20140719【英译中】少年初进采石场(1014字)【第二届《英语世界》翻译大赛选文】

汪德均 (老顽童) 译坛新宠
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发表于:2014-07-19 08:05 [只看楼主] [划词开启]
His First Day as Quarry-Boy

By Hugh Miller (1802~1856)
        
                    少年初进采石场
                     休·米勒(1802-1856)
   It was twenty years last February since I set out, a little before sunrise, to make my first acquaintance with a life of labour and restraint; and I have rarely had a heavier heart than on that morning. I was but a slim, loose-jointed boy at the time, fond of the pretty intangibilities of romance, and of dreaming when broad awake; and, woful change! I was now going to work at what Burns has instanced, in his ‘Twa Dogs’, as one of the most disagreeable of all employments,—to work in a quarry. Bating the passing uneasinesses occasioned by a few gloomy anticipations, the portion of my life which had already gone by had been happy beyond the common lot. I had been a wanderer among rocks and woods, a reader of curious books when I could get them, a gleaner of old traditionary stories; and now I was going to exchange all my day-dreams, and all my amusements, for the kind of life in which men toil every day that they may be enabled to eat, and eat every day that they may be enabled to toil!
   刚刚过去之二月,离我初次体验受人约束的体力劳动,已经二十年了。从那时起,比那天早上更加沉重的心情再也没有过。那天尚未日出,我已动身。当时,我只是个身材细长而自由自在的少年,满脑袋都是那些不切实际的冒险故事,大白天也爱想入非非;如今,却要去采石场干活。彭斯《二犬》有云,采石场乃“所有行当中最讨厌者之一”。呜呼悲哉!除去那些预感前景阴郁而不安之时,我生活中的其余部分比大多数少年都要快乐;不过此种日子已然过去。我曾经漫游于山川泉林之间,欣阅可得之奇书轶闻,寻觅旧时之传奇故事;而今却要将这一切奇思妙想、一切赏心乐事换为另一种生活——每日辛劳,只为能有饭吃;每日吃饭,只为能每日辛劳!
   The quarry in which I wrought lay on the southern shore of a noble inland bay, or frith rather, with a little clear stream on the one side, and a thick fir wood on the other. It had been opened in the Old Red Sandstone of the district, and was overtopped by a huge bank of diluvial clay, which rose over it in some places to the height of nearly thirty feet, and which at this time was rent and shivered, wherever it presented an open front to the weather, by a recent frost. A heap of loose fragments, which had fallen from above, blocked up the face of the quarry and my first employment was to clear them away. The friction of the shovel soon blistered my hands, but the pain was by no means very severe, and I wrought hard and willingly, that I might see how the huge strata below, which presented so firm and unbroken a frontage, were to be torn up and removed. Picks, and wedges, and levers, were applied by my brother-workmen; and, simple and rude as I had been accustomed to regard these implements, I found I had much to learn in the way of using them. They all proved inefficient, however, and the workmen had to bore into one of the inferior strata, and employ gunpowder. The process was new to me, and I deemed it a highly amusing one: it had the merit, too, of being attended with some such degree of danger as a boating or rock excursion, and had thus an interest independent of its novelty. We had a few capital shots: the fragments flew in every direction; and an immense mass of the diluvium came toppling down, bearing with it two dead birds, that in a recent storm had crept into one of the deeper fissures, to die in the shelter. I felt a new interest in examining them. The one was a pretty cock goldfinch, with its hood of vermilion and its wings inlaid with the gold to which it owes its name, as unsoiled and smooth as if it had been preserved for a museum. The other, a somewhat rarer bird, of the woodpecker tribe, was variegated with light blue and a grayish yellow. I was engaged in admiring the poor little things, more disposed to be sentimental, perhaps, than if I had been ten years older, and thinking of the contrast between the warmth and jollity of their green summer haunts, and the cold and darkness of their last retreat, when I heard our employer bidding the workmen lay by their tools. I looked up and saw the sun sinking behind the thick fir wood beside us, and the long dark shadows of the trees stretching downward towards the shore.
   那采石场位于一个著名的内陆海湾——或者,准确地说,河湾——之南岸。采石场之一侧是一条清澈的小溪,另一边是一片茂密的冷杉林。石场开在一片古老的红砂岩石壁上,石壁上方是厚厚的洪积层,有几处甚至厚达三十英尺左右。不过,最近天气寒冷,裸露的洪积层表面因霜冻而裂缝道道,危如累卵。从上面垮掉的一大堆碎石土块,堵在了采石面;而给我指派的第一个任务,就是将它们清除掉。铁铲的手柄很快便将我的双手磨起了泡,不过疼痛还算不上厉害。我欣欣然卖力地干活儿,只想或许会看到,地面下坚不可摧的巨大岩石层,是如何被切开并被运走的。铁锹呀,楔子呀,杠杆呀,工友们都用上了。尽管我一向视这些工具简陋,却发现自己要使用它们,还得狠下功夫才能学会。然而,这些工具却效率不高,石工们还得把孔打进下面的一个岩层,要用火药来炸开。这于我倒是新鲜事儿。我认定这事儿非常有趣,也值得一提,因其有几分冒险,犹如荡舟与远足于山间,就算没什么新奇也妙趣横生。几声巨响之后,只见碎片四散而飞,巨大的洪积层裂开垮塌,从中现出两只死鸟,系最近风暴中钻进裂缝深处而死于避难所者。我对此顿感兴趣,于是细看鸟儿。其一为雄性金翅雀,甚为漂亮;头部为朱红色,双翅镶嵌着金色,此鸟由此而得名;它全身光滑而未沾泥土,似乎为进博物馆而保存完好。另一只,则有几分像稀有品种,属于啄木鸟家族,淡蓝色与灰黄色混杂一体。当时我忙于观赏这些可怜的小生灵,想起暖和而生机勃勃的夏季,它们出没于林中时的欢乐情景与躲藏于寒冷而黑暗的石缝里之间的反差;此情此景若是在十年之后,我多半不会有如此雅兴。正在那时,忽听得雇主令工友们收工。我举目一望,只见红日早已西沉于近旁茂密的冷杉林背后,长长的树影朝着海岸,一路延伸。           


—Old Red Sandstone
  
  (文章选自THE OXFORD BOOK OF ENGLISH PROSE, 658-660, Oxford University Press, London, first published 1925, reprinted 1958.)

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