Charles Dickens--The Widow at the Grave 汉译
She was looking at a humble stone which told of a young man who had died at twenty-three years old, fifty-five years ago, when she heard a faltering step approaching, and looking round saw a feeble woman bent with the weight of years, who tottered to the foot of that same grave and asked her to read the writing on the stone. The old woman thanked her when she had done, saying that she had had the words by heart for many a long, long year, but could not see them now.
“Were you his mother?” said the child.
“I was his wife, my dear.”
She the wife of a young man of three-and-twenty! Ah, true! It was fifty-five years ago.
“You wonder to hear me say that,” remarked the old woman, shaking her head. “You’re not the first. Older folk than you have wondered at the same thing before now. Yes, I was his wife. Death doesn’t change us more than life, my dear.”
“Do you come here often?” asked the child.
“I sit here very often in the summer-time,” she answered. “I used to come here once to cry and mourn, but that was weary while ago, bless God!”
“I pluck the daisies as they grow, and take them home,” said the old woman after a short silence. “I like no flowers so well as these, and haven’t for five-and-fifty years. It’s a long time, and I’m getting very old!
Then growing garrulous upon a theme which was new to one listener though it were but a child, she told her how she had wept and moaned and prayed to die herself, when this happened; and how when she first came to that place, a young creature strong in love and grief, she had hoped that her heart was breaking as it seemed to be. But that time passed by, and although she continued to be sad when she came there, still she could bear to come, and so went on until it was pain no longer, but a solemn pleasure, and a duty she had learned to like. And now that five-and-fifty years were gone, she spoke of the dead man as if he had been her son or grandson, with a kind of pity for his youth, growing out of her own old age, and an exalting of his strength and manly beauty as compared with her own weakness and decay; and yet she spoke about him as her husband too, and thinking of herself in connexion with him, as she used to be and not as she was now, talked of their meeting in another world, as if he were dead but yesterday, and she, separated from her former self, were thinking of the happiness of that comely girl who seemed to have died with him.”