藝文走廊 ✐2006-11-01


西西里王羅波

凌風 譯

 

  西西里王羅波,是教皇烏爾班的弟弟,
  阿勒冥的皇帝華蒙是他的長兄,
  身穿華貴的衣飾,
  帶着大群的武士和侍從,
  在聖約翰節日晚禱時,傲然坐着
  聽教牧吟唱“尊主頌”。
  當他聽着,一遍又一遍的
  重複,仿佛是抑制和擔重,
  當聽到了:“祂叫有權柄的
  失位,叫卑賤的高升”;
  他慢慢抬起王者尊貴的頭
  垂詢身邊識字的秘書隨從:
  “這句話是甚麼意思?”秘書立即回應:
  “祂使有權能的從高位降卑,
  高舉沒有地位的上騰。”
  羅波王鄙夷的低聲說:
  “好在這種煽動性的語句
  只由教職人員用拉丁語唱誦;
  讓教牧們和人民都知道,
  沒有甚麼能力推翻我的寶座權柄!”
  靠在椅背上,他打個呵欠,入睡了,
  單調的唱誦使他睡意更濃。

  當他醒轉時,已經是夜間,
  空蕩蕩的教堂,全然沒有光亮,
  只有幾盞殘燈,發着微弱的火焰,
  照出淡淡的黃暈在聖徒的像旁。
  他從座位上四圍環望,
  看不見甚麼活物,也聽不到聲響。
  他摸索到門前,但門已經鎖上,
  他大聲喊叫,聽着,再又敲撞,
  發着可怕的恫嚇,加上抱怨,
  他咒詛人,也祈求聖徒幫忙。
  如同死去的聖像在那裏嘲笑,
  空有迴響來自屋頂和牆。

  最後,管教堂的從外面聽見
  那喊叫的擾攘和敲門,
  以為是盜賊進入了禱告的殿,
  挑着燈籠來查問:“是甚麼人?”
  半氣結的羅波王盛怒回答:
  “是我,王!你害怕嗎?給我開門!”
  管堂的受了驚,自言自語,咒詛着說:
  “是酒醉的流浪漢,或更下等的惡棍!”
  用那把大鑰匙猛然把教堂門敞開,
  一條大漢跨大步衝到了他身旁,
  凶悍的,沒有帽子或外衣,赤着臂膀,
  並沒有轉身,不睬他,半句話不講,
  但跳進了漆黑的夜暗裏,
  失去了蹤影像幽靈一樣。

  西西里王羅波,教皇烏爾班的弟弟,
  他的長兄是阿勒冥的華蒙皇帝,
  被剝去了華貴的衣飾,
  光着頭,喘吁吁的,滿身污泥,
  暴怒如雷大踏步到了宮門,
  感受侮辱,怒氣填胸卻無法可施,
  衝過了庭院,找人發洩
  左右的僮僕和管家執事,
  在火把下照着他蒼白的面孔,
  急忙跑上寬闊和迴音的樓梯。
  他匆促的穿堂復過室,
  他聽到在喊叫發聲,卻無人置理,
  最後到達了宴會廳,
  燈燭輝煌,撲鼻的薰香氣息。

  廳堂一端高坐着另一位王,
  戴着他御印的戒指,他的王冠和衣裳,
  是羅波王的身材,同樣相貌和形狀,
  只是全部變化成天使的榮光!
  那是一個天使;他在那裏
  到處充滿了他神聖的輝煌,
  高貴的氣質透過他的形體,
  只是沒有誰能認出是天使的化裝。

  那失去寶座的王向天使注視,
  一時驚訝無言,不能夠行動,
  遇到他的忿怒和驚奇,
  目光中帶着神聖的憐憫神情;
  他說:“你是誰,竟敢到這裏來?”
  換來的是羅波王回答譏諷:
  “我是王,要來收復
  被你這假冒者篡奪的朝廷!”
  這大膽無禮的話,忽然
  使座上客人都跳起來,紛紛拔劍反應;
  那天使連眉頭也不皺平靜的說:
  “不,不是王,是王的小丑一名,
  今後要戴上海扇帽,佩着銅鈴,
  帶一隻猿猴作你的參謀隨從;
  你要順服王的僕役使喚,
  服侍我的侍從們在堂前聽命!”

