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瓦尔登湖:Baker Farm

2006-07-29 01:16

  Sometimes I rambled to pine groves, standing like temples, or like fleets at sea, full-rigged, with wavy boughs, and rippling with light, so soft and green and shady that the Druids would have forsaken their oaks to worship in them; or to the cedar wood beyond Flint's Pond, where the trees, covered with hoary blue berries,spiring higher and higher, are fit to stand before Valhalla, and the creeping juniper covers the ground with wreaths full of fruit; or to swamps where the usnea lichen hangs in festoons from the white spruce trees, and toadstools, round tables of the swamp gods, cover the ground, and more beautiful fungi adorn the stumps, like butterflies or shells, vegetable winkles; where the swamp-pink and dogwood grow, the red alderberry glows like eyes of imps, the waxwork grooves and crushes the hardest woods in its folds, and the wild holly berries make the beholder forget his home with their beauty, and he is dazzled and tempted by nameless other wild forbidden fruits, too fair for mortal taste.  Instead of calling on some scholar, I paid many a visit to particular trees, of kinds which are rare in this neighborhood, standing far away in the middle of some pasture, or in the depths of a wood or swamp, or on a hilltop; such as the black birch, of which we have some handsome specimens two feet in diameter; its cousin, the yellow birch, with its loose golden vest, perfumed like the first; the beech, which has so neat a bole and beautifully lichen-painted, perfect in all its details, of which, excepting scattered specimens, I know but one small grove of sizable trees left in the township, supposed by some to have been planted by the pigeons that were once baited with beechnuts near by; it is worth the while to see the silver grain sparkle when you split this wood; the bass; the hornbeam; the Celtis occidentalis, or false elm, of which we have but one well-grown;some taller mast of a pine, a shingle tree, or a more perfect hemlock than usual, standing like a pagoda in the midst of the woods; and many others I could mention.  These were the shrines I visited both summer and winter.

  Once it chanced that I stood in the very abutment of a rainbow's arch, which filled the lower stratum of the atmosphere, tinging the grass and leaves around, and dazzling me as if I looked through colored crystal.  It was a lake of rainbow light, in which, for a short while, I lived like a dolphin.  If it had lasted longer it might have tinged my employments and life.  As I walked on the railroad causeway, I used to wonder at the halo of light around my shadow, and would fain fancy myself one of the elect.  One who visited me declared that the shadows of some Irishmen before him had no halo about them, that it was only natives that were so distinguished.  Benvenuto Cellini tells us in his memoirs, that,after a certain terrible dream or vision which he had during his confinement in the castle of St. Angelo a resplendent light appeared over the shadow of his head at morning and evening, whether he was in Italy or France, and it was particularly conspicuous when the grass was moist with dew.  This was probably the same phenomenon to which I have referred, which is especially observed in the morning,but also at other times, and even by moonlight.  Though a constant one, it is not commonly noticed, and, in the case of an excitable imagination like Cellini's, it would be basis enough for superstition.  Beside, he tells us that he showed it to very few. But are they not indeed distinguished who are conscious that they are regarded at all?

  有时我徜徉到松树密林下,它们很像高峙的庙字,又像海上装备齐全的舰队,树枝像波浪般摇曳起伏,还像涟漪般闪烁生光,看到这样柔和而碧绿的浓荫,便是德罗依德也要放弃他的橡树林而跑到它们下面来顶礼膜拜了,有时我跑到了茀灵特湖边的杉木林下,那些参天大树上长满灰白色浆果,它们越来越高,便是移植到伐尔哈拉去都毫无愧色,而杜松的盘绕的藤蔓,累累结着果实,铺在地上;有时,我还跑到沼泽地区去,那里的松萝地衣像花彩一样从云杉上垂悬下来,还有一些菌子,它们是沼泽诸神的圆桌,摆设在地面,更加美丽的香章像蝴蝶或贝壳点缀在树根;在那里淡红的石竹和山茱萸生长着,红红的桤果像妖精的眼睛似地闪亮,蜡蜂在攀援时,最坚硬的树上也刻下了深槽而破坏了它们,野冬青的浆果美得更使人看了流连忘返;此外还有许许多多野生的不知名的禁果将使他目眩五色,它们太美了,不是人类应该尝味的。我并没有去访问哪个学者,我访问了一棵棵树,访问了在附近一带也是稀有的林木,它们或远远地耸立在牧场的中央,或长在森林、沼泽的深处,或在小山的顶上;譬如黑桦木,我就看到一些好标本,直径有两英尺:还有它们的表亲黄桦木,宽弛地穿着金袍,像前述的那种一样地散发香味,又如山毛榉,有这样清洁的树干,美丽地绘着苔藓之色,处处美妙呵,除了一些散在各地的样本,在这乡镇一带,我只知道有一个这样的小小的林子,树身已相当大了,据说还是一些被附近山毛榉的果实吸引来的鸽子播下的种子;当你劈开树木的时候,银色的细粒网闪发光,真值得鉴赏;还有,椴树,角树;还有学名为Celtis occidenta lis的假榆树,那就只有一棵是长得好的;还有,可以作挺拔的桅杆用的高高的松树,以及作木瓦用的树;还有比一般松树更美妙的我们的铁杉,像一座宝塔一样矗立在森林中;还有我能提出的许多别的树。在夏天和冬天,我便访问这些神庙。

  有一次巧极了,我就站在一条彩虹的桥墩上,这条虹罩在大气的下层,给周围的草叶都染上了颜色,使我眼花缭乱,好像我在透视一个彩色的晶体。这里成了一个虹光的湖沼,片刻之间,我生活得像一只海豚。要是它维持得更长久一些,那色彩也许就永远染在我的事业与生命上了。而当我在铁路堤道上行走的时候,我常常惊奇地看到我的影子周围,有一个光轮,不免自以为也是一个上帝的选民了。有一个访客告诉我,他前面的那些爱尔兰人的影子周围并没有这种光轮,只有土生的人才有这特殊的标识。班文钮托。切利尼在他的回忆录中告诉过我们,当他被禁闭在圣安琪罗宫堡中的时候,在他有了一个可怕的梦或幻景之后,就见一个光亮的圆轮罩在他自己的影子的头上了,不论是黎明或黄昏,不论他是在意大利或法兰西;尤其在草上有露珠的时候,那光轮更清楚。

  这大约跟我说起的是同样的现象,它在早晨显得特别清楚,但在其余的时间,甚至在月光底下,也可以看到。虽然经常都如此,却从没有被注意,对切利尼那样想象力丰富的人,这就足以构成迷信的基础了。他还说,他只肯指点给少数人看,可是,知道自己有着这种光轮的人,难道真的是卓越的吗?

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