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布鲁斯和蜘蛛

凌风 译

 

为了苏格兰的自由和权利,
  布鲁斯曾经尽心致力,
连续五次在战场搏击,
  也一连五次失意败绩;
再一次的进战英军,
结果仍然不如意
  他的部众又再溃奔;
从战场退下来,筋疲力尽,
成了无家可归的孤单逃犯
  在一个棚下躲避棲身。

想要爭取宝座的他
  竟然落到这淒涼的地方:
他沒有华美的宝盖,
  有的仅是粗陋的屋梁;
草铺的条椅是他唯一的床,—
但即使那是天鹅绒的臥榻
  他也难以进入梦乡!
从暗夜到清晨的曙光,
为苏格兰和她的王权
  他躺在那里难眠沉想。

东方升起了光明的太阳,
  微光照着那不堪的眠床,
照着那支持低矮屋顶
  粗陋不成样子的屋梁。
抬起忧思的眼睛上望,
布鲁斯看见一只蜘蛛,
  试图用柔细的丝结网
从小屋的梁往那梁上盪;
那昆虫尽力的奔忙
  启导着苏格兰未来的王。

那思虑周详的蜘蛛
  一连六次投出纤细的丝;
那细线飞盪乏力
  或是迷失目标不济
六次都失败了,卻不放棄
那忍耐的昆虫继续坚持,
  绝不能动搖它的意志;
不久,当布鲁斯急切的注视,
看到它准备再一次的尝试,
  尽它的勇气,力量,和战技。

再努力,第七次,最后一次!
  那英雄讚扬它的表现!
在它所想望的梁上,
  系紧了那蛛丝的细线;
虽然是微弱,卻激起他的灵感
使他思想,不仅仅是吉兆,
  这功课实在是恰好,
明显不过任谁都能读得到:
坚毅者终必获得酬报
  忍耐赢得了赛跑。

   巴屯(Bernard Barton, 1784-1849)英国诗人。

 

Bruce and the Spider

For Scotland's and for freedom's right
  The Bruce his part had played,
In five successive fields of fight
  Been conquered and dismayed;
Once more against the English host
His band he led, and once more lost
  The meed for which he fought;
And now from battle, faint and worn,
The homeless fugitive forlorn
  A hut's lone shelter sought.

And cheerless was that resting-place
  For him who claimed a throne:
His canopy, devoid of grace,
  The rude, rough beams alone;
The heather couch his only bed, —
Yet well I ween had slumber fled
  From couch of eider-down!
Through darksome night till dawn of day,
Absorbed in wakeful thought he lay
  Of Scotland and her crown.

The sun rose brightly, and its gleam
  Fell on that hapless bed,
And tinged with light each shapeless beam
  Which roofed the lowly shed;
When, looking up with wistful eye,
The Bruce beheld a spider try
  His filmy thread to fling
From beam to beam of that rude cot;
And well the insect's toilsome lot
  Taught Scotland's future king.

Six times his gossamery thread
  The wary spider threw;
In vain the filmy line was sped,
  For powerless or untrue
Each aim appeared, and back recoiled
The patient insect, six times foiled,
  And yet unconquered still;
And soon the Bruce, with eager eye,
Saw him prepare once more to try
  His courage, strength, and skill.

One effort more, his seventh and last!
  The hero hailed the sign!
And on the wished-for beam hung fast
  That slender, silken line;
Slight as it was, his spirit caught
The more than omen, for his thought
  The lesson well could trace,
Which even "he who runs may read,"
That Perseverance gains its meed,
  And Patience wins the race.


Bernard Barton, 1784-1849
English poet

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