That is no country for old man.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 fowel,commend all summer long

Whatever is begotten, born ,and dies.

Caught in that sensual music all neglect

Monuments of unaging intellect.

因緣際會,重讀葉慈的航向拜占庭.魯鈍的我,驀然明白了這是一首傷老的詩.距離初次在英國文學課堂上閱讀,已過了三十年.時間務實而殘酷.時候到了,再蠢也懂.豐盈,感官,歡樂......,年輕的本錢恣意揮霍,不屑不敏於前輩的經驗與智慧,再回首已隔著一片汪洋.青春年華彷如前世.關於衰老,我有近距離的觀察.一種可憐可憫,身不由己的狀態.詩人寫得再好不過了:

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.

老人僅能藉由述說豐功偉業來維持自身的尊嚴.而繁瑣的重複徒然令人生厭.

肉身已朽,心已損毀,唯有藝術能讓人重返過去的榮光,流連於年輕的興盛.拜占廷,富裕強盛,金碧輝煌,正是青春無敵的模樣.

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.

唯有藝術不朽:精雕細琢,巧奪天工,冷眼看著一代代的人重複由盛入衰的歷程.剎那即是永恆.芳華正盛的形象封存,全然沒有老這一回事.沒有老就沒有死亡.永恆的藝術遂成為一種救贖.

Once out of nature I shall never take

My bodily form from any natureal thing,

But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make

Of hammered gold and gold enamelling

To keep a drowsay 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.

 

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