On the Sea by Bing Xin ~ 冰心 《海上》 with English Translations

作品原文

冰心 《海上》

八月十七日的下午,约克逊号邮船无数的窗眼里,飞出五色飘扬的纸带,远远的抛到岸上,任凭送别的人牵住的时候,我的心是如何的飞扬而凄恻!

痴绝的无数的送别者,在最远的江岸,仅仅牵着这终于断绝的纸条儿, 放这庞然大物,载着最重的离愁,飘然西去!

船上生活,是如何的清新而活泼。除了三餐外,只是随意游戏散步。海上的头三日, 我竟完全回到小孩子的境地中去了,套圈子,抛沙袋,乐此不疲,过后又绝然不玩了。后来自己回想很奇怪,无他,海唤起了我童年的回忆,海波声中, 童心和游伴都跳跃到我脑中来。我十分的恨这次舟中没有几个小孩子, 使我童心来复的三天中,有无猜畅好的游戏!

我自少住在海滨,却没有看见过海平如镜。这次出了吴淞口,一天的航程,一望无际尽是粼粼的微波。凉风习习,舟如在冰上行。到过了高丽界,海水竟似湖光。蓝极绿极,凝成一片。斜阳的金光,长蛇般自天边直接到阑旁人立处。 上自苍穹,下至船前的水,自浅红至于深翠,幻成几十色,一层层,一片片的漾开了来。……小朋友,恨我不能画,文字竟是世界上最无用的东西,写不出这空灵的妙景!

八月十八夜,正是双星渡河之夕。 晚餐后独倚阑旁,凉风吹衣。银河一片星光,照到深黑的海上。远远听得楼阑下人声笑语,忽然感到家乡渐远。繁星闪烁着,海波吟啸着,凝立悄然,只有惆怅。

十九日黄昏,已近神户,两岸青山,不时的有渔舟往来。日本的小山多半是扁圆的,大家说笑,便道是“馒头山”。这馒头山沿途点缀,直到夜里,远望灯光灿然,已抵神户。船徐徐停住,便有许多人上岸去。我因太晚,只自己又到最高层上,初次看见这般璀璨的世界,天上微月的光,和星光,岸上的灯光,无声相映。不时的还有一串光明从山上横飞过,想是火车周行。……舟中寂然,今夜没有海潮音,静极心绪忽起:“倘若此时母亲也在这里……”。 我极清晰的忆起北京来。

 

 

作品译文

On the Sea
Bing Xin

On the afternoon of August 17th, multicolor paper streamers flew out of the many scuttles of the ocean liner Yorkson and landed on the retreating shore, nonchalantly leaving those who came to see their relatives or friends off to catch hold of their ends. At the moment, how full I felt of both delight and sorrow!

Those sentimental individuals, standing in large numbers on the increasingly distant shore, could only hold on to the paper streamers until they would eventually break, reluctantly letting the iron mammoth sail westward, loaded down as it was with the heavy grief of parting!

Daily life on the ship was refreshing and active. Outside of the three meals, all my time was spent playing games and taking walks on the decks as I pleased. For the first three days, I seemed to have totally reverted to my childhood. I tossed rings and small beanbags, never tiring of playing these games. Then three days later, I cut all connection with such pastimes. As I recalled it all later, I felt very strange though there was nothing more to it than this: The sea had unmoored my childhood memories, and midst the sound of the surging waves, a sense of childlike innocence and my young playmates flooded my mind. My only regret was that there were only a few children on board, so that my three days of returned childhood did not hold really wonderful children’s games.

I have lived near the sea ever since I was a child, but never once had I seen such a sea, as smooth and composed as a mirror. On the voyage’s first day, once we were out of the Wusong estuary, a boundless sea of limpid wavelets stretched out before us. The breeze was cool; the ship slid forward as if on ice. As we sailed past Korean waters, the sea unexpectedly imparted the ambience of a lake, with its incredibly intense blue and green waters. The golden glowing rays of the setting sun, like long snakes, radiated directly from the horizon on the people standing behind the railings. From the firmament to the waters in front of our ship, a panoply of hues from light pinks to deep greens each rippled, layer upon layer, patch by patch. …My little friends, I hated myself then for being unable to paint. The language of words at such a moment is the most useless thing in this world, unable to present to you such ethereal beauty!

August 18th was the night for the Cowherd and the Weaving Maid to enjoy their once-a-year rendezvous. After supper, I leaned alone over the railings as the cool wind blew over and caressed my clothes. The Milky Way was an expanse of bright stars, illuminating the deep dark seas. From the distant passages down below floated up the laughter and chatter of other passengers. It suddenly dawned on me that my hometown was getting farther and farther away! The galaxies of stars shone brilliant, the waves soughed, and I stood there quiet, awash in melancholy.

At dusk on the 19th, we neared Kobe. Green hills were seen on the shores, and from time to time fishing boats sailed to and fro. Hills in Japan are mostly oblate, and they invoked laughter and comment from the passengers, who nicknamed them “Bun Mountains.” These bun-shaped hills dotted the scenery along our voyage through the night until we saw in the distance a brightly-lit Kobe. Slowly the ship moored, and people began to disembark. Deep in the night as it was, I went up alone to the topmost deck of the ship again. For the first time in my life I saw a world of such resplendence, of moon, stars and the lights from shore setting each other off in serene relief. Every now and again a chain of illumination flew across the hills. I imagined it to be the train going round. Silence prevailed throughout the ship. Tonight there was no soughing of waves. In this immense silence, I was struck by the idea, “If only Mother were here with me now…”. Beijing leapt clearly into my mind.

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