The White Ship 白船 (译文转)

H.P.洛夫克拉夫特,作于1919年11月,发表于《The United Amateur》1919年11月号

翻译:玖羽

I am Basil Elton, keeper of the North Point light that my father and grandfather kept before me. Far from the shore stands the grey lighthouse, above sunken slimy rocks that are seen when the tide is low, but unseen when the tide is high. Past that beacon for a century have swept the majestic barques of the seven seas. In the days of my grandfather there were many; in the days of my father not so many; and now there are so few that I sometimes feel strangely alone, as though I were the last man on our planet.

我叫巴希尔·埃尔顿 (Basil Elton) ,继承了父亲和祖父的工作,在北角灯塔担任守灯人。灰色的灯塔远离海岸建造,泥泞的礁石只在落潮时才露出海面。灯塔建成之后的一个世纪里,从七大洋中驶来的三桅帆船都会和它擦肩而过,在我祖父的时代,这样的时候很多,而到我父亲这一代就很少了。如今我已几乎见不到航经此处的只帆片影,有时,这会使我感到莫名的寂寞,仿佛我是这颗星球上的最后一人。

From far shores came those white-sailed argosies of old; from far Eastern shores where warm suns shine and sweet odours linger about strange gardens and gay temples. The old captains of the sea came often to my grandfather and told him of these things, which in turn he told to my father, and my father told to me in the long autumn evenings when the wind howled eerily from the East. And I have read more of these things, and of many things besides, in the books men gave me when I was young and filled with wonder.

昔日,帆色洁白的大船队会从远方的海岸航来,船上还留着东方海岸上阳光的温暖、缭绕着来自奇异花园和华美神殿的甜香。年老的船长常来拜访我的爷爷,向他讲述各种各样的奇闻轶事,我爷爷把这些讲给了我父亲,最后,在一个可怕的、东风呼啸的漫长秋夜,我的父亲又把这些讲给了我。当我还年幼、头脑中充满各种不可思议的幻想的时候,我还从别人给我的书里读到了更多这种事情,乃至其它许多。

But more wonderful than the lore of old men and the lore of books is the secret lore of ocean. Blue, green, grey, white, or black; smooth, ruffled, or mountainous; that ocean is not silent. All my days have I watched it and listened to it, and I know it well. At first it told to me only the plain little tales of calm beaches and near ports, but with the years it grew more friendly and spoke of other things; of things more strange and more distant in space and in time. Sometimes at twilight the grey vapours of the horizon have parted to grant me glimpses of the ways beyond; and sometimes at night the deep waters of the sea have grown clear and phosphorescent, to grant me glimpses of the ways beneath. And these glimpses have been as often of the ways that were and the ways that might be, as of the ways that are; for ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time.

然而,比老人的智慧和书本的知识更加美妙的,是来自大海的秘密传说。大海从未沉默,它变幻着蓝、绿、灰、白、黑的颜色,波浪有时宁静,有时起伏,有时愤怒滔天。我每天都在观察它、倾听它、熟悉它。起初,它只是告诉我平静的海滩和附近港口发生的平凡琐事,随着岁月流逝,它对我更加亲切,开始告诉我另外的事情,那都是发生在遥远时空中的奇异传说。有时,黄昏水平线上的灰色雾霭会分开一线,让我窥见彼方的景色;有时,夜半深海中的海水会变得澄澈,发出磷光,让我瞥见海底的世界。就像这样,我看到了过去、现在和未来,因为大海比山脉古老得多,它满载着“时间”的记忆和梦想。

Out of the South it was that the White Ship used to come when the moon was full and high in the heavens. Out of the South it would glide very smoothly and silently over the sea. And whether the sea was rough or calm, and whether the wind was friendly or adverse, it would always glide smoothly and silently, its sails distant and its long strange tiers of oars moving rhythmically. One night I espied upon the deck a man, bearded and robed, and he seemed to beckon me to embark for fair unknown shores. Many times afterward I saw him under the full moon, and ever did he beckon me.

