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Sounds7

2006-07-29 00:22

  Regularly at half-past seven, in one part of the summer, after the evening train had gone by, the whip-poor-wills chanted their vespers for half an hour, sitting on a stump by my door, or upon the ridge-pole of the house.  They would begin to sing almost with as much precision as a clock, within five minutes of a particular time,referred to the setting of the sun, every evening.  I had a rare opportunity to become acquainted with their habits.  Sometimes I heard four or five at once in different parts of the wood, by accident one a bar behind another, and so near me that I distinguished not only the cluck after each note, but often that singular buzzing sound like a fly in a spider's web, only proportionally louder.  Sometimes one would circle round and round me in the woods a few feet distant as if tethered by a string, when probably I was near its eggs.  They sang at intervals throughout the night, and were again as musical as ever just before and about dawn.

  When other birds are still, the screech owls take up the strain,like mourning women their ancient u-lu-lu.  Their dismal scream is truly Ben Jonsonian.  Wise midnight hags!  It is no honest and blunt tu-whit tu-who of the poets, but, without jesting, a most solemn graveyard ditty, the mutual consolations of suicide lovers remembering the pangs and the delights of supernal love in the infernal groves.  Yet I love to hear their wailing, their doleful responses, trilled along the woodside; reminding me sometimes of music and singing birds; as if it were the dark and tearful side of music, the regrets and sighs that would fain be sung.  They are the spirits, the low spirits and melancholy forebodings, of fallen souls that once in human shape night-walked the earth and did the deeds of darkness, now expiating their sins with their wailing hymns or threnodies in the scenery of their transgressions.  They give me a new sense of the variety and capacity of that nature which is our common dwelling.  Oh-o-o-o-o that I never had been bor-r-r-r-n!

  sighs one on this side of the pond, and circles with the restlessness of despair to some new perch on the gray oaks.  Then ——that I never had been bor-r-r-r-n! echoes another on the farther side with tremulous sincerity, and —— bor-r-r-r-n! comes faintly from far in the Lincoln woods.

  I was also serenaded by a hooting owl.  Near at hand you could fancy it the most melancholy sound in Nature, as if she meant by this to stereotype and make permanent in her choir the dying moans of a human being —— some poor weak relic of mortality who has left hope behind, and howls like an animal, yet with human sobs, on entering the dark valley, made more awful by a certain gurgling melodiousness —— I find myself beginning with the letters gl when I try to imitate it —— expressive of a mind which has reached the gelatinous, mildewy stage in the mortification of all healthy and courageous thought.  It reminded me of ghouls and idiots and insane howlings.  But now one answers from far woods in a strain made really melodious by distance —— Hoo hoo hoo, hoorer hoo; and indeed for the most part it suggested only pleasing associations, whether heard by day or night, summer or winter.

  很准时,在夏天的某一部分日子里,七点半,夜车经过以后,夜鹰要唱半个小时晚祷曲,就站在我门前的树桩上,或站在屋脊梁木上。准确得跟时钟一样,每天晚上,日落以后,一个特定时间的五分钟之内,它们一定开始歌唱。真是机会难得,我摸清了它们的习惯了。有时,我听到四五只,在林中的不同地点唱起来,音调的先后偶然地相差一小节,它们跟我实在靠近,我还听得到每个音后面的咂舌之声,时常还听到一种独特的嗡嗡的声音,像一只苍蝇投入了蜘蛛网,只是那声音较响。有时,一只夜鹰在林中,距离我的周遭只有几英尺,盘旋不已,飞,飞,好像有绳子牵住了它们一样,也许因为我在它们的鸟卵近旁。整夜它们不时地唱,而在黎明前,以及黎明将近时唱得尤其富于乐感。

  别的鸟雀静下来时,叫枭接了上去,像哀悼的妇人,叫出自古以来的“呜——噜——噜”这种悲哀的叫声,颇有班。琼生的诗风。夜半的智慧的女巫!这并不像一些诗人所唱的“啾——微”,“啾——胡”那么真实、呆板;不是开玩笑,它却是墓地里的哀歌,像一对自杀的情人在地狱的山林中,想起了生时恋爱的苦痛与喜悦,便互相安慰着一样。然而,我爱听它们的悲悼、阴惨的呼应,沿着树林旁边的颤声歌唱;使我时而想到音乐和鸣禽;仿佛甘心地唱尽音乐的呜咽含泪,哀伤叹息。它们是一个堕落灵魂的化身,阴郁的精神,忧愁的预兆,它们曾经有人类的形态,夜夜在大地上走动,干着黑暗的勾当,而现在在罪恶的场景中,它们悲歌着祈求赎罪。它们使我新鲜地感觉到,我们的共同住处,大自然真是变化莫测,而又能量很大。呕—呵——呵——呵——呵——我要从没——没——没——生——嗯!湖的这一边,一只夜鹰这样叹息,在焦灼的的失望中盘旋着,最后停落在另一棵灰黑色的橡树上,于是——我要从没——没——没——生——嗯!较远的那一边另一只夜鹰颤抖地,忠诚地回答,而且,远远地从林肯的树林中,传来了一个微弱的应声——从没——没一一一没——生——嗯!

  还有一只叫个不停的猫头鹰也向我唱起小夜曲来,在近处听,你可能觉得,这是大自然中最最悲惨的声音,好像它要用这种声音来凝聚人类临终的呻吟,永远将它保留在它的歌曲之中一样,——那呻吟是人类的可怜的脆弱的残息,他把希望留在后面,在进入冥府的人口处时,像动物一样嗥叫,却还含着人的啜泣声,由于某种很美的“格尔格尔”的声音,它听来尤其可怕——我发现我要模拟那声音时,我自己已经开始念出“格尔”这两个字了,——它充分表现出一个冷凝中的腐蚀的心灵状态,一切健康和勇敢的思想全都给破坏了。这使我想起了掘墓的恶鬼,白痴和狂人的嚎叫。可是现在有了一个应声,从远处的树木中传来,因为远,倒真正优美,霍——霍——霍,霍瑞霍;这中间大部分所暗示的真是只有愉快的联想,不管你听到时是在白天或黑夜,在夏季或冬季。

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