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文学作品汉译:William Henry Hudson - Birds

2014-10-14    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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文学作品汉译:William Henry Hudson - Birds

文学作品汉译:请欣赏威廉·亨利·哈得孙作品《Birds》

Birds

William Henry Hudson

For some time past I had been ascending a low, broad, flat-topped hill, and on forcing my way through the undergrowth into the open I found myself on the level plateau, an unenclosed spot overgrown with heather and scattered furze bushes, with clumps of fir and birch trees. Before me and on either hand at this elevation a vast extent of country was disclosed. The surface was everywhere broken, but there was no break in the wonderful greenness, which the recent rain had intensified. There is too much green, to my thinking, with too much uniformity in its soft, bright tone, in South Devon. After gazing on such a landscape the brown, harsh, scanty vegetation of the hilltop seemed all the more grateful. The heath was an oasis and a refuge; I rambled about in it until my feet and legs were wet; then I sat down to let them dry and altogether spent several agreeable hours at that spot, pleased at the thought that no human fellow-creature would intrude upon me. Feathered companions were, however, not wanting. The crowing of cock pheasants from the thicket beside the old road warned me that I was on preserved grounds. Not too strictly preserved, however, for there was my old friend the carrion-crow out foraging for his young. He dropped down over the trees, swept past me, and was gone. At this season, in theearly summer, he may be easily distinguished, when flying, from his relation the rook. When on the prowl the crow glides smoothly and rapidly through the air, often changing his direction, now flying close to the surface, anon mounting high, but oftenest keeping nearly on alevel with the tree tops. His gliding and curving motions are somewhat like those of the herring-gull, but the wings in gliding are carriedstiff and straight, the tips of the long flight-feathers showing a slight upward curve. But the greatest difference is in the way the head is carried. The rook, like the heron and stork, carries his beak pointing lance-like straight before him. He knows his destination, and makes for it; he follows his nose, so to speak, turning neither to the right nor the left. The foraging crow continually turns his head, gull-like and harrier-like, from side to side, as if to search the ground thoroughly or to concentrate his vision on some vaguely seen object.

Not only the crow was there: a magpie chattered as I came from the brake, but refused to show himself; and a little later a jay screamed at me, as only a jay can. There are times when I am intensely in sympathy with the feeling expressed in this ear-splitting sound, inarticulate but human. It is at the same time warning and execration, the startled solitary's outburst of uncontrolled rage at the abhorred sight of a fellow-being in his woodland haunt.

Small birds were numerous at that spot, as if for them also its wildness and infertility had an attraction. Tits, warblers, pipits, finches, all were busy ranging from place to place, emitting their various notes now from the tree-tops, then from near the ground; now close at hand, then far off; each change in the height, distance, and position of the singer giving the sound a different character, so that the effect produced was one of infinite variety. Only the yellow-hammer remained constant in one spot, in one position, and the song at each repetition was the same. Nevertheless this bird is not so monotonous a singer as he is reputed…

By and by I had a better bird to listen to--a redstart. A female flew down within fifteen yards of me; her mate followed and perched on a dry twig, where he remained a long time for so shy and restless a creature. He was in perfect plumage, and sitting there, motionless in the strong sunlight, was wonderfully conspicuous, the gayest, most exotic-looking bird of his family in England. Quitting his perch, he flew up into a tree close by and began singing; and for half an hour thereafter I continued intently listening to his brief strain, repeated at short intervals--a song which I think has never been perfectly described. "Practice makes perfect" is an axiom that does not apply to the art of song in the bird world; since the redstart, a member of a highly melodious family, with a good voice to start with, has never attained to excellence in spite of much practising. The song is interesting both on account of its exceptional inferiority and of its character. A distinguished ornithologist has said that little birds have two ways of making themselves attractive--by melody and by bright plumage; and that most species excel in one or the other way; and that the acquisition of gay colours by a species of a sober-coloured melodious family will cause it to degenerate as a songster. He is speaking of the redstart. Unfortunately for the rule there are too many exceptions. Thus confining ourselves to a single family--that of the finches--in our own islands, the most modest coloured have the least melody, while those that have the gayest plumage are the best singers--the goldfinch, chaffinch, siskin, and linnet. Nevertheless it is impossible to listen for any length of time to the redstart, and to many redstarts, without feeling, almost with irritation, that its strain is only the prelude of a song—a promise never performed; that once upon a time in the remote past it was a sweet, copious, and varied singer, and that only a fragment of its melody now remains. The opening rapidly warbled notes are so charming that the attention is instantly attracted by them. They are composed of two sounds, both beautiful--the bright pure gushing robin-like note, and the more tender expressive swallow-like note. And that is all; the song scarcely begins before it ends, or collapses; for in most cases the pure sweet opening strain is followed by a curious little farrago of gurgling and squeaking sounds, and little fragments of varied notes, often so low as to be audible only at a few yards' distance. It is curious that these slight fragments of notes at the end vary in different individuals, in strength and character and in number, from a single faintest squeal to half a dozen or a dozen distinct sounds. In all cases they are emitted with apparent effort, as if the bird strained its pipe in the vain attempt to continue the song.