  無人管他的恫嚇喊叫和祈求,
  他們把他推下樓梯趕出廳堂;
  一群僮僕們竊笑着在前面跑,
  當他們把摺門開敞,
  聽到了武士們在宏聲狂笑,
  他的心下沉了,有奇異的緊張,
  高大的房頂哄起迴響,
  嘲弄的恭賀說:“萬歲我王!”

  次日清早,第一線曙光使他復醒,
  他自己心裏說:“那不過是個夢!”
  當他轉頭的時候身下的稻草窸窣有聲,
  旁邊是他的小丑帽子和銅鈴,
  周圍是沒有裝飾褪色的牆壁,
  不遠處是群駒在嚼草的馬棚,
  在角落裏,有個活動的身影,
  是那可憐的猿猴在瑟縮着吱喳作聲。
  那不是夢;他所深愛的世界
  已經變作了塵灰,着手成空!

  一天天過去又復再來,
  西西里恢復了上古盛世;
  在天使的統治善政之下
  那快樂的海島五穀登新酒洋溢,
  在火山灼熱的胸膛之下,
  那古老的巨人也恬然安息。

  這樣,羅波王也自己安分由命,
  不得安慰,陰鬱的沉悶安靜。
  穿着小丑的雜色花衣,
  看來似是迷失,直直無神的眼睛,
  從下巴到耳朵上邊刮得淨光像僧,
  忍受着侍從的譏諷僮僕的嘲弄,
  他唯一的朋友是那隻猿猴,他的食物
  是別人吃過的殘飯剩羹—他仍然不認輸定。
  當那天使偶然相遇在途中,
  半認真的對他說話,有一半嘲諷,
  嚴肅的,卻是輕柔,他覺得似乎是
  天鵝絨的鞘藏着青鋼利刃的刀鋒:
  “你是王嗎?”刺着他的隱痛
  他會忽然迸發難以藏容;
  昂起他的額頭,粗率的說:
  “我是,我是王!”傲岸回應。

  大約三年過去了;來了
  特使尊貴又有盛名,
  是阿勒冥皇帝華蒙差來轉達
  教皇烏爾班向羅波王發出的邀請,
  那信是要他立即啟程
  在聖禮拜四到達他的羅馬城。
  那天使對來使盛大歡迎,
  給他們禮物和錦繡外套,
  天鵝絨披肩有華貴的勳銜
  給他們戒指和稀世的珠寶。
  然後同他們一道揚帆啟航,
  從海上到了可愛的意大利半島;
  顯赫的行列引得萬人矚目,
  大群的隨扈還有馬隊前導,
  鞍轡屜鐙都是鑲金嵌玉,
  全都衣冠鮮明還插着彩色羽毛。
  看,在僕從中間,有個可笑的角色
  有一匹雜種跛馬蹣跚而行,
  羅波王騎着,外衣綴着狐狸尾飄動隨風,
  那猿猴端肅的在駕馭一本正經,
  所經過全國的大小城鎮,
  總是有大批來取樂的觀眾。

  教皇迎接他們以盛壯的聲勢,
  聖彼得廣場上,鳴號又懸挂旌旗。
  為他們祝福又加上擁抱,
  熱烈的盡足使徒的恩賜和禮儀。
  他既有頌賀復再祝禱,
  不知不覺的接待了天使。
  小丑羅波,忽然從人叢中冒了出來,
  到他們的面前高聲大嚷,
  “我是王!看,認清我本人
  羅波,你的親兄弟,西西里王!
  你眼前這個人,有我的形相,
  是假冒的王,在裝模作樣。
  你不認得我?心裏豈沒有微聲
  答應我的呼求,承認我是骨肉同堂?”
  教皇靜默不言,表現困惑心意搖蕩,
  看着天使的面貌是那麼安詳;
  皇帝笑着說:“真有他的奇風異想,
  把一個狂人當小丑來豢養!”
  可憐的小丑受盡奚落面目無光,
  擠回到人叢裏悄然躲藏。

