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瓦尔登湖:The Ponds9

2006-07-29 01:07

  Nevertheless, of all the characters I have known, perhaps Walden wears best, and best preserves its purity.  Many men have been likened to it, but few deserve that honor.  Though the woodchoppers have laid bare first this shore and then that, and the Irish have built their sties by it, and the railroad has infringed on its border, and the ice-men have skimmed it once, it is itself unchanged, the same water which my youthful eyes fell on; all the change is in me.  It has not acquired one permanent wrinkle after all its ripples.  It is perennially young, and I may stand and see a swallow dip apparently to pick an insect from its surface as of yore.  It struck me again tonight, as if I had not seen it almost daily for more than twenty years —— Why, here is Walden, the same woodland lake that I discovered so many years ago; where a forest was cut down last winter another is springing up by its shore as lustily as ever; the same thought is welling up to its surface that was then; it is the same liquid joy and happiness to itself and its Maker, ay, and it may be to me.  It is the work of a brave man surely, in whom there was no guile!  He rounded this water with his hand, deepened and clarified it in his thought, and in his will bequeathed it to Concord.  I see by its face that it is visited by the same reflection; and I can almost say, Walden, is it you?

  It is no dream of mine,

  To ornament a line;

  I cannot come nearer to God and Heaven

  Than I live to Walden even.

  I am its stony shore,

  And the breeze that passes o'er;

  In the hollow of my hand

  Are its water and its sand,

  And its deepest resort

  Lies high in my thought.

  The cars never pause to look at it; yet I fancy that the engineers and firemen and brakemen, and those passengers who have a season ticket and see it often, are better men for the sight.  The engineer does not forget at night, or his nature does not, that he has beheld this vision of serenity and purity once at least during the day.  Though seen but once, it helps to wash out State Street and the engine's soot.  One proposes that it be called "God's Drop."

  I have said that Walden has no visible inlet nor outlet, but it is on the one hand distantly and indirectly related to Flint's Pond,which is more elevated, by a chain of small ponds coming from that quarter, and on the other directly and manifestly to Concord River,which is lower, by a similar chain of ponds through which in some other geological period it may have flowed, and by a little digging,which God forbid, it can be made to flow thither again.  If by living thus reserved and austere, like a hermit in the woods, so long, it has acquired such wonderful purity, who would not regret that the comparatively impure waters of Flint's Pond should be mingled with it, or itself should ever go to waste its sweetness in the ocean wave?

  Flint's, or Sandy Pond, in Lincoln, our greatest lake and inland sea, lies about a mile east of Walden.  It is much larger, being said to contain one hundred and ninety-seven acres, and is more fertile in fish; but it is comparatively shallow, and not remarkably pure.  A walk through the woods thither was often my recreation.  It was worth the while, if only to feel the wind blow on your cheek freely, and see the waves run, and remember the life of mariners.  I went a-chestnutting there in the fall, on windy days, when the nuts were dropping into the water and were washed to my feet; and one day, as I crept along its sedgy shore, the fresh spray blowing in my face, I came upon the mouldering wreck of a boat, the sides gone,and hardly more than the impression of its flat bottom left amid the rushes; yet its model was sharply defined, as if it were a large decayed pad, with its veins.  It was as impressive a wreck as one could imagine on the seashore, and had as good a moral.  It is by this time mere vegetable mould and undistinguishable pond shore,through which rushes and flags have pushed up.  I used to admire the ripple marks on the sandy bottom, at the north end of this pond,made firm and hard to the feet of the wader by the pressure of the water, and the rushes which grew in Indian file, in waving lines,corresponding to these marks, rank behind rank, as if the waves had planted them.  There also I have found, in considerable quantities,curious balls, composed apparently of fine grass or roots, of pipewort perhaps, from half an inch to four inches in diameter, and perfectly spherical.  These wash back and forth in shallow water on a sandy bottom, and are sometimes cast on the shore.  They are either solid grass, or have a little sand in the middle.  At first you would say that they were formed by the action of the waves, like a pebble; yet the smallest are made of equally coarse materials,half an inch long, and they are produced only at one season of the year.  Moreover, the waves, I suspect, do not so much construct as wear down a material which has already acquired consistency.  They preserve their form when dry for an indefinite period.

