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布魯斯和蜘蛛

凌風 譯

 

為了蘇格蘭的自由和權利,
  布魯斯曾經盡心致力,
連續五次在戰場搏擊,
  也一連五次失意敗績;
再一次的進戰英軍,
結果仍然不如意
  他的部眾又再潰奔;
從戰場退下來,筋疲力盡,
成了無家可歸的孤單逃犯
  在一個棚下躲避棲身。

想要爭取寶座的他
  竟然落到這淒涼的地方:
他沒有華美的寶蓋,
  有的僅是粗陋的屋梁;
草鋪的條椅是他唯一的床,—
但即使那是天鵝絨的臥榻
  他也難以進入夢鄉!
從暗夜到清晨的曙光,
為蘇格蘭和她的王權
  他躺在那裏難眠沉想。

東方升起了光明的太陽,
  微光照着那不堪的眠床,
照着那支持低矮屋頂
  粗陋不成樣子的屋梁。
抬起憂思的眼睛上望,
布魯斯看見一隻蜘蛛,
  試圖用柔細的絲結網
從小屋的梁往那梁上盪;
那昆蟲盡力的奔忙
  啟導着蘇格蘭未來的王。

那思慮周詳的蜘蛛
  一連六次投出纖細的絲;
那細線飛盪乏力
  或是迷失目標不濟
六次都失敗了,卻不放棄
那忍耐的昆蟲繼續堅持,
  絕不能動搖它的意志;
不久,當布魯斯急切的注視,
看到它準備再一次的嘗試,
  盡它的勇氣,力量,和戰技。

再努力,第七次,最後一次!
  那英雄讚揚它的表現!
在它所想望的梁上,
  繫緊了那蛛絲的細線;
雖然是微弱,卻激起他的靈感
使他思想,不僅僅是吉兆,
  這功課實在是恰好,
明顯不過任誰都能讀得到:
堅毅者終必獲得酬報
  忍耐贏得了賽跑。

   巴屯(Bernard Barton, 1784-1849)英國詩人。

 

Bruce and the Spider

For Scotland's and for freedom's right
  The Bruce his part had played,
In five successive fields of fight
  Been conquered and dismayed;
Once more against the English host
His band he led, and once more lost
  The meed for which he fought;
And now from battle, faint and worn,
The homeless fugitive forlorn
  A hut's lone shelter sought.

And cheerless was that resting-place
  For him who claimed a throne:
His canopy, devoid of grace,
  The rude, rough beams alone;
The heather couch his only bed, —
Yet well I ween had slumber fled
  From couch of eider-down!
Through darksome night till dawn of day,
Absorbed in wakeful thought he lay
  Of Scotland and her crown.

The sun rose brightly, and its gleam
  Fell on that hapless bed,
And tinged with light each shapeless beam
  Which roofed the lowly shed;
When, looking up with wistful eye,
The Bruce beheld a spider try
  His filmy thread to fling
From beam to beam of that rude cot;
And well the insect's toilsome lot
  Taught Scotland's future king.

Six times his gossamery thread
  The wary spider threw;
In vain the filmy line was sped,
  For powerless or untrue
Each aim appeared, and back recoiled
The patient insect, six times foiled,
  And yet unconquered still;
And soon the Bruce, with eager eye,
Saw him prepare once more to try
  His courage, strength, and skill.

One effort more, his seventh and last!
  The hero hailed the sign!
And on the wished-for beam hung fast
  That slender, silken line;
Slight as it was, his spirit caught
The more than omen, for his thought
  The lesson well could trace,
Which even "he who runs may read,"
That Perseverance gains its meed,
  And Patience wins the race.


Bernard Barton, 1784-1849
English poet

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2018.8

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