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兄妹孤儿

凌风 译

 

我的马车到达乡村的旅舍,
  最后余暉的夕阳
斜映着街对面古老的教堂,
  把屋顶的风旗染上灿烂金黃。

为了打发晚餐前的时间,
  我默默的踱过到对面,
在苔封的古老墓丛
  寻味死者的遗愿。

那里许多寒素的青绿坟墓,
  是贫困缺乏劳苦的安息之处;
也有许多谄谀的墓石,
  表明他们曾拥有财富。

一棵凋落的椈树褐色的影子,
  投射在一座坟是忧患的眠息,
在那里稀疏的草还未长起,
  有两名褴褛的孩子坐着哭泣。

在当中放着一块面包,
  他们二人都无意去取,
但他们看来是那么贫苦,
  使我的心酸楚。

“我的孩子,对我来讲
  为甚你们这样的忧伤,
又为甚浪费丟掉那面包,
  会使许多人吃了欢畅?”

那小男孩,用可爱的语声回答,
  眼淚成串的下滴:
“夫人哪!我们在挨饿缺食,
  即使有我们也不会任意拋棄。”

“只是妹妹玛莉变得淘气,
  我说好说歹她总不肯吃,
虽然我知道那面包实在是她的,
  因为她全天都不曾吃过东西。”

苍白瘦弱的玛莉说:“肯定的,
  除非亨利吃,我決不再吃半点,
因为昨天我吃过一点面包,
  他什么都沒吃打从前天。”

我的心膨涨,胸口起伏,
  我感觉好像是无法言语;
靜默的我坐在那坟墓,
  把冰冷的小手用我双手握住。

所表现的忧苦是如此真实,
  所表现传达了感恩的心意,
那抖颤的小男孩更挨近我,
  说出了一个简单的故事:

“在父亲离开我们以前,
  他被坏人引诱去作海员,
妹妹和我不作一事只是贪玩,—
  我们家就在那大白杨树旁边。

“但可怜的母亲时常哭泣,
  眼看改变忒多,我形容不来;
她跟我们说不久就要死,
  嘱咐我们要好好彼此相爱。

“她说,也许我们会见到爸;
  那天要等战爭过去,
如果我们不能再见他,
  上帝会作我们的父!

“她同我们亲嘴然后死了,
  我们就此不再有母亲;
有好多天我们坐着哭号,
  一同在可怜母亲的坟。

“虽然我们的爸不回家,
  我以为在海上会把他找着,
在那里我们定能遇到他,
  重聚在一起就会再快乐。

“我们手牵着手走过许多哩,
  一个又一个逢人就问路;
有的人只微笑,有的人叹息,
  也有人给我们一些食物。

“但我们到海的时候才发现,
  原来是一片无边大水汪洋,
想来父亲必然已经淹死,
  哭着,恨不得我们也都死亡。

“因此,我们回到妈的墓上,
  只希望能跟她在一块;
好姨来给我们这些干粮,
  说是爸已经死在海外。

“既然在这里我们沒有父母,
  我们要去到处寻找上帝;
夫人,求你,能不能告诉我们
  那位上帝,我们的爸,祂在哪里?

“我们的妈说,上帝在天上,
  好姨说,那也是妈的所在;
所以如果妈知道我们需要祂帮忙,
  我想,她或许要祂到这里来。”

我拉紧这两个孩子在我胸前,
  哭着说:“来吧,你俩,跟我同住;
我要作你们第二个母亲,
  给你穿,给你吃,给你安息照顾。

“上帝仍然是你们的父亲,
  是祂的恩典差我到这里,
教导你们好顺从祂的旨意,
  引导你的腳步,使你的心欢喜。”

佚名

 

The Orphans

My chaise the village inn did gain,
  Just as the setting sun's last ray
Tipped with refulgent gold the vane
  Of the old church across the way.

Across the way I silent sped,
  The time till supper to beguile,
In moralizing o'er the dead
  That mouldered round the ancient pile.

There many a humble green grave showed
  Where want and pain and toil did rest;
And many a flattering stone I viewed
  O'er those who once had wealth possest.

A faded beech its shadow brown
  Threw o'er a grave where sorrow slept,
On which, though scarce with grass o'ergrown,
  Two ragged children sat and wept.

A piece of bread between them lay,
  Which neither seemed inclined to take,
And yet they looked so much a prey
  To want, it made my heart to ache.

"My little children, let me know
  Why you in such distress appear,
And why you wasteful from you throw
  That bread which many a one might cheer?"

The little boy in accents sweet,
  Replied, while tears each other chased,—
"Lady! we 've not enough to eat,
  Ah! if we had, we could not waste.

"But Sister Mary 's naughty grown,
  And will not eat whate'er I say,
Though sure I am the bread's her own,
  For she has tasted none to-day."

"Indeed," the wan, starved Mary said,
  "Till Henry eats, I'll eat no more,
For yesterday I got some bread,
  He 's had none since the day before."

My heart did swell, my bosom heave,
  I felt as though deprived of speech;
Silent I sat upon the grave,
  And clasped the clay-cold hand of each.

With looks of woe too sadly true,
  With looks that spoke a grateful heart,
The shivering boy then nearer drew,
  And did his simple tale impart:

"Before my father went away,
  Enticed by bad men o'er the sea,
Sister and I did naught but play,—
  We lived beside yon great ash-tree.

"But then poor mother did so cry,
  And looked so changed, I cannot tell;
She told us that she soon should die,
  And bade us love each other well.

"She said that when the war was o'er,
  Perhaps we might our father see;
But if we never saw him more,
  That God our father then would be!

"She kissed us both, and then she died,
  And we no more a mother have;
Here many a day we've sat and cried
  Together at poor mother's grave.

"But when my father came not here,
  I thought if we could find the sea,
We should be sure to meet him there,
  And once again might happy be.

"We hand in hand went many a mile,
  And asked our way of all we met;
And some did sigh, and some did smile,
  And we of some did victuals get.

"But when we reached the sea and found
  'T was one great water round us spread,
We thought that father must be drowned,
  And cried, and wished we both were dead.

"So we returned to mother's grave,
  And only longed with her to be;
For Goody, when this bread she gave,
  Said father died beyond the sea.

"Then since no parent we have here,
  We'll go and search for God around;
Lady, pray, can you tell us where
  That God, our Father, may be found?

"He lives in heaven, our mother said,
  And Goody says that mother 's there;
So, if she knows we want his aid,
  I think perhaps she 'll send him here."

I clasped the prattlers to my breast,
  And cried, "Come, both, and live with me;
I'll clothe you, feed you, give you rest,
  And will a second mother be.

"And God shall be your Father still,
  'T was he in mercy sent me here,
To teach you to obey his will,
  Your steps to guide, your hearts to cheer."

Anonymous

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2019.12

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