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瓦尔登湖:种豆3

2006-07-29 00:47

  As I drew a still fresher soil about the rows with my hoe, I disturbed the ashes of unchronicled nations who in primeval years lived under these heavens, and their small implements of war and hunting were brought to the light of this modern day.  They lay mingled with other natural stones, some of which bore the marks of having been burned by Indian fires, and some by the sun, and also bits of pottery and glass brought hither by the recent cultivators of the soil.  When my hoe tinkled against the stones, that music echoed to the woods and the sky, and was an accompaniment to my labor which yielded an instant and immeasurable crop.  It was no longer beans that I hoed, nor I that hoed beans; and I remembered with as much pity as pride, if I remembered at all, my acquaintances who had gone to the city to attend the oratorios.  The nighthawk circled overhead in the sunny afternoons —— for I sometimes made a day of it —— like a mote in the eye, or in heaven's eye, falling from time to time with a swoop and a sound as if the heavens were rent, torn at last to very rags and tatters, and yet a seamless cope remained; small imps that fill the air and lay their eggs on the ground on bare sand or rocks on the tops of hills, where few have found them; graceful and slender like ripples caught up from the pond, as leaves are raised by the wind to float in the heavens; such kindredship is in nature.  The hawk is aerial brother of the wave which he sails over and surveys, those his perfect air-inflated wings answering to the elemental unfledged pinions of the sea.  Or sometimes I watched a pair of hen-hawks circling high in the sky,alternately soaring and descending, approaching, and leaving one another, as if they were the embodiment of my own thoughts.  Or I was attracted by the passage of wild pigeons from this wood to that,with a slight quivering winnowing sound and carrier haste; or from under a rotten stump my hoe turned up a sluggish portentous and outlandish spotted salamander, a trace of Egypt and the Nile, yet our contemporary.  When I paused to lean on my hoe, these sounds and sights I heard and saw anywhere in the row, a part of the inexhaustible entertainment which the country offers.

  On gala days the town fires its great guns, which echo like popguns to these woods, and some waifs of martial music occasionally penetrate thus far.  To me, away there in my bean-field at the other end of the town, the big guns sounded as if a puffball had burst;and when there was a military turnout of which I was ignorant, I have sometimes had a vague sense all the day of some sort of itching and disease in the horizon, as if some eruption would break out there soon, either scarlatina or canker-rash, until at length some more favorable puff of wind, making haste over the fields and up the Wayland road, brought me information of the "trainers."  It seemed by the distant hum as if somebody's bees had swarmed, and that the neighbors, according to Virgil's advice, by a faint tintinnabulum upon the most sonorous of their domestic utensils, were endeavoring to call them down into the hive again.  And when the sound died quite away, and the hum had ceased, and the most favorable breezes told no tale, I knew that they had got the last drone of them all safely into the Middlesex hive, and that now their minds were bent on the honey with which it was smeared.

  I felt proud to know that the liberties of Massachusetts and of our fatherland were in such safe keeping; and as I turned to my hoeing again I was filled with an inexpressible confidence, and pursued my labor cheerfully with a calm trust in the future.

  当我用锄头在犁沟边翻出新土时,我把古代曾在这个天空下居住过的一个史籍没有记载的民族所留下的灰烬翻起来了,他们作战狩猎用的小武器也就暴露在近代的阳光下。

  它们和另外一些天然石块混在一起,有些石块还留着给印第安人用火烧过的痕迹,有些给太阳晒过,还有一些陶器和玻璃,则大约是近代的耕种者的残迹了。当我的锄头叮当地打在石头上,音乐之声传到了树林和天空中,我的劳役有了这样的伴奏,立刻生产了无法计量的收获。我所种的不是豆子,也不是我在种豆;当时我又怜悯又骄做地记起来了,如果我确实记起来的话,我记起了我一些相识的人特地到城里听清唱剧去了。而在这艳阳天的下午,夜鹰在我头顶的上空盘旋,——我有时整天地工作,——它好像是我眼睛里的一粒沙,或者说落在天空的眼睛里的一粒沙,它时而侧翼下降,大叫一声,天空便好像给划破了,最后似裂成破布一样,但苍穹依然是一条细缝也没有;空中飞着不少小小的精灵,在地上、黄沙或岩石上、山顶上下了许多蛋,很少有人看到过的;它们美丽而细长,像湖水卷起的涟漪,又像给凤吹到空中的升腾的树叶;在大自然里有的是这样声气相投的因缘。鹰是波浪的空中兄弟,它在波浪之上飞行视察,在空中扑击的完美的鹰翅,如在酬答海洋那元素的没有羽毛的翅膀。有时我看着一对鹞鹰在高空中盘旋,一上一下,一近一远,好像它们是我自己的思想的化身。或者我给一群野鸽子吸引住了,看它们从这一个树林飞到那一个树林,带着一些儿嗡嗡的微颤的声音,急遽地飞过;有时我的锄头从烂树桩下挖出了一条蝾螈来,一副迂缓的奇怪的、丑陋的模样,还是埃及和尼罗河的残迹,却又和我们同时代了。当我停下来,靠在我的锄头上,这些声音和景象是我站在犁沟中任何一个地方都能听到看到的,这是乡间生活中具有无穷兴会的一部分。

  在节庆日,城里放了礼炮,传到森林中来很像气枪,有时飘来的一些军乐声也传得这样远。我远在城外的豆田之中,听大炮的声音好像尘菌在爆裂;如果军队出动了,而我又不知道是怎么回事,我就整天恍恍惚惚感到地平线似乎痒痒麻麻的,仿佛快要出疹子似的,也许是猩红热,也许是马蹄癌,直到后来又有一些好风吹过大地,吹上魏兰德大公路,把训练者的消息带给了我。远远有营营之声,好像谁家的蜜蜂出窝了,因此邻人们依照维吉尔的办法,拿出了声音最响的锅壶之属来轻轻敲击,呼唤它们回蜂房去。

  等到那声音没有了,营营之声也住了,最柔和的微风也不讲故事了,我知道人们已经把最后一只雄峰也安然赶回米德尔塞克斯的蜂房了,现在他们在考虑涂满蜂房的蜂蜜了。

  我感到骄做,知道马萨诸塞州和我们的祖国的自由是这样安全;当我回身再耕种的时候,我就充满了不可言喻的自信,平静地怀抱着对未来的希望,继续我的劳动。

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