Provider:Fr. Pierre Demer /談德義神父

When I see birches bend to left and right

Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy's been swinging them.
But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay.  
As ice storms do. Often you must have seen them 5
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-coloured
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells 10
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed 15
So low for long, they never right themselves:
You may see their trunks arching in the woods
Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground,
Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair
Before them over their heads to dry in the sun. 20
But I was going to say when Truth broke in
With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm,  
I should prefer to have some boy bend them
As he went out and in to fetch the cows--
Some boy too far from town to learn baseball, 25
Whose only play was what he found himself,  
Summer or winter, and could play alone.  
One by one he subdued his father's trees
By riding them down over and over again  
Until he took the stiffness out of them, 30
And not one but hung limp, not one was left
For him to conquer. He learned all there was [32-33]
To learn about not launching out too soon  
And so not carrying the tree away  
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise 35
To the top branches, climbing carefully  
With the same pains you use to fill a cup
Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground. 40
So was I once myself a swinger of birches.  
And so I dream of going back to be.
It's when I'm weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood  
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs 45
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping  
From a twig's having lashed across it open.
I'd like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me 50
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth's the right place for love:
I don't know where it's likely to go better.  
I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree  
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk 55
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.  
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

Line / No.
Word or Phrase
1 birches 樺樹,為一種赤褐色楊樹,細高,副彈性,易彎曲。常見於美國的新英格蘭一帶。
bend to left and right 向左右彎曲。(bendsee的不定式,前面to省略。)[back]
2 straighter darker trees straighter darker than birchesbirches更直更暗的樹。[back]
3 like to think 願這樣想。(like之前助動詞wouldshould似省去。)
some 為單數用法,指「某一個」。
swinging 像盪鞦韆一樣的搖擺這些赤楊。[back]
5 As ice storms do 像雪風暴一樣將這些赤楊壓彎。[back]
6 Loaded with 過去分詞片語,修飾前行詞them意為:滿負著冰。[back]
7 click upon themselves 赤楊之上結冰之後,風吹時相互碰撞,克啦有聲。[back]
8 turn many-colored 陽光照耀下,折射出各種色彩。[back]
9 As the stir . . . their enamel Crack=霹啪聲;Craze=使生裂痕;enamel=任何硬而有光澤的表面。全行大意是:結冰的赤楊,光亮耀眼,風的吹動使他們霹啪作聲,並有破裂的現象。[back]
10 makes them shed crystal shells 太陽光的照射使這些透明的冰殼,離枝滑落。[back]
11 Shattering . . . snow-crust 冰殼破碎,墜落在為雪所覆蓋的地上。avalanche ['aevlaent∫](冰,雪等物之墜落。)[back]
12 broken glass 指從赤楊枝上墜落下來的冰凍。
sweep away 疾馳掃過。[back]
13 the inner dome of heaven 天的內層圓物。[back]
14 They . . . by the load dragged to = 拖曳到地面。the withered bracken = 乾枯的羊齒植物。這些赤楊枝由於結冰其上,因而拖曳到地,幾乎碰到那乾枯的羊齒植物。[back]
16 right themselves 使他們自身長直。[back]
17 their trunks archin in the woods 赤楊的樹幹拱彎在樹林裡。[back]
18 trailing their leaves on the ground 它們的枝葉在地上蔓延。[back]
19 on hands and knesss 伏臥在地上。[back]
21 Truth 大家所公認的科學真理。從第六行到第二十行,詩中人詳盡描述冰結赤楊樹的情形。但是到此他不願再做此類精確的客觀描述。此字所以大寫,是詩人將其人格化,所以下一行中的代名詞是用her
broken in 打斷了我的話。(此詩是以第一人稱獨白的方式寫成。)[back]
23 I should . . . bend them 事實上,這些赤楊的彎倒雖為冰雪所致,可是詩中人寧願認為這是鄉間農家子,進出牽牛時,玩弄所致。[back]
24 fetch the cows 牽牛進屋。[back]
28 subdued his father's tree 將他父親的赤楊樹(一株一株)征服。[back]
30 took the stiffness out of them 這些樹枝全失去其堅硬性。[back]
31 not one but every one.
limp 柔軟。(每棵赤楊都是柔軟易曲。)[back]
32-33 He learned . . . to learn (農家子)學得一切所該學的。[back]
33 not lauching out too soon 開始時,不能太快。(盪搖赤楊時該漸進從事之。)[back]
35 Clear to the ground Completely to the ground. (全然接觸地面。)
poise 保持均衡。(在樹的尖端處能保持均衡。)[back]
37 pains 困難;煩惱。[back]
38 brim (杯之)邊緣。[back]
39 flung outward (從枝上)向外跳出。
with a swish 颼一聲。[back]
40 Kicking his way down 踢跳而下。[back]
42 to be to be a swinger of birches.[back]
43 weary of considerations 厭煩於世間憂慮之事。[back]
44 pathless wood 沒有通道的森林。[back]
45 tickles with cobwebs 因蜘蛛網的刺激而發癢。[back]
47 From a . . . it open (一隻眼睛流淚)是因它張開時為一嫩枝所掃過。[back]
48 awhile for a while.[back]
49 begin over 重新開始。
50 May no fate . . . me 但願命運不會故意誤解了我。[back]
51 half grant 得到一半得允諾。
snatch me away 將我攫取走。[back]
52 right place 適合的地方。[back]
56 the tree could bear no more (直到)這樹無法再支撐下去。[back]
57 dipped its top (dip=傾斜下降)樹的尖端傾斜下降。
set me down 將我放下。[back]
59 One . . . a swinger of birches 雖然做個赤楊的遊蕩者,有苟且偷安的意思,但或許有人有我這種做法更差。[back]