  然而,据我们知道的一些角色中,也许只有瓦尔登坚持得最久,最久地保持了它的纯洁。许多人都曾经被譬喻为瓦尔登湖,但只有少数几个人能受之无愧。虽然伐木的人已经把湖岸这一段和那一段的树木先后砍光了,爱尔兰人也已经在那儿建造了他们的陋室,铁路线已经侵入了它的边境,冰藏商人已经取过它一次冰,它本身却没有变化,还是我在青春时代所见的湖水;我反倒变了。它虽然有那么多的涟漪,却并没有一条永久性的皱纹。它永远年轻,我还可以站在那儿,看到一只飞燕但然扑下,从水面衔走一条小虫,正和从前一样。今儿晚上,这感情又来袭击我了,仿佛二十多年来我并没有几乎每天都和它在一起厮混过一样,——啊,这是瓦尔登,还是我许多年之前发现的那个林中湖泊;这儿,去年冬天被砍伐了一个森林,另一座林子已经跳跃了起来,在湖边依旧奢丽地生长;同样的思潮,跟那时候一样,又涌上来了;还是同样水露露的欢乐,内在的喜悦,创造者的喜悦,是的,这可能是我的喜悦。这湖当然是一个大勇者的作品,其中毫无一丝一毫的虚伪!他用他的手围起了这一泓湖水,在他的思想中,予以深化,予以澄清,并在他的遗嘱中,把它传给了康科德。我从它的水面上又看到了同样的倒影,我几乎要说了,瓦尔登,是你吗?

  这不是我的梦,用于装饰一行诗;我不能更接近上帝和天堂甚于我之生活在瓦尔登。

  我是它的圆石岸,瓢拂而过的风;在我掌中的一握,是它的水,它的沙,而它的最深邃僻隐处高高躺在我的思想中。

  火车从来不停下来欣赏湖光山色;然而我想那些司机,火夫,制动手和那些买了月票的旅客,常看到它,多少是会欣赏这些景色的。司机并没有在夜里忘掉它,或者说他的天性并没有忘掉它,白天他至少有一次瞥见这庄严、纯洁的景色。就算他看到的只有一瞥,这却已经可以洗净国务街和那引擎上的油腻了。有人建议过,这湖可以称为“神的一滴”。

  我说过,瓦尔登湖是看不见它的来龙去脉的,但一面它与莽灵特湖远远地、间接地相连,茀灵特湖比较高,其中有一连串的小湖沼通过来,在另一面显然它又直接和康科德河相连,康科德河比较低,却也有一连串的小湖沼横在中间,在另一个地质学的年代中,它也许泛滥过,只要稍为挖掘一下,它还是可以流到这儿来的,但上帝禁止这种挖掘,如果说,湖这样含蓄而自尊,像隐士一样生活在森林之中已经这么久,因此得到了这样神奇的纯洁,假如茀灵特湖的比较不纯洁的湖水流到了它那里,假如它自己的甘洌的水波又流到了海洋里去,那谁会不抱怨呢?

  茀灵特湖或称沙湖,在林肯区,是我们最大的湖或内海,它位于瓦尔登以东大约一英里的地方。它要大得多了,据说有一百九十六英亩,鱼类也更丰富,可是水比较浅,而且不十分纯洁。散步经过森林到那里去一次,常常是我的消遣。即使仅仅为了让风自由地扑到你的脸庞上来,即使仅仅为了一睹波浪,缅想着舟子的海洋生活,那也是值得的。秋天,刮风的日子,我去那里拣拾栗子,那时栗子掉在水里,又给波浪卷到我的脚边。有一次我爬行在芦苇丛生的岸边,新鲜的浪花飞溅到我脸上,我碰到了一只船的残骸,船舷都没有了,在灯心草丛中,几乎只剩一个平底的印象;但是它的模型却很显明地存在,似乎这是一个大的朽烂了的甲板垫木,连纹路都很清楚。这是海岸上人能想象到的给人最深刻印象的破船,其中也含有很好的教训。但这时,它只成了长满植物的模型和不显眼的湖岸了,菖蒲和灯心草都已生长在中间。我常常欣赏北岸湖底沙滩上的涟漪痕迹,湖底已经给水的压力压得很坚硬,或涉水者的脚能感觉到它的硬度了,而单行生长的灯心草,排成弯弯曲曲的行列,也和这痕迹符合,一行又一行,好像是波浪把它们种植的。在那里,我还发现了一些奇怪的球茎,数量相当多,显然是很精细的草或根,也许是谷精草根组成的,直径自半英

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