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塞谬尔·约翰逊(1709-1784)是英国的词典编纂家,诗人,散文作家,文学评论家。他花九年时间编纂的《英语词典》是第一部英语词典,获得极大成功,《人类愿望的虚幻》是他最优秀的诗篇。

 
The Vanity of Human Wishes

In Imitation of The Tenth Satire of Juvenal

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

Let Observation, with extensive view,

Survey mankind, from China to Peru;

Remark each anxious toil, each eager strife,

And watch the busy scenes of crowded life;

Then say how hope and fear, desire and hate

O'erspread with snares the clouded maze and fate,

Where wavering man, betrayed by venturous pride

To tread the dreary paths without a guide,

As treacherous phantoms in the mist delude,

Shuns fancied ills, or chases airy good;

How rarely Reason Guides the stubborn choice,

Rules the bold hand, or prompts the suppliant voice;

How nations sink, by darling schemes oppressed,

When Vengeance listens to the fool's request.

Fate wings withevery wish the affictive dart,

Each gift of nature, and each grace of art;

Wth fatal heat impetuous courage glows,

With fatal sweetness elocution flows,

Impeachment stops the speaker's powerful breath,

And restless fire precipitates on death.

But scarce observed, the knowing and the bold

Fall in the general massacre of gold;

Wide-wasting pest! that rages unconfined,

And crowds with crimes the records of mankind;

For gold his sword the hireling raffian draws,

For gold the hireling judge distort the laws;

Wealth heaped on wealth, nor truth nor safety buys,

The dangers gather as treasures rise.

 

人类愿望之虚幻 (节选)

塞谬尔·约翰逊(1709-1784)

(仿罗马诗人朱维纳尔的讽刺诗第十章)

 

让“观察家”,以广泛的关注

把人类审视,从中国到秘鲁;

注意每人的辛劳,每次的拼搏,

观察那纷繁复杂的忙碌生活;

然后说,希望和恐惧、仇恨和欲望

怎样带着圈套弥漫在命运迷宫上方,

那里蹒跚的人们,被骄傲的冒险心

引诱去践踏沉闷的道路,无人指引,

像迷雾中的幽灵一样在朦胧中冒险,

避开幻想的恶,或追逐虚无的善;

“理智”难得去把那执着的选择指引,

难得支配勇敢的手,或鼓励恳求之音;

当“复仇”听从了傻瓜的要求以后

漂亮的体制则把国家压得难以抬头。

命运之翼随每一愿望带着折磨人的飞镖,

带着每一件自然赠品和艺术的每一美好;

狂热的勇气炙热地汹汹发光,

巧妙的演讲带着致命的甜蜜流淌,

指控阻止了说话者强有力的呼吸,

熊熊火焰猛地落下把你置于死地。

但没人注意,那些精明和大胆者

为了金子陷入了的大屠杀之中。

毁坏性的害人虫!无拘无束,

累累罪行创造了人类的记录;

雇佣的流氓为金子而弩张剑拔

雇佣的判官为金子而歪曲律法;

财富加财富,难把真理和安全购买,

随着财宝不断增加,危险也增长起来。