  莊嚴的受難週來而復往,
  復活節主日清晨露出曙光,
  天使的臨在,帶着榮美,
  在日出以前把全城照亮,
  新的熱誠充滿了人的心間,
  覺得基督復活的真實無妄。
  連那個小丑在他稻草的床,
  憔悴的眼看見了榮美非同尋常,
  他覺得裏面有種從未經驗的能力,
  使他謙卑的跪在床前的地上,
  他聽到主急飄的衣裳,
  拂過安靜的空氣升上天堂。

  現在訪問的時光已過,再一次
  華蒙離去往多瑙河岸的回程,
  那天使也再次踏上歸家的路,
  在途中展現他盛壯的扈從,
  經過意大利的城和鎮,
  從沙萊諾港出海拔錨啟碇。
  再進入泊勒摩的城牆內,
  升上他的寶座在偉大的朝廷,
  聽到修院傳來禱告的鐘聲,
  像是更美的世界在與我們交通,
  他招呼羅波王近前來,
  示意屏退其餘的人眾;
  單獨相對的時候,那天使問:
  “你是王嗎?”低垂着頭,
  羅波王的雙手交叉當胸,
  謙恭的回答:“你最知道!
  我的罪如同硃紅;讓我去
  修院的靜室好好懺悔,
  跪爬在石頭上,成為道路能到天庭,
  赤腳行走,直到我負疚的靈魂赦凈!”

  那天使微笑着,從他光輝的臉上
  聖潔的光照亮所有的地方,
  聽到鄰近的教堂修士們誦唱,
  傳進敞開的窗,高越而嘹亮,
  超越街道上市聲的喧囂擾攘:
  “祂叫有權柄的失位,
  叫卑賤的升高!”
  在那誦唱以外有另一個韻律,
  升越像是單絃音在振盪:
  “我是個天使,你是王!

  羅波王,原來站在寶座的左近,
  舉目看來,啊!只有他一人!
  所有的衣飾依然如舊,
  榮美的外袍綴玉繡金;
  當宮廷的侍臣來發現他在那裏
  跪在地上全心禱告,靜默深沈。

 

King Robert of Sicily

Robert of Sicily, brother of Pope Urbane
And Valmond, Emperor of Allemaine,
Apparelled in magificent attire,
With retinue of many a knight and squire,
On St. John's eve, at vespers, proudly sat
And heard the priests chant the Magnificat.
And as he listened, o'er and o'er again
Repeated, like a burden or refrain,
He caught the words,"Deposuit potentes
De sede, et exaltavit humiles
;"
And slowly lifting up his kingly head
He to a learned clerk beside him said,
  "What mean these words?" The clerk made answer meet,
  "He has put down the mighty from their seat,
And has exalted them of low degree."
Thereat King Robert muttered scornfully,
  " 'T is well that such seditious words are sung
Only by priests and in the Latin tongue;
For unto priests and people be it known,
There is no power can push me from my throne!"
And leaning back, he yawned and fell asleep,
Lulled by the chant monotonous and deep.

When he awoke, it was already night;
The church was empty, and there was no light,
Save where the lamps, that glimmered few and faint,
Lighted a little space before some saint.
He started from his seat and gazed around,
But saw no living thing and heard no sound.
He groped towards the door, but it was locked;
He cried aloud, and listened, and then knocked,
And uttered awful threatenings and complaints,
And imprecations upon men and saints.
The sounds reechoed from the roof and walls
As if dead priests were laughing in their stalls.