当满月在高天之上洒落光辉时,白船就会从南方驶来,从南方轻快无声地滑过海面驶来。无论大海是狂涛骇浪还是平静无波,无论是顺风还是逆风,它都会轻驶而来,白帆高悬,古怪的长桨排列成行,富有节奏地划动。一天晚上,我发现甲板上有一个人,他长袍美髯,似乎在邀我和他一起航向美丽的未知海岸。后来我在满月下又无数次见到了他,但他却没有再度邀请我。
     Very brightly did the moon shine on the night I answered the call, and I walked out over the waters to the White Ship on a bridge of moonbeams. The man who had beckoned now spoke a welcome to me in a soft language I seemed to know well, and the hours were filled with soft songs of the oarsmen as we glided away into a mysterious South, golden with the glow of that full, mellow moon.

在一个明亮的月夜,我答应了邀请,顺着海面上架起的月光之桥走上白船。那邀请我的男人开口相迎,他的话语悦耳而又似曾相识。在美丽满月那金色光辉的照耀下,桨手们久久地唱着绵软的歌,划船航向神秘的南方。
     And when the day dawned, rosy and effulgent, I beheld the green shore of far lands, bright and beautiful, and to me unknown. Up from the sea rose lordly terraces of verdure, tree-studded, and shewing here and there the gleaming white roofs and colonnades of strange temples. As we drew nearer the green shore the bearded man told me of that land, the Land of Zar, where dwell all the dreams and thoughts of beauty that come to men once and then are forgotten. And when I looked upon the terraces again I saw that what he said was true, for among the sights before me were many things I had once seen through the mists beyond the horizon and in the phosphorescent depths of ocean. There too were forms and fantasies more splendid than any I had ever known; the visions of young poets who died in want before the world could learn of what they had seen and dreamed. But we did not set foot upon the sloping meadows of Zar, for it is told that he who treads them may nevermore return to his native shore.

黎明降临,世界被玫瑰色的光辉笼罩,我望到了遥远的绿色海岸,它光明而美丽,我对它从不知晓。从海边修起了宏伟的露台,树木林立,到处都是奇异的神殿,白色的殿顶和立柱闪烁光芒。当我们更接近这翠绿的海岸时,大胡子男人告诉我,这片土地叫扎尔 (Zar) ,保留着人类产生并忘却的所有美丽梦想和思想。当我重新望向露台时,立即知道他所言非虚;在眼前铺展开来的景色中,有许多是我曾在雾霭笼罩的水平线彼方或发散磷光的海洋深处见过的。此外,还有比我所知的一切事物更为壮美的形态和幻想,这些是在世界理解他们所见、所梦的事物之前就死去的年轻诗人的想像。但我们并没有踏上扎尔绿草茵茵的山坡,因为据说踏足这里的人将永远不能返回故乡。
     As the White Ship sailed silently away from the templed terraces of Zar, we beheld on the distant horizon ahead the spires of a mighty city; and the bearded man said to me: “This is Thalarion, the City of a Thousand Wonders, wherein reside all those mysteries that man has striven in vain to fathom.” And I looked again, at closer range, and saw that the city was greater than any city I had known or dreamed of before. Into the sky the spires of its temples reached, so that no man might behold their peaks; and far back beyond the horizon stretched the grim, grey walls, over which one might spy only a few roofs, weird and ominous, yet adorned with rich friezes and alluring sculptures. I yearned mightily to enter this fascinating yet repellent city, and besought the bearded man to land me at the stone pier by the huge carven gate Akariel; but he gently denied my wish, saying: “Into Thalarion, the City of a Thousand Wonders, many have passed but none returned. Therein walk only daemons and mad things that are no longer men, and the streets are white with the unburied bones of those who have looked upon the eidolon Lathi, that reigns over the city.” So the White Ship sailed on past the walls of Thalarion, and followed for many days a southward-flying bird, whose glossy plumage matched the sky out of which it had appeared.

