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世上最动人的情书:罗伯特彭斯致埃莉森贝格比

2015-04-24    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

罗伯特•彭斯(1759—1796),苏格兰诗人,生于贫苦的农民家庭,母亲是民族歌手。他自幼受家庭熏陶,热爱苏格兰民族及其古老的传说。他搜集、整理了苏格兰民歌,并用苏格兰方言写成两个集子,共收录自己创作的民歌268首。其中最著名的《往昔的时光》、《穿过黑麦地》等,均是英语诗歌的瑰宝,至今仍在英语国家和一些非英语国家传诵。

Dear Ellison,
亲爱的埃莉森:

I have often thought it a peculiarly unlucky circumstance in love, that though in every other situation in life telling the truth is not only the safest, but actually by far the easiest way of proceeding, a lover is never under greater difficulty in acting, nor ever more puzzled for expression than when his passion is sincere and his intentions honorable.
我常常想,陷入爱情的人虽然情深意切,却不知怎样用行动来表达爱意。这是情场上才有的尴尬局面。而在其他一些情况下,讲真话不仅是明智之举,而且肯定最能解决麻烦。

I do not think that it is very difficult for a person of ordinary capacity to talk of love and fondness which are not felt, and to make vows of constancy and fidelity which are never intended to be performed, if he be villain enough to practice such detestable conduct; but to a man whose heart glows with the principles of integrity and truth, and who sincerely loves a woman of amiable person, uncommon refinement of sentiment, and purity of manners, from my own feelings at this present moment, courtship is a task indeed. There is such a number of foreboding fears and distrustful anxieties crowd into my mind when I am in your company, or when I sit down to write to you, that what to speak or what to write I am altogether at a loss.
我认为,一个普通人,如果存心要做亏心事,也不难口是心非地谈论爱情和仰慕,也不难假惺惺地海誓山盟。但对于一个诚实的男人来说,爱上了一位聪慧秀丽、单纯可爱的女子,求爱绝不是一件容易的事,现在我就有这种感觉。不论是与您相处或坐下来给您写信,总是很担心,前思后想,不知道怎么说,怎么写。

There is one rule which I have hitherto practiced and which I shall invariably keep with you and that is, honestly to tell you the plain truth. There is something so mean and unmanly in the arts of dissimulation and falsehood that I am surprised they can be acted by any one in so noble, so generous a passion as virtuous love. No, my dear E., I shall never endeavor to gain your favor by such detestable practices. If you will be so good and so generous as to admit me for your partner, your companion, your bosom friend through life, there is nothing on this side of eternity shall give me greater transport, but I shall never think of purchasing your hand by any arts unworthy of a man—and, I will add—of a Christian.
我向来遵循一条诚实的准则,对您也是一样。说实话,耍弄虚伪和欺骗的伎俩是非常卑劣和怯懦的表现,但居然有人将这种手段用在纯洁的爱情这种高尚无私的感情上,实在让人惊讶。不,我亲爱的埃,我永远不会用这种低劣的手段博得您的欢心。如果您能慷慨地答应与我终生为伴,成为朋友或知音,这世上再无其他什么东西更能使我狂喜,但我永远不会想到用一个男子汉不屑一顾的——补充一句——基督徒的手腕向您求婚。

There is one thing, my dear, which I earnestly request of you and it is this, that you should soon either put an end to my hopes by a peremptory refusal or cure me of my fears by a generous consent.
亲爱的,我只求您一件事:要么干脆利落地拒绝,让我彻底失望;要么慨然答应,免得我惶恐不安。

It would oblige me much if you would send me a line or two when convenient. I shall only add further that if a behavior regulated (though perhaps but very imperfectly) by the rules of honor and virtue of a heart devoted to love and esteem you, and an earnest endeavor to promote your happiness—if these are qualities you would wish in a friend, in a husband, I hope you shall ever find them in your real friend and sincere lover.
如果您方便亲赐只言片语,我将万分感激。我只想再补充一句,我所做的一切均出自对您的爱慕和尊重,并全身心地愿您更幸福,而且,这颗装满荣誉感和美感的心支配着我(也许没有完全支配)——如果这些是您期望一个朋友和丈夫所具有的品质,我想您会永远在您忠实的朋友和真挚的爱慕者身上找到。

Robert Burns
罗伯特•彭斯



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