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瓦尔登湖:The Ponds

2006-07-29 00:55

  Sometimes, having had a surfeit of human society and gossip, and worn out all my village friends, I rambled still farther westward than I habitually dwell, into yet more unfrequented parts of the town, "to fresh woods and pastures new," or, while the sun was setting, made my supper of huckleberries and blueberries on Fair Haven Hill, and laid up a store for several days.  The fruits do not yield their true flavor to the purchaser of them, nor to him who raises them for the market.  There is but one way to obtain it, yet few take that way.  If you would know the flavor of huckleberries,ask the cowboy or the partridge.  It is a vulgar error to suppose that you have tasted huckleberries who never plucked them.  A huckleberry never reaches Boston; they have not been known there since they grew on her three hills.  The ambrosial and essential part of the fruit is lost with the bloom which is rubbed off in the market cart, and they become mere provender.  As long as Eternal Justice reigns, not one innocent huckleberry can be transported thither from the country's hills.

  Occasionally, after my hoeing was done for the day, I joined some impatient companion who had been fishing on the pond since morning, as silent and motionless as a duck or a floating leaf, and,after practising various kinds of philosophy, had concluded commonly, by the time I arrived, that he belonged to the ancient sect of Coenobites.  There was one older man, an excellent fisher and skilled in all kinds of woodcraft, who was pleased to look upon my house as a building erected for the convenience of fishermen; and I was equally pleased when he sat in my doorway to arrange his lines.  Once in a while we sat together on the pond, he at one end of the boat, and I at the other; but not many words passed between us, for he had grown deaf in his later years, but he occasionally hummed a psalm, which harmonized well enough with my philosophy. Our intercourse was thus altogether one of unbroken harmony, far more pleasing to remember than if it had been carried on by speech. When, as was commonly the case, I had none to commune with, I used to raise the echoes by striking with a paddle on the side of my boat, filling the surrounding woods with circling and dilating sound, stirring them up as the keeper of a menagerie his wild beasts, until I elicited a growl from every wooded vale and hillside.

  In warm evenings I frequently sat in the boat playing the flute,and saw the perch, which I seem to have charmed, hovering around me,and the moon travelling over the ribbed bottom, which was strewed with the wrecks of the forest.  Formerly I had come to this pond adventurously, from time to time, in dark summer nights, with a companion, and, making a fire close to the water's edge, which we thought attracted the fishes, we caught pouts with a bunch of worms strung on a thread, and when we had done, far in the night, threw the burning brands high into the air like skyrockets, which, coming down into the pond, were quenched with a loud hissing, and we were suddenly groping in total darkness.  Through this, whistling a tune,we took our way to the haunts of men again.  But now I had made my home by the shore.

  有时,对人类社会及其言谈扯淡,对所有村中的友人们又都厌倦了,我便向西而漫游,越过了惯常起居的那些地方,跑到这乡镇的更无人迹的区域,来到“新的森林和新的牧场”上;或当夕阳西沉时,到美港山上,大嚼其越橘和浆果,再把它们拣拾起来,以备几天内的食用。水果可是不肯把它的色、香、味给购买它的人去享受的,也不肯给予为了出卖它而栽培它的商人去享受的。要享受那种色、香、味只有一个办法,然而很少人采用这个办法。如果你要知道越橘的色、香、味,你得请问牧童和鹧鸪。从来不采越橘的人,以为已经尝全了它的色、香、味,这是一个庸俗的谬见。从来没有一只越橘到过波士顿,它们虽然在波士顿的三座山上长满了,却没有进过城。水果的美味和它那本质的部分,在装上了车子运往市场去的时候,跟它的鲜丽一起给磨损了,它变成了仅仅是食品。只要永恒的正义还在统治宇宙,没有一只纯真的越橘能够从城外的山上运到城里来的。

  在我干完了一天的锄地工作之后,偶尔我来到一个不耐烦的侣伴跟前,他从早晨起就在湖上钓鱼了,静静的,一动不动的,像一只鸭子,或一张漂浮的落叶,沉思着他的各种各样的哲学,而在我来到的时候,大致他已自认为是属于修道院僧中的古老派别了。

  有一个老年人,是个好渔夫,尤精于各种木工,他很高兴把我的屋子看作是为便利渔民而建筑的屋子,他坐在我的屋门口整理钓丝,我也同样高兴。我们偶尔一起泛舟湖上,他在船的这一头,我在船的另一头;我们并没有交换了多少话,因为他近年来耳朵聋了,偶尔他哼起一首圣诗来,这和我的哲学异常地和谐。我们的神交实在全部都是和谐的,回想起来真是美妙,比我们的谈话要有意思得多,我常是这样的,当找不到人谈话了,就用桨敲打我的船舷,寻求回声,使周围的森林被激起了一圈圈扩展着的声浪,像动物园中那管理群兽的人激动了兽群那样,每一个山林和青翠的峡谷最后都发出了咆哮之声。

  在温和的黄昏中,我常坐在船里弄笛,看到鲈鱼游泳在我的四周,好似我的笛音迷住了它们一样,而月光旅行在肋骨似的水波上,那上面还零乱地散布着破碎的森林。很早以前,我一次次探险似的来到这个湖上,在一些夏天的黑夜里,跟一个同伴一起来;在水边生了一堆火,吸引鱼群,我们又在钧丝钩上放了虫子作鱼饵钓起了一条条鳘鱼;这样我们一直搞到夜深以后,才把火棒高高地抛掷到空中,它们像流星烟火一样,从空中落进湖里发出一些响亮的咝声,便熄灭了,于是我们就突然在完全的黑暗之中摸索。

  我用口哨吹着歌,穿过黑暗,又上路口到人类的集名处。可是现在我已经在湖岸上有了自己的家。

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