白船安静地远离了扎尔的神殿露台,远方的水平线上又出现了一个大都市的尖塔。大胡子男人告诉我:“那是千秘之城塔纳利昂 (Thalarion) ,被人类努力追寻却又徒劳无功的全部奥秘都收藏于此。”当距离更近一点之后,我再度望向塔纳利昂,它比我所知道、所梦到的所有城市都更加宏伟。神殿的尖塔直刺天空、无远弗届,冷酷的灰色高墙一直延向地平线的尽头,从墙外只能看到一点点怪诞不祥,然而却拥有华美雕带和迷人雕塑的屋顶。虽然有些反感,但我还是万分渴望进入这迷人的城市,于是恳求大胡子男人在巨大的石雕门阿卡利尔(Akariel)旁的石砌码头那里停泊。但他礼貌地拒绝了,对我说:“进入千秘之城塔纳利昂的人有很多,却没有人能够返回。在那城里行走的只是恶魔和疯狂之物,而不再是人类。城中的街道上堆积着无人埋葬的白骨,那都是目睹了城市的统治者——幻灵拉提(Lathi)的人”。就这样,白船沿着塔纳利昂的城墙继续航行,在很长一段时间里,我们都跟着一只向南飞的鸟,它光滑的羽毛映出了天空的颜色。
     Then came we to a pleasant coast gay with blossoms of every hue, where as far inland as we could see basked lovely groves and radiant arbours beneath a meridian sun. From bowers beyond our view came bursts of song and snatches of lyric harmony, interspersed with faint laughter so delicious that I urged the rowers onward in my eagerness to reach the scene. And the bearded man spoke no word, but watched me as we approached the lily-lined shore. Suddenly a wind blowing from over the flowery meadows and leafy woods brought a scent at which I trembled. The wind grew stronger, and the air was filled with the lethal, charnel odour of plague-stricken towns and uncovered cemeteries. And as we sailed madly away from that damnable coast the bearded man spoke at last, saying: “This is Xura, the Land of Pleasures Unattained.”

终于,我们面前出现了一片令人心旷神怡的海岸,岸上缤纷绽放着万紫千红的鲜花,在内陆,可爱的灌木和夺目的凉亭正享受着正午的艳阳。从我们视线以外的荫凉处飘来了阵阵歌声,入耳的歌词断片与歌唱和谐地配搭。歌声里还夹杂着笑语,这使我热切地催促桨手把船划向岸边;可大胡子男人沉默不语,只是在船靠近百合盛开的海岸时注视着我。突然,一阵风吹过百花齐放的草地和生机勃勃的树林,带来的气味使我颤栗莫名。风变得越来越强,空气里充满了被瘟疫摧残的城镇和被掘开的墓穴发出的致命尸臭。我们疯狂地划离那片可诅咒的海岸;最后,大胡子男人才说:“这里是修拉 (Xura) ,无法实现的欢愉存留之地”。
     So once more the White Ship followed the bird of heaven, over warm blessed seas fanned by caressing, aromatic breezes. Day after day and night after night did we sail, and when the moon was full we would listen to soft songs of the oarsmen, sweet as on that distant night when we sailed away from my far native land. And it was by moonlight that we anchored at last in the harbour of Sona-Nyl, which is guarded by twin headlands of crystal that rise from the sea and meet in a resplendent arch. This is the Land of Fancy, and we walked to the verdant shore upon a golden bridge of moonbeams.

白船继续跟随天空之鸟航行,被香柔的微风推着,渡过被祝福的温暖海洋。航程持续了许多个昼夜,在每一个满月之夜,桨手们都会低声吟唱绵软的歌,这歌声和我离开远方故乡、开始航海时听到的歌声一模一样。终于,靠着月光的引导,我们在索纳尼尔 (Sona-Nyl) 的港口投锚,水晶的双子之岬在上方交汇成灿烂的拱门,守护着港口。这里是梦想的国度,我们走过月光造成的金桥,登上碧绿的海岸。
     In the Land of Sona-Nyl there is neither time nor space, neither suffering nor death; and there I dwelt for many aeons. Green are the groves and pastures, bright and fragrant the flowers, blue and musical the streams, clear and cool the fountains, and stately and gorgeous the temples, castles, and cities of Sona-Nyl. Of that land there is no bound, for beyond each vista of beauty rises another more beautiful. Over the countryside and amidst the splendour of cities rove at will the happy folk, of whom all are gifted with unmarred grace and unalloyed happiness. For the aeons that I dwelt there I wandered blissfully through gardens where quaint pagodas peep from pleasing clumps of bushes, and where the white walks are bordered with delicate blossoms. I climbed gentle hills from whose summits I could see entrancing panoramas of loveliness, with steepled towns nestling in verdant valleys, and with the golden domes of gigantic cities glittering on the infinitely distant horizon. And I viewed by moonlight the sparkling sea, the crystal headlands, and the placid harbour wherein lay anchored the White Ship.

