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朱自清:荷塘月色

2006-06-03 10:21

  The last few days have found me very restless. This evening as I sat in the yard to enjoy the cool, it struck me how different the lotus pool I pass every day must look under a full moon. The moon was sailing higher and higher up the heavens, the sound of childish laughter had died away from the lane beyond our wall, and my wife was in the house patting Juner and humming a lullaby to him. I quietly slipped on a long gown, and walked out leaving the door on the latch.

  这几天心里颇不宁静。今晚在院子里坐着乘凉,忽然想起日日走过的荷塘,在这满月的光里,总该另有一番样子吧。月亮渐渐地升高了,墙外马路上孩子们的欢笑,已经听不见了;妻在屋里拍着闰儿,迷迷糊糊地哼着眠歌。我悄悄地披了大衫,带上门出去。

  A cinder - path winds along by the side of the pool. It is off the beaten track and few pass this way even by day, so at night it is still more quiet. Trees grow thick and bosky all around the pool, with willows and other trees I cannot name by the path. On nights when there is no moon the track is almost terrifyingly dark, but tonight it was quite clear, though the moonlight was pale.

  沿着荷塘,是一条曲折的小煤屑路。这是一条幽僻的路;白天也少人走,夜晚更加寂寞。荷塘四面,长着许多树,蓊蓊郁郁的。路的一旁,是些杨柳,和一些不知道名字的树。没有月光的晚上,这路上阴森森的,有些怕人。今晚却很好,虽然月光也还是淡淡的。

  Strolling alone down the path, hands behind my back, I felt as if the whole earth and sky were mine and I had stepped outside my usual self into another world. I like both excitement and stillness, under the full moon, I could think of whatever I pleased or of nothing at all, and that gave me a sense of freedom. All daytime duties could be disregarded. That was the advantage of solitude: I could savour to the full that expanse of fragrant lotus and the moonlight.

  路上只我一个人,背着手踱着。这一片天地好像是我的;我也像超出了平常的自己,到了另一世界里。我爱热闹,也爱冷静;爱群居,也爱独处。像今晚上,一个人在这苍茫的月下,什么都可以想,什么都可以不想,便觉是个自由的人。白天里一定要做的事,一定要说的话,现在都可不理。这是独处的妙处,我且受用这无边的荷香月色好了。

  As far as eye could see, the pool with its winding margin was covered with trim leaves, which rose high out of the water like the flared skirts of dancing girls. And starring these tiers of leaves were white lotus flowers, alluringly open or bashfully in bud, like glimmering pearls, stars in an azure sky, or beauties fresh from the bath. The breeze carried past gusts of fragrance, like the strains of a song faintly heard from a far-off tower. And leaves and blossoms trembled slightly, while in a flash the scent was carried away. As the closely serried leaves bent, a tide of opaque emerald could be glimpsed. That was the softly running water beneath, hidden from sight, its colour invisible, though the leaves looked more graceful than ever.

  曲曲折折的荷塘上面,弥望的是田田的叶子。叶子出水很高,像亭亭的舞女的裙。层层的叶子中间,零星地点缀着些白花,有袅娜地开着的,有羞涩地打着朵儿的;正如一粒粒的明珠,又如碧天里的星星,又如刚出浴的美人。微风过处,送来缕缕清香,仿佛远处高楼上渺茫的歌声似的。这时候叶子与花也有一丝的颤动,像闪电般,霎时传过荷塘的那边去了。叶子本是肩并肩密密地挨着,这便宛然有了一道凝碧的波痕。叶子底下是脉脉的流水,遮住了,不能见一些颜色;而叶子却更见风致了。

  Moonlight cascaded like water over the lotus leaves and flowers, and a light blue mist floating up from the pool made them seem washed in milk or caught in a gauzy dream. Though the moon was full, a film of pale clouds in the sky would not allow its rays to shine through brightly; but I felt this was all to the good - though refreshing sleep is indispensable, short naps have a charm all their own. As the moon shone from behind them, the dense trees on the hills threw checkered shadows, dark forms loomed like devils, and the sparse, graceful shadows of willows seemed painted on the lotus leaves. The moonlight on the pool was not uniform, but light and shadow made up a harmonious rhythm like a beautiful tune played on a violin.

