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A Rose from Homer's Grave

2006-02-28 00:00

  By Hans Christian Andersen

  (1842)

  All the songs of the east speak of the love of the nightingale for the rose in the silent starlight night. The winged songster serenades the fragrant flowers.

  Not far from Smyrna, where the merchant drives his loaded camels, proudly arching their long necks as they journey beneath the lofty pines over holy ground, I saw a hedge of roses. The turtle-dove flew among the branches of the tall trees, and as the sunbeams fell upon her wings, they glistened as if they were mother-of-pearl. On the rose-bush grew a flower, more beautiful than them all, and to her the nightingale sung of his woes; but the rose remained silent, not even a dewdrop lay like a tear of sympathy on her leaves. At last she bowed her head over a heap of stones, and said, “Here rests the greatest singer in the world; over his tomb will I spread my fragrance, and on it I will let my leaves fall when the storm scatters them. He who sung of Troy became earth, and from that earth I have sprung. I, a rose from the grave of Homer, am too lofty to bloom for a nightingale.” Then the nightingale sung himself to death. A camel-driver came by, with his loaded camels and his black slaves; his little son found the dead bird, and buried the lovely songster in the grave of the great Homer, while the rose trembled in the wind.

  The evening came, and the rose wrapped her leaves more closely round her, and dreamed: and this was her dream.

  It was a fair sunshiny day; a crowd of strangers drew near who had undertaken a pilgrimage to the grave of Homer. Among the strangers was a minstrel from the north, the home of the clouds and the brilliant lights of the aurora borealis. He plucked the rose and placed it in a book, and carried it away into a distant part of the world, his fatherland. The rose faded with grief, and lay between the leaves of the book, which he opened in his own home, saying, “Here is a rose from the grave of Homer.”

  Then the flower awoke from her dream, and trembled in the wind. A drop of dew fell from the leaves upon the singer's grave. The sun rose, and the flower bloomed more beautiful than ever. The day was hot, and she was still in her own warm Asia. Then footsteps approached, strangers, such as the rose had seen in her dream, came by, and among them was a poet from the north; he plucked the rose, pressed a kiss upon her fresh mouth, and carried her away to the home of the clouds and the northern lights. Like a mummy, the flower now rests in his “Iliad,” and, as in her dream, she hears him say, as he opens the book, “Here is a rose from the grave of Homer.”

  I. Translation for Reference(参考译文)

  荷马墓上的一朵玫瑰

  (注:荷马(Homer)是公元前1000年希腊的一个伟大诗人。他的两部驰名的 史诗《依里亚特》(Illiad)《奥德赛》(Odyssey)描写希腊人远征特洛伊城(Troy)的故事。此城在小亚细亚的西北部。)

  东方所有的歌曲都歌诵着夜莺对玫瑰花的爱情。在星星闪耀着的静夜里,这只有翼的歌手就为他芬芳的花儿唱一支情歌。离士麦那(注:士麦那(Smyrna)是土耳其西部的一个海口。)不远,在一株高 大的梧桐树下,商人赶着一群驮着东西的骆驼。这群牲口骄傲地昂起它们的长脖子,笨重地在这神圣的土地上行进。我看到开满了花的玫瑰树所组成的篱笆。野鸽子在高大的树枝间飞翔。当太阳射到它们身上的时候,它们的翅膀发着光,像珍珠一样。玫瑰树篱笆上有一朵花,一朵所有的鲜花中最美丽的花。夜莺对它唱出他的爱情的悲愁 .但是这朵玫瑰一句话也不讲,它的叶子上连一颗作为同情的眼泪的露珠都没有。它只是面 对着几块大石头垂下枝子。“这儿躺着世界上一个最伟大的歌手!”玫瑰花说。“我在他的墓上散发出香气;当暴 风雨袭来的时候,我的花瓣落到它身上,这位《依里亚特》的歌唱者变成了这块土地中的尘土,我从这尘土中发芽和生长!我是荷马墓上长出的一朵玫瑰。我是太神圣了,我不能为一个平凡的夜莺开出花来。”

  于是夜莺就一直歌唱到死。

  赶骆驼的商人带着驮着东西的牲口和黑奴走来了。他的小儿子看到了这只死鸟。他把这 只小小的歌手埋到伟大的荷马的墓里。那朵玫瑰花在风中发着抖。黄昏到来了。玫瑰花紧紧 地收敛起它的花瓣,做了一个梦。它梦见一个美丽的、阳光普照的日子。一群异国人——佛兰克人——来参拜荷马的坟墓 .在这些异国人之中有一位歌手;他来自北国,来自云块和北极光的故乡(注:指丹麦、挪威和瑞典。)。他摘下这朵玫瑰,把它夹在一本书里,然后把它带到世界的另一部分——他 的辽远的祖国里来。这朵玫瑰在悲哀中萎谢了,静静地躺在这本小书里。他在家里把这本书打开,说:“这是从荷马的墓上摘下的一朵玫瑰。”这就是这朵花做的一个梦。她惊醒起来,在风中发抖。于是一颗露珠从她的花瓣上滚到 这位歌手的墓上去。太阳升起来了,天气渐渐温暖起来,玫瑰花开得比以前还要美丽。她是 生长在温暖的亚洲。这时有脚步声音响起来了。玫瑰花在梦里所见到的那群佛兰克人来了; 在这些异国人中有一位北国的诗人:他摘下这朵玫瑰,在它新鲜的嘴唇上吻了一下,然后把它带到云块和北极光的故乡去。这朵花的躯体像木乃伊一样,现在躺在他的《依里亚特》里面它像在做梦一样,听到他打开这本书,说:“这是荷马墓上的一朵玫瑰。”

  (1842年)这是一首散文诗,收集在《诗人的集市》里。这大概也是安徒生在旅行中根据自己的见 闻有所感而写成的。文中的“一位北国诗人”可能就是他本人。那朵玫瑰有它坎坷的遭遇,诗人的一生中有时也有类似的经验。因此也只有他最能理解和钟爱这朵玫瑰花。

  II. Exercise Choose the correct answer to the following questions.

  1. What does all the songs of the east speak of?

  A.The king of the people.

  B.The love of the nightingale for the rose.

  C.Homer.

  D.The rose.

  2. To whom did the nightingale sing of his woes?

  A.The merchant.

  B.The turtle-dove.

  C.The camels.

  D.The rose.

  3. What did happen to the nightingale?

  A.He sung himself to death.

  B.He got ill.

  C.He flew to the east.

  D.He stayed with the rose.

  4. What was the weather like in the rose's dream?

  A.A rainy day.

  B.A cloudy day.

  C.A fair sunshiny day.

  D.A overcast day.

  5. What did really happen to the rose?

  A.The dream came true.

  B.Nothing happened to her.

  C.She died on Homer's grave.

  D.None of the answers above is correct.

  III. New Words and Expressions 生词和词组

  1. serenade v. 为(某人)唱或奏小夜曲

  2. fragrant a. 芬香的

  3. sunbeam n. 阳光

  4. minstrel n. 吟游诗人

  5. aurora n. 极光

  6. grief n. 悲痛

  Key to Exercise(练习答案)

  1.B  2.D  3.A  4.C  5.A

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