在索纳尼尔没有时间也没有空间,没有痛苦也没有死亡,我在这里度过了几近永恒的光阴。这里的森林和草场青翠欲滴、花朵色彩鲜丽;溪流沉静韵动、泉水通透清凉。索纳尼尔的神殿、城堡和街市尽皆庄严壮美,动人的美景层叠不尽,在无边无涯的土地上无限铺展。在美丽的乡村和壮丽的城邑里,尽是幸福的人们在自由自在地漫步,他们全都被赐予了无瑕的优雅和无缺的福乐。几近永恒的时间中,我一直住在此地,幸福地信步在庭院和花园;从庭院那爽亮的灌木丛中能窥望古雅的宝塔、在花园洁白步道的两旁有纤美的群花盛开。在爬上平缓的山丘之后,就能从丘顶把动人的景色一览无余:拥有尖尖屋顶的城镇座落在葱茏的山谷,巨大都市的金色圆顶在遥远的地平线上闪耀。而在月光下,我能望见波光粼粼的海面、水晶的双岬,以及白船停靠的宁静港湾。
     It was against the full moon one night in the immemorial year of Tharp that I saw outlined the beckoning form of the celestial bird, and felt the first stirrings of unrest. Then I spoke with the bearded man, and told him of my new yearnings to depart for remote Cathuria, which no man hath seen, but which all believe to lie beyond the basalt pillars of the West. It is the Land of Hope, and in it shine the perfect ideals of all that we know elsewhere; or at least so men relate. But the bearded man said to me: “Beware of those perilous seas wherein men say Cathuria lies. In Sona-Nyl there is no pain nor death, but who can tell what lies beyond the basalt pillars of the West?” Natheless at the next full moon I boarded the White Ship, and with the reluctant bearded man left the happy harbour for untravelled seas.

在遥远得无法追忆的塔普 (Tharp) 之年的一个晚上,我望见了天空之鸟背合满月的轮廓,它的影子再次向我召唤。于是我把新的渴望告诉了大胡子男人——我想离开这里,前往从没有人见过的卡瑟里亚(Cathuria)。所有人都相信,它就位于西方的玄武岩巨柱之后;那里是希望之地,人类所知的一切完美的理想都在那里广放光明。至少大家都是这么说的。可大胡子男人这样忠告道:“请小心,那传说中的卡瑟里亚位于危险的海洋,在索纳尼尔没有痛苦和死亡,但没人能告诉你在西方的玄武岩巨柱后存在着什么”。尽管如此,我还是在下一个满月之夜登上白船,大胡子男人不情不愿地开船航向未知的海域,把幸福的海港抛在脑后。
     And the bird of heaven flew before, and led us toward the basalt pillars of the West, but this time the oarsmen sang no soft songs under the full moon. In my mind I would often picture the unknown Land of Cathuria with its splendid groves and palaces, and would wonder what new delights there awaited me. “Cathuria,” I would say to myself, “is the abode of gods and the land of unnumbered cities of gold. Its forests are of aloe and sandalwood, even as the fragrant groves of Camorin, and among the trees flutter gay birds sweet with song. On the green and flowery mountains of Cathuria stand temples of pink marble, rich with carven and painted glories, and having in their courtyards cool fountains of silver, where purl with ravishing music the scented waters that come from the grotto-born river Narg. And the cities of Cathuria are cinctured with golden walls, and their pavements also are of gold. In the gardens of these cities are strange orchids, and perfumed lakes whose beds are of coral and amber. At night the streets and the gardens are lit with gay lanthorns fashioned from the three-coloured shell of the tortoise, and here resound the soft notes of the singer and the lutanist. And the houses of the cities of Cathuria are all palaces, each built over a fragrant canal bearing the waters of the sacred Narg. Of marble and porphyry are the houses, and roofed with glittering gold that reflects the rays of the sun and enhances the splendour of the cities as blissful gods view them from the distant peaks. Fairest of all is the palace of the great monarch Dorieb, whom some say to be a demigod and others a god. High is the palace of Dorieb, and many are the turrets of marble upon its walls. In its wide halls many multitudes assemble, and here hang the trophies of the ages. And the roof is of pure gold, set upon tall pillars of ruby and azure, and having such carven figures of gods and heroes that he who looks up to those heights seems to gaze upon the living Olympus. And the floor of the palace is of glass, under which flow the cunningly lighted waters of the Narg, gay with gaudy fish not known beyond the bounds of lovely Cathuria.”