林鸟

威廉·亨利·哈得孙

相当一段时间以来,我一直在攀登一座低矮宽阔的平顶小山; 当我拨开灌丛,又出现在空地时,我已经置身于一片平坦高地,一片四望空旷,到处石楠与零星荆豆杂生的地方,其间也有几处稠密的冷杉桦木之类。在我面前以及高地的两侧,弥望尽是一带广野。那地亩田垄时有中断,惟独那惊人的青葱翠绿则绵延不绝,这点显然与新近降雨丰沛有关。依我看来,南德文郡里的绿色实在未免过多,色调的柔和与亮度也到处过趋单一。在眼睛饱餍这种景色之后,山顶上那些棕褐刺目的稀疏草木反而有爽心怡目之感。这块石楠地宛如一片绿洲与趋避之地;我在那里漫步许久,一直弄得腿脚淋湿;然后我又坐下来等脚晒干,就这样我在这里愉快地度过了几个小时,高兴的是这里再没有人前来打搅。不过鸟类友伴并不缺乏。路边丛薄间一只雄雉的鸣叫似乎已在警告我说我已闯入了禁猎地带。或许这里的禁猎并不严格,因力我便看到我所熟识的食腐肉乌鸦出来为它的幼雏觅食。它在树上稍停了停,接着掠我而过,便不见了。在这目前季节,亦即在初夏时期,当飞起时,是很容易同它的近亲白嘴鸭分别清楚的。前者在出来巡劫时,它在空中的滑翔流畅而迅速,并不断地改变着方向,时而贴近地面,继而又升腾得很高,但一般保持着约与树齐的高度。它的滑翔与转弯动作略与鲱鱼鸥相似,只是滑翔时翅膀挺得直直,那长长的翎翮尖端呈现一条稍稍上翘的曲线。但最主要的区别还在飞行时的头部姿势。至于白嘴鸭,则像苍鹭与鹤那样,总是把它的利喙笔直地伸向前面。它飞时方向明确,毫不犹豫;它简直可说是跟着它自己的鼻子尖跑,既不左顾,也不右盼。而那寻觅肉食的乌鸦则不停地转动着它的头部,好像只海鸥或猎兔狗那样,忽而这边,忽而那边,仿佛在对地面进行彻底搜查,或集中其视力于某个模糊难辨的事物。
 
这里不仅有乌鸦:我从羊齿丛中走出时,一只喜鹊正在叽喳叫着,只是拒不露面;过了一会儿,一只桂鸟又对着我啼叫起来,那叫法在鸟中实在够得上十分独特。对于这聒噪不已的警告与咒骂里所流露的一腔愤激,对于这位受惊的孤客在骇睹其他生物侵入其林中净地时胸头盛怒的这种猝然勃发,我有时倒也能深表同情。

这个地方的小鸟实在不少,仿佛此地的荒芜和贫瘠对它们也有着某种吸引力量。各类山雀、各类鸣禽、云雀以及各种鸳鸟都正在飞飞去,一边吐弄着不同的佳音,这些时而来自树端,时而来自地上,时而逼近,时而遥远;但是随着放歌者的或远或近,鸣声上下,也给那声音带来不同的特质,因而所产生的效果真是千声万籁,嗡然大观。只有峋鸭总是停留在一个地方或保持着一种姿势,另外每次开口唱时,也总是重复着一个调子不变。尽管如此,这种鸟的鸣叫也并不如人们所说的那般单调……

不久之后,我有了更有趣的鸟来听了——红尾。一只雌的飞下地面,离我不到十五码远;它的伴侣追随其后,接着落在一个枯枝上面,而就这样一个胆怯易惊、生性好动的小东西说,它停留的时间可不算短。它周身羽毛丰满,一动不动地待在熠熠的阳光之下,非常惹人注目,可说是英国禽羽族中心情最欢快、样子也最带异国色彩的了。过了一晌,它离开这里,飞向附近一棵树上,于是啭喉歌唱起来;这之后一连半个小时,我始终凝神倾听着它那每过一阵便重复一番的短促曲调一一这是一种从来没有为人很好描写过的特别歌唱。“多练使艺完美”这句格言是不适用于鸟类的歌唱艺术的;因力即以红尾来说。虽然出身于有名的音乐家族,而且歌喉的天赋也极不错,却并不曾因为多练而臻于完美境地。它的歌声之所以有趣不仅因为它的性质特别,也还因为它的出奇糟糕。一位著名的鸟类学家曾经说过,鸟类一般靠两种办法来讨人喜欢,一靠歌喉,二靠羽毛;多数鸟类都是非此即彼,不出这两种途径;另外,长于歌而短于色的族类一旦变得羽毛美艳之后,势必要引起其歌艺的堕落。他这里即是指的红尾而言。但可惜的是,出乎这条规律的例外实在未免太多。例如,即以我们英国岛上的一个鸟族一一莺类来说,那些羽毛平常的往往也音调不佳,而那些羽毛最艳丽的又偏偏都是歌唱妙手一一例如金翅雀、鶸鸟、金雀、红雀,等等。但是要人长时间地去听一只红尾,哪怕再多的红尾,而不产生厌烦,却是不可能的,因为它那曲调最多也不过是一曲歌的前奏一一一个永不会兑现的承诺;也许在遥远的古代时候它曾一度是个幽美繁富、极具变化的歌唱好手,但如今所残留下来的只不过是当年妙曲的一些残片。它一开始时滴沥溜转的几个音符往往是极动听的,人们的注意力登时被它吸住。这包括两种声音,但都很美一一即那纯净浏亮有如泉涌的知更雀式的音调,以及更加柔美和富于表情的燕子式的音调。但是一切也即此为止;刚已成声调便已失声走调;因为多数情形是,这个纯净优美的开始曲不久便被继之而来的一连串稀奇古怪的咕咕唧唧以及破碎不成片段的夹七杂八的混乱东西所弄坏,而且往往弱不成声,数码之外,便听不见。另外,奇怪的是,这些细碎音调最后不仅在这种鸟的不同成员身上,其在力度、性质与数量上也很不一致,有的不过单纯一声微弱的鸣啸而已,有的则连续发至六七甚至十来声清晰音响。但整个来说,这些声音的吐放总给人以显然吃力之感,仿佛这种鸟只是在声嘶力竭地硬唱下去。

(高健 译)



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