On Children 《关于孩子》

Kahlil Gibran 纪伯伦, 1883-1931。黎巴嫩-美国诗人、作家、哲学家、艺术家。青年时随家人移民美国,开始学习艺术,并开始用英语和阿拉伯语创作。这首散文诗收录于纪伯伦代表作《先知》,初版于1923年,至今已被译成40几种文字,再版超过80次。看了这首散文诗的不少中文译本,我都不满意,所以试着自己翻译如下:

Your children are not your children.
你们的孩子,其实并非你们的孩子。
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
他们是生命自身渴望而生的儿女。
They come through you but not from you,
他们借你们来到世上,却非来自于你们。
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
他们和你们在一起,但却并不属于你们。

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
你们可以给他们予你们的爱,而非你们的想法,
For they have their own thoughts.
因为他们会有自己的想法。
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
你们可以安置的是他们的身体,而非他们的灵魂,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
因为他们的灵魂居住在明天,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
是你们即便在梦中也无法拜访的明天。
You may strive to be like them,
你们可以努力变得像他们一样,
but seek not to make them like you.
但请不要把他们变得和你们相像。
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
因为生命不可倒行,亦不在昨日止步。

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
你们是弓,而孩子是弓弦上待发的活箭。
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
射手遥望着无尽路上的标靶,
and He bends you with His might
他竭尽全力将弓拉开
that His arrows may go swift and far.
好使他的箭射得又快又远。
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
你们应在射手的掌中欣然被弯,
For even as he loves the arrow that flies,
因为射手既爱那疾飞的箭头,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
也一样爱这持久稳定的弓。

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