天空之鸟飞翔在前,把我们带向西方的玄武岩立柱。但这次,桨手们却没有在满月下唱起绵软的歌。我时常在脑海中想像未知的卡瑟里亚的景色,想像它堂皇的森林和宫殿,盼望着在那里等待我的全新欢喜。我这样对自己说道:

“卡瑟里亚是诸神的居所,拥有无数座黄金城池。它的森林长满沉香和白檀,甚至还有芳香扑鼻的卡莫霖 (Camorin) 。鸟儿们在林间甜蜜地歌唱、愉快地飞翔。在卡瑟里亚群花吐艳的青翠山坡上,有用桃红色大理石建起的神殿,殿中富藏着被雕刻及被绘出的光荣。冷冽的银泉在庭院里喷涌,带着从石窟发源的纳格(Narg)河的清香,哗哗作响,奏出引人入胜的曲调。卡瑟里亚的城墙由黄金铸成,街道上铺的也尽是黄金。城市的花园种有奇妙的兰花,湖水之底被珊瑚和琥珀覆满。入夜后,街道和花园会被用三色龟甲制成的华丽灯笼照亮,城市中会飘荡歌手和鲁特琴手的轻柔乐章。在卡瑟里亚的城中,所有宅邸都是宫殿,它们全部建在由圣河纳格引来的清香运河边上。建筑房屋的材料只选大理石和斑岩,房顶则是闪亮的黄金,反射着阳光,增添城市的辉煌,就像被祝福的神明从遥远的山顶看到的景象。群宫中最美的一座属于伟大的帝王多里布(Dorieb),有人称他为半神,也有人称他为神。多里布的宫殿高耸壮丽,殿墙上耸立着诸多大理石塔楼,人群汇集在宫殿的大厅里,厅墙上挂着来自各个岁月的纪念品。它的殿顶是纯金的,高大的立柱是红宝石和琉璃的,柱顶傲立着诸神和英雄们的雕像,抬头仰望时,就仿佛亲眼目睹了奥林匹斯山一样。宫殿的地板以玻璃铺就,其下有纳格河水流淌,河水被巧妙地照亮,除卡瑟里亚外别处所无的艳丽鱼群在水中畅游。”
     Thus would I speak to myself of Cathuria, but ever would the bearded man warn me to turn back to the happy shores of Sona-Nyl; for Sona-Nyl is known of men, while none hath ever beheld Cathuria.

我这样向自己讲述了卡瑟里亚,但大胡子男人只是劝我转回索纳尼尔的欢乐海岸,因为索纳尼尔是已知之地,但卡瑟里亚却从未被人目睹。
     And on the thirty-first day that we followed the bird, we beheld the basalt pillars of the West. Shrouded in mist they were, so that no man might peer beyond them or see their summits—which indeed some say reach even to the heavens. And the bearded man again implored me to turn back, but I heeded him not; for from the mists beyond the basalt pillars I fancied there came the notes of singer and lutanist; sweeter than the sweetest songs of Sona-Nyl, and sounding mine own praises; the praises of me, who had voyaged far under the full moon and dwelt in the Land of Fancy.

