Sailing to Byzantium-航向拜占庭

That is no country for old men. The young

In one another’s arms, birds in the trees

—Those dying generations—at their song,

The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,

Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long

Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.

Caught in that sensual music all neglect

Monuments of unageing intellect.


An aged man is but a paltry thing,

A tattered coat upon a stick, unless

Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing

For every tatter in its mortal dress,

Nor is there singing school but studying

Monuments of its own magnificence;

And therefore I have sailed the seas and come

To the holy city of Byzantium.


O sages standing in God’s holy fire

As in the gold mosaic of a wall,

Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,

And be the singing-masters of my soul.

Consume my heart away; sick with desire

And fastened to a dying animal

It knows not what it is; and gather me

Into the artifice of eternity.


Once out of nature I shall never take

My bodily form from any natural thing,

But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make

Of hammered gold and gold enamelling

To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;

Or set upon a golden bough to sing

To lords and ladies of Byzantium

Of what is past, or passing, or to come.


                                             W. B. Yeats


那不是老年人该去的国度。年轻人
依偎在彼此的臂弯里,林中之鸟
—那弥留的一代—放声歌唱,
鲑鱼的瀑布,鲭鱼的海洋,
游鱼、走兽和飞禽,整个夏天都在赞颂
被孕育、诞生和死亡的众生。
全部沉迷于感官的音乐,不去理会
万古长青的智慧的纪念碑。

一个年老的人就像废物一样。
不过是拐棍上的褴褛衣裳,
除非灵魂拍手吟歌, 
为了他皮囊上每处破烂大声歌唱,
然而并没有学校教人唱歌,只好研读
纪念碑上他拥有的辉煌;
因此我航行过碧波万顷
来到这神圣之城拜占庭。

哦,屹立于神之圣火中的智者们,
浮现在墙上金碧辉煌的雕饰中,
请从圣火中走出,盘旋于空,
来教我的灵魂如何吟诵。
请将我的心销毁,它沉迷于欲望,
被禁锢于不能辨识的垂死皮囊;
并请将我凝聚
成为艺术精巧的永恒。

一旦得从形体中解脱,我将再也不
在任何自然之物中寄身。
我只要希腊的金匠的杰作
他们所锻造和镀釉的黄金
为昏昏欲睡的君王醒神;
不然我就栖身在金枝之上
为拜占庭的达官贵妇们
将已逝,将逝和未来歌唱。

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