At length the sexton, hearing from without
The tumult of the knocking and the shout,
And thinking thieves were in the house of prayer,
Came with his lantern, asking,"Who is there?"
Half choked with rage, King Robert fiercely said:
  "Open:'t is I, the King! Art thou afraid?"
The frightened sexton, muttering, with a curse,
  "This is some drunken vagabond, or worse!"
Turned the great key and flung the portal wide;
And man rushed by him at a single stride,
Haggard, half naked, without hat or cloak,
Who neither turned, nor looked at him, nor spoke,
But leaped into the blackness of the night,
And vanished like a spectre from his sight.

Robert of Sicily, brother of Pope Urbane
And Valmond, Emperor of Allemaine,
Despoiled of his magnificent attire,
Bareheaded, breathless, and besprent with mire,
With sense of wrong and outrage desperate,
Strode on and thundered at the palace gate;
Rushed through the courtyard, thrusting in his rage
To right and left each seneschal and page,
And hurried up the broad and sounding stair,
His white face ghastly in the torches' glare.
From hall to hall he passed with breathless speed;
Voices and cries he heard, but did not heed,
Until at last he reached the banquet-room,
Blazed with light, and breathing with perfume.

There on the dais sat another king,
Wearing his robes, his crown, his signet-ring,
King Robert's self in features, form, and height,
But all transfigured with angelic light!
It was an Angel; and his presence there
With a divine effulgence filled the air,
An exaltation, piercing the disguise,
Though none the hidden Angel recognize.

A moment speechless, motionless, amazed,
The throneless monarch on the Angel gazed,
Who met his look of anger and surprise
With the divine compassion of his eyes;
Then said,"Who art thou? and why com'st thou here?"
To which King Robert answered with a sneer,
  "I am the King, and come to claim my own
From an impostor, who usurps my throne!"
And suddenly, at these audacious words,
Up sprang the angry guests, and drew their swords;
The Angel answered, with unruffled brow,
  "Nay, not the King, but the King's Jester, thou
Henceforth shalt wear the bells and scalloped cape,
And for thy counsellor shalt lead an ape;
Thou shalt obey my sevants when they call,
And wait upon my benchmen in the hall!"

Deaf to King Robert's threats and cries and prayers,
They thrust him from the hall and down the stairs;
A group of tittering pages ran before,
And as they opened wide the folding-door,
His heart failed, for he heard, with strange alarms,
The boisterous laughter of the men-at-arms,
And all the vaulted chamber roar and ring
With the mock plaudits of "Long live the King!"

Next morning, waking with the day's first beam,
He said within himself,"It was a dream!"
But the straw rustled as he turned his head,
There were the cap and bells beside his bed,
Around him rose the bare, discolored walls,
Close by, the steeds were champing in their stalls,
And in the corner, a revolting shape,
Shivering and chattering sat the wretched ape.
It was no dream; the world he loved so much
Had turned to dust and ashes at his touch!

Days came and went; and now returned again
To Sicily the old Saturnian reign;
Under the Angel's governance benign
The happy island danced with corn and wine,
And deep within the mountain's burning breast
Enceladus, the giant, was at rest.

Meanwhile King Robert yielded to his fate,
Sullen and silent and disconsolate.
Dressed in the motley garb that Jesters wear,
With look bewildered and a vacant stare,
Close shaven above the ears, as monks are shorn,
By courtiers mocked, by pages laughed to scorn,
His only friend the ape, his only food
What others left,—he still was unsubdued,
And when the Angel met him on his way,
And half in earnest, half in jest, would say,
Sternly, though tenderly, that he might feel
The velvet acabbard held a sword of steel,
  "Art thou the King?" the passion of his woe
Burst from him in resistless overflow,
And, lifting high his forehead, he would fling
The haughty answer back,"I am, I am the King!"

