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2006-07-29 00:16

  My house was on the side of a hill, immediately on the edge of the larger wood, in the midst of a young forest of pitch pines and hickories, and half a dozen rods from the pond, to which a narrow footpath led down the hill.  In my front yard grew the strawberry,blackberry, and life-everlasting, johnswort and goldenrod, shrub oaks and sand cherry, blueberry and groundnut.  Near the end of May,the sand cherry (Cerasus pumila) adorned the sides of the path with its delicate flowers arranged in umbels cylindrically about its short stems, which last, in the fall, weighed down with goodsized and handsome cherries, fell over in wreaths like rays on every side. I tasted them out of compliment to Nature, though they were scarcely palatable.  The sumach (Rhus glabra) grew luxuriantly about the house, pushing up through the embankment which I had made, and growing five or six feet the first season.  Its broad pinnate tropical leaf was pleasant though strange to look on.  The large buds, suddenly pushing out late in the spring from dry sticks which had seemed to be dead, developed themselves as by magic into graceful green and tender boughs, an inch in diameter; and sometimes, as I sat at my window, so heedlessly did they grow and tax their weak joints, I heard a fresh and tender bough suddenly fall like a fan to the ground, when there was not a breath of air stirring, broken off by its own weight.  In August, the large masses of berries, which, when in flower, had attracted many wild bees,gradually assumed their bright velvety crimson hue, and by their weight again bent down and broke the tender limbs.

  As I sit at my window this summer afternoon, hawks are circling about my clearing; the tantivy of wild pigeons, flying by two and threes athwart my view, or perching restless on the white pine boughs behind my house, gives a voice to the air; a fish hawk dimples the glassy surface of the pond and brings up a fish; a mink steals out of the marsh before my door and seizes a frog by the shore; the sedge is bending under the weight of the reed-birds flitting hither and thither; and for the last half-hour I have heard the rattle of railroad cars, now dying away and then reviving like the beat of a partridge, conveying travellers from Boston to the country.  For I did not live so out of the world as that boy who, as I hear, was put out to a farmer in the east part of the town, but ere long ran away and came home again, quite down at the heel and homesick.  He had never seen such a dull and out-of-the-way place;the folks were all gone off; why, you couldn't even hear the whistle!  I doubt if there is such a place in Massachusetts now:——

  "In truth, our village has become a butt For one of those fleet railroad shafts, and o'er Our peaceful plain its soothing sound is —— Concord."

  The Fitchburg Railroad touches the pond about a hundred rods south of where I dwell.  I usually go to the village along its causeway, and am, as it were, related to society by this link.  The men on the freight trains, who go over the whole length of the road,bow to me as to an old acquaintance, they pass me so often, and apparently they take me for an employee; and so I am.  I too would fain be a track-repairer somewhere in the orbit of the earth.

  我的房子是在一个小山的山腰,恰恰在一个较大的森林的边缘,在一个苍松和山核桃的小林子的中央,离开湖边六杆之远,有一条狭窄的小路从山腰通到湖边去。在我前面的院子里,生长着草莓,黑莓,还有长生草,狗尾草,黄花紫菀,矮橡树和野樱桃树,越橘和落花生。五月尾,野樱桃(学名Cerasus pumila)在小路两侧装点了精细的花朵,短短的花梗周围是形成伞状的花丛,到秋天里就挂起了大大的漂亮的野樱桃,一球球地垂下,像朝四面射去的光芒。它们并不好吃,但为了感谢大自然的缘故,我尝了尝它们。

  黄栌树(学名Rhus glabra)在屋子四周异常茂盛地生长,把我建筑的一道矮墙掀了起来,第一季就看它长了五六英尺。它的阔大的、羽状的、热带的叶子,看起来很奇怪,却很愉快。在晚春中,巨大的蓓蕾突然从仿佛已经死去的枯枝上跳了出来,魔术似的变得花枝招展了,成了温柔的青色而柔软的枝条,直径也有一英寸;有时,正当我坐在窗口,它们如此任性地生长,压弯了它们自己的脆弱的关节,我听到一枝新鲜的柔枝忽然折断了,虽然没有一丝儿风,它却给自己的重量压倒,而像一把羽扇似的落下来。在八月中,大量的浆果,曾经在开花的时候诱惑过许多野蜜蜂,也渐渐地穿上了它们的光耀的天鹅绒的彩色,也是给自己的重量压倒,终于折断了它们的柔弱的肢体。




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