在我们跟随天空之鸟前进的第三十一天,望到了西方的玄武岩巨柱。它们被浓雾包裹,看不到柱后的景象,也看不到它们的顶端;甚至有人说,它们直达天际。大胡子男人再次恳求我转回,但我完全无视了他,只是幻想,从玄武岩巨柱彼方传来的歌手和鲁特琴手的乐章远胜索纳尼尔最甜美的旋律,听起来就像在赞美我,称颂住在梦想之地的我能在满月下航过漫长的路途、来到这里。白船朝着旋律传来的方向航行,驶过了玄武岩立柱。
     So to the sound of melody the White Ship sailed into the mist betwixt the basalt pillars of the West. And when the music ceased and the mist lifted, we beheld not the Land of Cathuria, but a swift-rushing resistless sea, over which our helpless barque was borne toward some unknown goal. Soon to our ears came the distant thunder of falling waters, and to our eyes appeared on the far horizon ahead the titanic spray of a monstrous cataract, wherein the oceans of the world drop down to abysmal nothingness. Then did the bearded man say to me with tears on his cheek: “We have rejected the beautiful Land of Sona-Nyl, which we may never behold again. The gods are greater than men, and they have conquered.” And I closed my eyes before the crash that I knew would come, shutting out the sight of the celestial bird which flapped its mocking blue wings over the brink of the torrent.

当音乐休声、雾霭散尽,出现在我们面前的不是卡瑟里亚,而是一片怒涛之海。在不可抵挡的激流中,我们的三桅帆船束手无策,被冲往未知的目的地。很快,我们的耳边充满了飞流直落的轰鸣,在遥远前方的水平线上,骇人的巨大瀑布扬起飞沫,全世界的海水都在那里坠入虚无的深渊。这时眼泪划过大胡子男人的脸颊,他说:“我们已经抛弃了美丽的索纳尼尔,以后再也无法见到它了。诸神远远比人类伟大,胜利永远属于它们”。我在剧烈的碰撞到来之前紧闭双眼,因为我不想看到天空之鸟在激流上空嘲弄般地拍打蔚蓝双翼的模样。
     Out of that crash came darkness, and I heard the shrieking of men and of things which were not men. From the East tempestuous winds arose, and chilled me as I crouched on the slab of damp stone which had risen beneath my feet. Then as I heard another crash I opened my eyes and beheld myself upon the platform of that lighthouse from whence I had sailed so many aeons ago. In the darkness below there loomed the vast blurred outlines of a vessel breaking up on the cruel rocks, and as I glanced out over the waste I saw that the light had failed for the first time since my grandfather had assumed its care.

撞击之后是一片黑暗,我听到了人类及非人之物的哀鸣。从东方刮起了大风暴,我蹲缩在从脚下升起的潮湿礁岩上,被冻得瑟瑟发抖。旋即,我又听到了撞击声,当睁开眼睛时,我发现自己正置身于灯塔的瞭望台上,在我出航之后,它已经度过了几近永恒的岁月。下方的黑暗中,我隐约看到一艘艨艟的黑影撞毁在无情的礁石上。等我把视线从残骸上移开时才陡然惊觉,自我的祖父开始守灯以来,灯塔的光辉第一次熄灭了。
     And in the later watches of the night, when I went within the tower, I saw on the wall a calendar which still remained as when I had left it at the hour I sailed away. With the dawn I descended the tower and looked for wreckage upon the rocks, but what I found was only this: a strange dead bird whose hue was as of the azure sky, and a single shattered spar, of a whiteness greater than that of the wave-tips or of the mountain snow.

夜色更深之时,我登上灯塔,发现墙上的日历仍停留在我乘上白船的那一天。黎明到来之后,我下塔去礁石上寻找残骸,但只找到一只从未见过、颜色宛如青空的鸟的尸首,还有一片比浪花和山顶积雪还要白的桅杆碎片。
     And thereafter the ocean told me its secrets no more; and though many times since has the moon shone full and high in the heavens, the White Ship from the South came never again.

此后,大海再也没有把它的秘密告诉我。满月在高天之上洒落光辉的夜晚过去了无数,但南方再也没有出现白船的帆影。