Almost three years were ended; when there came
Ambassadors of great repute and name
From Valmond, Emperor of Allemiane,
Unto King Robert, saying that Pope Urbane
By letter summoned them forthwith to come
On Holy Thursday to his city of Rome.
The Angel with great joy received his guests,
And gave them presents of embroidered vests,
And velvet mantles with rich ermine lined,
And rings and jewels of the rarest kind.
Then he departed with them o'er the sea
Into the lovely land of Italy,
Whose loveliness was more resplendent made
By the mere passing of that cavalcade,
With plumes, and cloaks, and housings, and the stir
Of jewelled bridle and of golden spur.
And lo! among the menials, in mock state,
Upon a piebald steed, with shambling gait,
His cloak of fox-tails flapping in the wind,
The solemn ape demurely perched behind,
King Robert rode, making huge merriment
In all the country towns through which they went.

The Pope received them with great pomp and blare
Of bannered trumpets, on Saint Peter's aquare,
Giving his benediction and embrace,
Fervent, and full of apostolic grace.
While with congratulations and with prayers
He entertained the Angel unaweres,
Robert, the Jester, bursting through the crowd,
Into their presence rushed, and cried aloud,
  "I am the King! Look, and behold in me
Robert, your brother, King of Sicily!
This man, who wears my semblance to your eyes,
Is an impostor in a king's disguise.
Do you not know me? does no voice within
Answer my cry, and say we are akin?"
The Pope in silence, but with troubled mien,
Gazed at the Angel's countenance serene;
The Emperor, laughing, said,"It is stange sport
To keep a madman for thy Fool at court!"
And the poor, baffled Jester in disgrace
Was hustled back among the populace.

In solemn state the Holy Week went by,
And Easter Sunday gleamed upon the sky;
The presence of the Angel, with its light,
Before the sun rose, made the city bright,
And with new fervor filled the hearts of men,
Who felt that Christ indeed had risen again.
Even the Jester, on his bed of straw,
With haggard eyes the unwonted splendor saw,
He felt within a power unfelt before,
And, kneeling humbly on his chamber floor,
He heard the rushing garments of the Lord
Sweep through the silent air, ascending heavenward.

And now the visit ending, and once more
Valmond returning to the Danube's shore,
Homeward the Angel journeyed, and again
The land was made resplendent with his train,
Flashing along the towns of Italy
Unto Salerno, and from thence by sea.
And when once more within Palermo's wall,
And, seated on the throne in his great hall,
He heard the Angelus from convent towers,
And if the better world conversed with ours,
He beckoned to King Robert to draw nigher,
And with a gesture bade the rest retire;
When they were alone, the Angel said,
  "Art thou the King?" Then, bowing down his head,
King Robert crossed both hands upon his breast,
And meekly answered him:"Thou knowest best!
My sins as scarlet are; let me go hence,
And in some cloister's school of penitence,
Across those stones, that pave the way to heaven,
Walk barefoot, till my guilty soul be shriven!"

The Angel smiled, and from his radiant face
A holy light illumined all the place,
And through the open window, loud and clear,
They heard the monks chant in the chapel near,
Above the stir and tumult of the street:
  "He has put down the mighty of their seat,
And has exalted them of low degree!"
And through the chant a second melody
Rose like the throbbing of a single string:
  "I am an Angel, and thou art the King!"

King Robert, who who was standing near the throne,
Lifted his eyes, and lo! he was alone!
But all apparelled as in days of old,
With ermined mantle and with cloth of gold;
And when his courtiers came, they found him there
Kneeling upon the floor, absorbed in silent prayer.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
American poet and educator

翼展視窗闊 報取智域深

談天說地

南丁格爾 ✍林向陽

談天說地

好的使者 ✍亞谷

藝文走廊

約拿單如是說 ✍凌風

談天說地

父親的公義與兼愛 ✍于中旻

談天說地

歷史典型華盛頓 ✍史述

談天說地

書法起於永(二) ✍于中旻

談天說地

用人 ✍劉廣華

點點心靈

愛的距離 ✍湮瀅

談天說地

不能容忍的罪 ✍于中旻