Winter in White Horse Lake by Xia Mianzun ~ 夏丐尊 《白马湖之冬》 with English Translations

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作品原文

夏丐尊 《白马湖之冬》

在我过去四十余年的生涯中,冬的情味尝得最深刻的,要算十年前初移居白湖的时候了。十年以来,白马湖已成了一个小村落,当我移居的时候,还是一片荒野。春晖中学的新建筑巍然矗立于湖的那一面,湖的这一面的山脚下是小小的几间新平屋,住着我和刘君心如两家。此外两三里内没有人野。一家人于阴历十一月下旬从热闹的杭州移居这荒凉的山野,宛如投身于热带中。
那里的风,差不多日日有的,呼呼作响,好像虎吼。屋宇虽系新建,构造却极粗率,风从门窗隙缝中来,分外尖削,把门缝窗隙厚厚地用纸糊了,椽缝中却仍有透入。风刮得厉害的时候,天未夜就把大门关上,全家吃毕夜饭即睡入被窝里,静听寒风的怒号,湖水的澎湃。靠山的小后轩,算是我的书斋,在全屋子中风最少的一间,我常把头上的罗宋帽拉得低低地,在洋灯下工作至夜深。松涛如吼,霜月当窗,饥鼠吱吱在承尘上奔窜。我于这种时候深感到萧瑟的诗趣,常独自拨划着炉灰,不肯就睡,把自己拟诸山水画中的人物,作种种幽邈的遐想。
现在白马湖到处都是树木了,当时尚一株树木都未种。月亮与太阳都是整个儿的,从上山起一直照到下山为止。太阳好的时候,只要不刮风,那真和暖得不像冬天。一家人都坐在庭间曝日,甚至于吃午饭也在屋外,像夏天的晚饭一样。日光晒到哪里,就把椅凳移到哪里,忽然寒风来了,只好逃难似地各自带了椅凳逃入室中,急急把门关上。在平常的日子,风来大概在下午快要傍晚的时候,半夜即息。至于大风寒,那是整日夜狂吼,要二三日才止的。最严寒的几天,泥地看去惨白如水门汀,山色冻得发紫而黯,湖波泛深蓝色。
下雪原是我所不憎厌的,下雪的日子,室内分外明亮,晚上差不多不用燃灯。远山积雪足供半个月的观看,举头即可从窗中望见。可是究竟是南方,每冬下雪不过一二次。我在那里所日常领略的冬的情味,几乎都从风来。白马湖的所以多风,可以说有着地理上的原因。那里环湖都是山,而北首却有一个半里阔的空隙,好似故意张了袋口欢迎风来的样子。白马湖的山水和普通的风景地相差不远,唯有风却与别的地方不同。风的多和大,凡是到过那里的人都知道的。风在冬季的感觉中,自古占着重要的因素,而白马湖的风尤其特别。
现在,一家僦居上海多日了,偶然于夜深人静时听到风声,大家就要提起白马湖来,说“白马湖不知今夜又刮得怎样厉害哩!”

 

 

作品译文

 

Winter in White Horse Lake
Xia Mianzun

I am now over forty, but it was not until ten years ago that I got a feel of what winter was really like soon after I had moved my residence to White Horse Lake, a place beyond my home town. Since then, it has grown into quite a village, but it was an expanse of wilderness at the time when I moved in. The new buildings of Chun Hui Middle School then stood tall on the other side of the Lake while on this side were several newly-built small one-storey houses tucked away at the foot of a mountain where lived two families separately, the family of mine and that of Liu Xinru. The neighborhood was totally unpopulated far and wide except for the two households. Having moved from Hangzhou to this desolate countryside late in the month eleven of the lunar year, we felt like getting bogged down in a polar region.
The wind there blew almost every day, bowling like a tiger’s roaring. The new houses were of poor quality, with a biting wind coming in through every chink in the doors and windows. And our efforts to have all the cracks sealed with paper nevertheless failed to stop it from breaking into the house. When it was very windy, all we could do was to shut the front door before dark and go to bed after supper, listening quietly to the whistling of the sharp wind and the surging of the Lake waters. In the small rear-room close to the mountain, which, least affected by the wind, was my study, I often worked by the light of an oil lamp late into the night, with my woolen cap pulled down, while the pines were singing in the wind, the white moon shining on the window, and hungry rats squeaking and scurrying in the neighborhood of the ceilings. Seized with a poetic mood generated by the scene of bleakness, I would stay up late and sit alone poking the charcoal fire, imaging myself a figure in a traditional Chinese landscape painting and indulging in deep reveries.
White Horse Lake is now rich in vegetation while at that time it was totally treeless. When the sun shone bright on a windless day, it would be nice and warm. The whole family would then sit in the courtyard to bask in the sun, and even have lunch in the open air like we did in summer. Where there was sunshine, there we would move our chairs. When the cold wind came, however, we would scamper indoors like refugees, each carrying a chair or stool and hastily closing the doors behind us. The wind usually began to howl towards evening and last until midnight. In the case of a severe storm, it would rage for two or three days and nights on end. At the height of the bitter cold, the fields would for several days look deathly pale like cement, the mountains would turn dirty purple with cold, and the ripples of the Lake would be of a deep blue.
I had no aversion to snowfall because it was much brightened up my room, so much so that I could almost do without lamplight at night. The distant mountains would remain snow-capped for at least half a month—a scene I could easily enjoy from my window. However, it was a pity that, living in the south, we could have snowfall only once or twice each winter. White Horse Lake is windy for geographical reasons. The place is surrounded by mountains except in the north where there is a gap as wide as one fourth of a kilometer, like the wide open mouth of a bag, ready to accept the wind. It is the wind that differentiates White Horse Lake from other scenic spots. Anybody who has been to the place can tell how frequent and violent the wind is there. The wind has, since time immemorial, been an important factor in characterizing winter, particularly so in White Horse Lake.
Now it is quite a few days since I and my family moved to Shanghai. Whenever the wind blows in the stillness of the night, we will all mention White Horse Lake, saying, “White Horse Lake must be terribly windy tonight!”

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