Bassora's gate
With westward steps depart;
Or Mecca's pilgrims, confident of Fate,
And resolute in heart!

These have passed over it, or may have passed!
Now in this crystal tower
Imprisoned by some curious hand at last,
It counts the passing hour.

And as I gaze, these narrow walls expand;—
Before my dreamy eye
Stretches the desert with its shifting sand,
Its unimpeded sky.

And borne aloft by the sustaining blast,
This little golden thread
Dilates into a column high and vast,
A form of fear and dread.

And onward, and across the setting sun,
Across the boundless plain,
The column and its broader shadow run,
Till thought pursues in vain.

The vision vanishes! These walls again
Shut out the lurid sun,
Shut out the hot, immeasurable plain;
The half-hour's sand is run!


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow(1807-1882)

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2019.11

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