Peter Quince at the Clavier

原文與註釋 (Text and Annotation)

Just as my fingers on these keys
Make music, so the self-same sounds
On my spirit make a music, too.

Music is feeling, then, not sound;
And thus it is that what I feel, 5
Here in this room, desiring you,

Thinking of your blue-shadowed silk,
Is music. It is like the strain
Waked in the elders by Susanna;

Of a green evening, clear and warm, 10
She bathed in her still garden, while
The red-eyed elders, watching, felt

The basses of their beings throb
In witching chords, and their thin blood 15
Pulse pizzicati of Hosanna.

In the green water, clear and warm,
Susanna lay.
She searched
The touch of springs, 20
And found
Concealed imaginings.
She sighed,
For so much melody.

Upon the bank, she stood
In the cool 25
Of spent emotions.
She felt, among the leaves,
The dew
Of old devotions.

She walked upon the grass, 30
Still quavering.
The winds were like her maids,
On timid feet,
Fetching her woven scarves,
Yet wavering. 35

A breath upon her hand
Muted the night
She turned --
A cymbal crashed,
Amid roaring horns. 40

Soon, with a noise like tambourines,
Came her attendant Byzantines.

They wondered why Susanna cried
Against the elders by her side;

And as they whispered, the refrain 45
Was like a willow swept by rain.

Anon, their lamps' uplifted flame
Revealed Susanna and her shame.

And then, the simpering Byzantines
Fled, with a noise like tambourines. 50

Beauty is momentary in the mind --
The fitful tracing of a portal;
But in the flesh it is immortal. (51-53)

The body dies; the body's beauty lives.
So evenings die, in their green going, 55
A wave, interminably flowing.
So gardens die, their meek breath scenting
The cowl of winter, done repenting
So maidens die, to the auroral
Celebration of a maiden's choral. 60 (54-60)
Susanna's music touched the bawdy strings
Of those white elders; but, escaping,
Left only Death's ironic scraping.
Now, in its immortality, it plays
On the clear viol of her memory, 65
And makes a constant sacrament of praise.(61-66)


Word or phrase

Peter Quince



一種鍵盤樂器,或指小風琴 (harmonium)。因本詩收在一九二三年出版的「小風琴」(Harmonium)詩集中,故有此說。也有人認為是鋼琴。[back]

7 blue-shadowed silk 指該女士穿著之暗藍色絲質衣裳,blue-shadowed或暗示詩中人在眷慕之際,心中泛起的哀愁。[back]
9 Susanna 蘇珊娜,舊約聖經故事中,詳見「聖經故事的剪裁手法」的說明。[back]
10 green evening 在黃昏時分那滿院的綠色,與後兩行長者的那雙血紅色眼睛呈現極強烈的對比。[back]
15 Pizzicati of Hosanna Pizzicati為撥絃音,節奏明朗,音量不大;Hosanna (和撒那)為一首讚美上帝的聖歌,唱時應放聲高頌,激昂慷慨。但把兩者聯繫一起,暗示詩中長者年華已逝,裸女當前只能引起他們心中細微悸動。[back]
21 Concealed imaginings 心中暗藏著的一些幻想。[back]
26 spent emotions wasted emotions,耗盡的感情。因為沒有人分享她四週春天的情景和了解她的幻想。[back]
36-37 A breath upon her . . . the night 老人充滿情慾的呼吸,一接觸到她的手,把她的注意力由靜的夜空拉回。[back]
39 cymbal 鐃鈸,一種敲擊樂器,音量極強,在演奏中常用來表現情緒的高潮。本詩第二段前二十三行道盡院中寧謐安詳的氣氛。至此,突然急轉直下,大有「鐵騎突出刀槍鳴」之慨,劃破了原有的寂靜,產生一種異常突出的音響效果。[back]
41 tambourines 小手鼓或羯鼓,拿在手中,連搖帶敲,舞蹈者常用。指女僕急步而來身上之金屬裝飾響起一陣鏗鏘之聲。[back]
42 Byzanthines 指來自拜占庭的女僕。拜占庭一度稱為君士坦丁堡,今名伊斯坦堡(土耳其名)。蘇珊娜當時 (西元前六世紀),拜占庭隸屬希臘,常遭敵方洗劫,以奴隸為戰利品。[back]
45 the refrain 詩歌中的疊句,指女僕們不斷竊聲私語,探詢事實真相。[back]
47 Annon soon未幾。[back]
49 simpering 癡笑的。[back]
51-53 心靈中的美只是短暫的,唯有在實體中美才能恆久長存。[back]
52 The fitful tracing of a portal 斷斷續續地追溯一扇門,指美感在心靈中停留的短暫。[back]
53 But in the flesh it is immortal 美常存在實體之中。此處flesh指美所附存的整個實體,其中包含無數的個體 (body),故下行說個體死了,美感依舊存在。[back]
54-60 美之永駐並不受個體死亡的影響。故各別的黃昏,花園,少女都會逝去,然而又有新的黃昏,花園,少女繼之而來,因此美本身仍舊保存。[back]
55 in their green going (黃昏) 在綠色中消失。[back]
57-58 so gardens die . . . done repenting 花園死去,溫柔的香味卻散留在冬天的頭巾堙A結束了懺悔。意謂花園到了冬季雖然會凋零,而花香卻常駐。[back]
59-60 so gardens die . . . a maiden's choral choral 聖歌。意謂在少女死去的同時,又有別的少女的誕生,換言之,某些少女雖然逝去,美卻在其他少女身上重現。[back]
59 auroral 曙光的。[back]
61 bawdy strings 淫慾之弦。[back]
63 Left . . . scraping 僅留下死亡那嘲弄的刮磨之聲。[back]
65 viol 一種中古的弦樂器 (為小提琴的前身)。[back]
66 sacrament 聖禮,神聖的事物。[back]
61-66 兩長者感官上的激情與Susanna永恆的美相互比較。前者是短暫的,所存者僅是死亡的刮磨之聲;後者是永恆的,是一種聖潔的讚美,永不消逝。[back]