  月光如流水一般,静静地泻在这一片叶子和花上。薄薄的青雾浮起在荷塘里。叶子和花仿佛在牛乳中洗过一样;又像笼着轻纱的梦。虽然是满月,天上却有一层淡淡的云,所以不能朗照;但我以为这恰是到了好处——酣眠固不可少,小睡也别有风味的。月光是隔了树照过来的,高处丛生的灌木,落下参差的斑驳的黑影,峭楞楞如鬼一般;弯弯的杨柳的稀疏的倩影,却又像是画在荷叶上。塘中的月色并不均匀;但光与影有着和谐的旋律,如梵婀玲上奏着的名曲。

  Far and near, high and low around the pool were trees, most of them willows. These trees had the pool entirely hemmed in, the only small clearings left being those by the path, apparently intended for the moon. All the trees were somber as dense smoke, but among them you could make out the luxuriant willows, while faintly above the tree-tops loomed distant hills - their general outline only. And between the trees appeared one or two street lamps, listless as the eyes of someone drowsy. The liveliest sounds at this hour were the cicadas chirruping on the trees and the frogs croaking in the pool; but this animation was theirs alone, I had no part in it.

  荷塘的四面,远远近近,高高低低都是树,而杨柳最多。这些树将一片荷塘重重围住;只在小路一旁,漏着几段空隙,像是特为月光留下的。树色一例是阴阴的,乍看像一团烟雾;但杨柳的丰姿,便在烟雾里也辨得出。树梢上隐隐约约的是一带远山,只有些大意罢了。树缝里也漏着一两点路灯光,没精打采的,是渴睡人的眼。这时候最热闹的,要数树上的蝉声与水里的蛙声;但热闹是它们的,我什么也没有。

  Then lotus-gathering flashed into my mind. This was an old custom south of the Yangtse, which apparently originated very early and was most popular in the period of the Six Kingdoms,* as we see from the songs of the time. The lotus were picked by girls in small boats, who sang haunting songs as they padded. They turned out in force, we may be sure, and there were spectators too, for that was a cheerful festival and a romantic one. We have a good account of it in a poem by Emperor Yuan of the Liang dynasty called Lotus Gatherers:

  忽然想起采莲的事情来了。采莲是江南的旧俗,似乎很早就有,而六朝时为盛;从诗歌里可以约略知道。采莲的是少年的女子,她们是荡着小船,唱着艳歌去的。采莲人不用说很多,还有看采莲的人。那是一个热闹的季节,也是一个风流的季节。梁元帝《采莲赋》里说得好:

  Deft boys and pretty girls Reach an understanding while boating;Their prows veer slowly,But the winecups pass quickly;Their oars are entangled,As they cut through the duckweed,And girls with slender waists Turn to gaze behind them. Now spring and summer meet,Leaves are tender, flowers fresh;With smiles they protect their silks,Drawing in their skirts, afraid lest the boat upset.

  于是妖童媛女,荡舟心许;鷁首徐回,兼传羽杯;欋将移而藻挂,船欲动而萍开。

  尔其纤腰束素,迁延顾步;夏始春余,叶嫩花初,恐沾裳而浅笑,畏倾船而敛裾。

  There we have a picture of these merry excursions. This must have been a delightful event, and it is a great pity we cannot enjoy it today.

  可见当时嬉游的光景了。这真是有趣的事,可惜我们现在早已无福消受了。

  I also remember some lines from the poem West Islet:

  于是又记起《西洲曲》里的句子:

  When they gather lotus at Nantang in autumn The lotus blooms are higher than their heads;They stoop to pick lotus seeds,Seeds as translucent as water.

  采莲南塘秋,莲花过人头;低头弄莲子,莲子清如水。

  If any girls were here now to pick the lotus, the flowers would reach above their heads too —— ah, rippling shadows alone are not enough! I was feeling quite homesick for the south, when I suddenly looked up to discover I had reached my own door. Pushing it softly open and tiptoeing in, I found all quiet inside, and my wife fast asleep.

  今晚若有采莲人,这儿的莲花也算得“过人头”了;只不见一些流水的影子,是不行的。这令我到底惦着江南了。——这样想着,猛一抬头,不觉已是自己的门前;轻轻地推门进去,什么声息也没有,妻已睡熟好久了。

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