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瓦尔登湖:The Ponds7

2006-07-29 01:04

  In such a day, in September or October, Walden is a perfect forest mirror, set round with stones as precious to my eye as if fewer or rarer.  Nothing so fair, so pure, and at the same time so large, as a lake, perchance, lies on the surface of the earth.  Sky water.  It needs no fence.  Nations come and go without defiling it. It is a mirror which no stone can crack, whose quicksilver will never wear off, whose gilding Nature continually repairs; no storms,no dust, can dim its surface ever fresh; —— a mirror in which all impurity presented to it sinks, swept and dusted by the sun's hazy brush —— this the light dust-cloth —— which retains no breath that is breathed on it, but sends its own to float as clouds high above its surface, and be reflected in its bosom still.

  A field of water betrays the spirit that is in the air.  It is continually receiving new life and motion from above.  It is intermediate in its nature between land and sky.  On land only the grass and trees wave, but the water itself is rippled by the wind. I see where the breeze dashes across it by the streaks or flakes of light.  It is remarkable that we can look down on its surface.  We shall, perhaps, look down thus on the surface of air at length, and mark where a still subtler spirit sweeps over it. The skaters and water-bugs finally disappear in the latter part of October, when the severe frosts have come; and then and in November, usually, in a calm day, there is absolutely nothing to ripple the surface.  One November afternoon, in the calm at the end of a rain-storm of several days' duration, when the sky was still completely overcast and the air was full of mist, I observed that the pond was remarkably smooth, so that it was difficult to distinguish its surface; though it no longer reflected the bright tints of October, but the sombre November colors of the surrounding hills.  Though I passed over it as gently as possible, the slight undulations produced by my boat extended almost as far as I could see, and gave a ribbed appearance to the reflections.  But, as I was looking over the surface, I saw here and there at a distance a faint glimmer, as if some skater insects which had escaped the frosts might be collected there, or, perchance, the surface, being so smooth, betrayed where a spring welled up from the bottom.  Paddling gently to one of these places, I was surprised to find myself surrounded by myriads of small perch, about five inches long, of a rich bronze color in the green water, sporting there, and constantly rising to the surface and dimpling it, sometimes leaving bubbles on it.  In such transparent and seemingly bottomless water, reflecting the clouds, I seemed to be floating through the air as in a balloon,and their swimming impressed me as a kind of flight or hovering, as if they were a compact flock of birds passing just beneath my level on the right or left, their fins, like sails, set all around them. There were many such schools in the pond, apparently improving the short season before winter would draw an icy shutter over their broad skylight, sometimes giving to the surface an appearance as if a slight breeze struck it, or a few rain-drops fell there.  When I approached carelessly and alarmed them, they made a sudden splash and rippling with their tails, as if one had struck the water with a brushy bough, and instantly took refuge in the depths.  At length the wind rose, the mist increased, and the waves began to run, and the perch leaped much higher than before, half out of water, a hundred black points, three inches long, at once above the surface. Even as late as the fifth of December, one year, I saw some dimples on the surface, and thinking it was going to rain hard immediately,the air being fun of mist, I made haste to take my place at the oars and row homeward; already the rain seemed rapidly increasing, though I felt none on my cheek, and I anticipated a thorough soaking.  But suddenly the dimples ceased, for they were produced by the perch,which the noise of my oars had seared into the depths, and I saw their schools dimly disappearing; so I spent a dry afternoon after all.

  在这样的一天里,九月或十月,瓦尔登是森林的一面十全十美的明镜,它四面用石子镶边,我看它们是珍贵而稀世的。再没有什么像这一个躺卧在大地表面的湖沼这样美,这样纯洁,同时又这样大。秋水长天。它不需要一个篱笆。民族来了,去了,都不能玷污它。这一面明镜,石子敲不碎它,它的水银永远擦不掉,它的外表的装饰,大自然经常地在那里弥补;没有风暴,没有尘垢,能使它常新的表面黯淡无光;——这一面镜子,如果有任何不洁落在它面上,马上就沉淀,太阳的雾意的刷子常在拂拭它,——这是光的拭尘布,——呵气在上,也留不下形迹,成了云它就从水面飘浮到高高的空中,却又立刻把它反映在它的胸怀中了。

  空中的精灵也都逃不过这一片大水。它经常地从上空接受新的生命和新的动作。湖是大地和天空之间的媒介物。在大地上,只有草木是摇摆如波浪的,可是水自身给风吹出了涟漪来。我可以从一线或一片闪光上,看到风从那里吹过去。我们能俯视水波,真是了不起。也许我们还应该像这样细细地俯视那天空的表面,看看是不是有一种更精细的精灵,在它上面扫过。

  到了十月的后半个月,掠水虫和水蝎终于不再出现了,严霜已经来到;于是在十一月中,通常在一个好天气里,没有任何东西在水面上激起涟漪。十一月中的一个下午,已经一连降落了几天的雨终于停止了,天空还全部都是阴沉沉的,充满了雾,我发现湖水是出奇地平静,因此简直就看不出它的表面来了,虽然它不再反映出十月份的光辉色彩,它却反映出了四周小山的十一月的阴暗颜色。于是我尽可能地轻轻静静,泛舟湖上,而船尾激起的微弱水波还一直延伸到我的视野之外,湖上的倒影也就曲折不已了。可是,当我望望水面,我远远地看到这里那里有一种微光,仿佛一些躲过了严霜的掠水虫又在集合了,或许是湖的平面太平静了,因此水底有涌起的泉源不知不觉也能在水面觉察到。

  划桨到了那些地方,我才惊奇地发现我自己已给成亿万的小鲈鱼围住,都只五英寸长;绿水中有了华丽的铜色,它们在那里嬉戏着,经常地升到水面来,给水面一些小小水涡,有时还留一些小小水泡在上面。在这样透明的、似乎无底的、反映了云彩的水中,我好像坐了轻气球而漂浮在空中,鲈鱼的游泳又是多么像在盘旋、飞翔,仿佛它们成了一群飞鸟,就在我所处的高度下,或左或右地飞绕;它们的鳍,像帆一样,饱满地张挂着。

  在这个湖中有许多这样的水族,显然它们要改进一下,在冬天降下冰幕,遮去它们的天光之前的那个短暂的季节,有时候那被它们激荡的水波,好像有一阵微风吹过,或者像有一阵温和的小雨点落下。等到我漫不经心地接近它们;它们惊慌起来,突然尾巴横扫,激起水花,好像有人用一根毛刷般的树枝鞭挞了水波,立刻它们都躲到深水底下去了。

  后来,风吹得紧了,雾也浓重了,水波开始流动,鲈鱼跳跃得比以前更高,半条鱼身已跳出水面,一下子跳了起来,成百个黑点,都有三英寸长。有一年,一直到十二月五号,我还看到水面上有水涡,我以为马上就会下大雨了,空中弥漫着雾,我急忙忙地坐在划桨的座位上,划回家去:雨点已经越来越大了,但是我不觉得雨点打在我的面颊上,其时我以为我兔不了要全身湿透。可是突然间水涡全部没有了,原来这都是鲈鱼搅出来的,我的桨声终于把它们吓退到深水中去;我看到它们成群结队地消隐!这天下午我全身一直是干燥的呢。

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