巷，是城市建筑艺术中一篇飘逸恬静 〔1〕 的散文，一幅古雅冲淡的图画。
The lane, in terms of the art of urban architecture, is like a piece of prose of gentle gracefulness or a painting of classic elegance and simplicity.
这种巷，常在江南的小城市中 〔2〕 ，有如古代的少女，躲在僻静的深闺，轻易不肯抛头露面。你要在这种城市里住久了，和它真正成了莫逆，你才有机会看见她，接触到她优娴贞静的风度。它不是乡村的陋巷 〔3〕 ，湫隘破败 〔4〕 ，泥泞坎坷，杂草乱生，两旁还排列着错落的粪缸。它不是上海的里弄，鳞次栉比的人家，拥挤得喘不过气；小贩憧憧来往，黝暗的小门边，不时走出一些趿着拖鞋的女子，头发乱似临风飞舞的秋蓬 〔5〕 ，眼睛里网满红丝，脸上残留着不调和的隔夜脂粉，颓然 〔6〕 地走到老虎灶上去提水。也不像北地的胡同，满目尘土，风起处刮着弥天的黄沙。
Often tucked away in a small town south of the Yangtse River, the lane, like a maiden of ancient times hidden away in a secluded boudoir, is reluctant to make its appearance in public. You’ll never have an opportunity to see it and savour its gentle poise until you have become truly attached to the small town after living there for a long time. The lane has nothing in common with the mean rural alleys, which are narrow and low-lying, muddy and bumpy, overgrown with wild weeds and lined here and there with manure vats. Nor has it anything in common with lilong (meaning alleys) in Shanghai, which are literally packed with dwellings and their residents. Over there, you’ll see vendors hawking their wares here and there. From time to time, women are seen emerging from inside some dingy small gates and shuffling languidly in their slippers towards a laohuzao, the shop specializing in selling boiled water, their hair dishevelled like windblown withered grass in autumn, their eyes blood-shot, their faces betraying traces of overnight make-up. Nor had the lane anything in common with hutong (also meaning alleys) in North China, which are dusty on every side, especially when a wind rises.
这种小巷，隔绝了市廛的红尘，却又不是乡村的风味。它又深又长，一个人耐心静静走去，要老半天才走完。它又这么曲折，你望着前面，好像已经堵塞了 〔7〕 ，可是走了过去，一转弯，依然是巷陌深深，而且更加幽静。那里常是寂寂的，寂寂的 〔8〕 ，不论什么时候，你向巷中踅去，都如宁静的黄昏，可以清晰地听到自己的足音。不高不矮的围墙挡在两边，斑斑驳驳的苔痕，墙上挂着一串串苍翠欲滴的藤萝，简直像古朴的屏风。墙里常是人家的竹园，修竹森森，天籁细细 〔9〕 ；春来时还常有几枝娇艳的桃花杏花，娉娉婷婷，从墙头殷勤地摇曳红袖，向行人招手。走过几家墙门，都是紧紧关着，不见一个人影，因为那都是人家的后门。偶然躺着一只狗，但是决不会对你狺狺地狂吠。
The lane, though cut off from the hustle and bustle of busy cities, does not taste of the countryside at all. It is long and deep, so it will take you a long while to walk patiently and quietly through it from end to end. It is also so winding that it seems to be a blind alley when you look far ahead, but if you keep walking until you take a turning, you’ll find it again lying endless and still more quiet. There is nothing but stillness there. At any hour of day, you can even distinctly hear in the dusk-like quiet your own footsteps. On either side of the lane stand enclosing walls of medium height, which, moss-covered and hung with clusters of fresh green wistaria, look almost like screens of primitive simplicity. Inside the walls are residents’ gardens with dense groves of tall bamboos as well as soft sounds of nature. In spring, beautiful peach and apricot blossoms atop the walls, like graceful girls waving their red sleeves, will sway hospitably to beckon the pedestrians. You’ll find the doors in the walls close shut without a soul in sight because they are back doors to some households. Occasionally, you may come upon a dog lying there, which, however, never gives a bark at you.
小巷的动人处就是它无比的悠闲。无论谁，只要你到巷里去踯躅一会，你的心情就会如巷尾不波的古井，那是一种和平的静穆，而不是阴森和肃杀 〔10〕 。它闹中取静，别有天地，仍是人间。它可能是一条现代的乌衣巷 〔11〕 ，家家有自己的一本哀乐帐，一部兴衰史，可是重门叠户，讳莫如深，夕阳影里，野花闲草，燕子低飞，寻觅归家。只是一片澄明如水的气氛，净化一切，笼罩一切，使人忘忧。
The charm of the lane lies in its absolute serenity. No matter who you are, if you loiter around in the lane for a while, your mind will become as unruffled as the ancient well at the end of the lane. There you will experience a kind of peaceful calmness rather than gloomy sternness. There reigns peace and quiet in the midst of noisy bustle. It is a world of its own on earth. It may be a modern version of Wu Yi Xiang, a special residential area of nobility in the Jin Dynasty southeast of today’s Nanjing, where each family, secluded behind closed doors, has its own covered-up story of joys and sorrows, and rise and decline. When the sun is setting, swallows will fly low over wild flowers and grass on their way to their nests. The all-pervading and all-purifying atmosphere of water-like placidness makes one forget all cares and worries.
你是否觉得劳生草草 〔12〕 ，身心两乏？我劝你工余之暇，常到小巷里走走，那是最好的将息，会使你消除疲劳，紧张的心弦得到调整。你如果有时情绪烦燥，心情悒郁，我劝你到小巷里负手行吟一阵，你一定会豁然开朗，怡然自得，物我两忘。你有爱人吗？我建议不要带了她去什么名园胜景，还是利用晨昏时节，到深巷中散散步。在那里，你们俩可以随便谈谈，心贴得更近，在街上那种贪婪的睨视，恶意的斜觑，巷里是没有的；偶然呀的一声，墙门口显现出一个人影，又往往是深居简出 〔13〕 的姑娘，看见你们，会娇羞地返身回避了。
Aren’t you weighed down with cares in this life of hard toil and exhausted physically and mentally? I would like to advise you often to take a walk in the lane in your off-duty hours. That is the best way to take a rest. It will dissipate your fatigue and relieve your nervous tension. When you are fidgety or depressed, go to the lane and wander around reciting or composing poems with your hands crossed behind your back. You will then suddenly fall into a bright mood and enjoy inner peace, forgetting both yourself and the external world. Don’t you have a sweetheart? Let me suggest that, instead of accompanying her on a visit to a famous park or scenic spot, you take her with you for a stroll in the lane at dawn or dusk. Over there, you two can chat freely and with even deeper affection, free from greedy sidelong glances or malicious squints such as you often meet with in busy streets. Suddenly, at a creaking sound, there may appear a figure by a door — usually an unsophisticated young girl. She will, at the sight of you, withdraw coyly into the house.
巷，是人海汹汹中的一道避风塘，给人带来安全感；是城市暄嚣扰攘中的一带洞天幽境 〔14〕 ，胜似皇家的阁道 〔15〕 ，便于平常百姓徘徊徜徉。
The lane is a safe haven for those struggling in the turbulent sea of humans to enjoy a sense of security. It is a heavenly abode in the midst of confusion. Unlike the erstwhile plank-paved path used exclusively by the imperial family for their vehicles to move on smoothly, the lane is a place for the common people to roam about leisurely.
Those who strive after fame and gain, and haggle over every penny, please go to the downtown area! Those who are sharp-tongued and quarrelsome, please go to the teahouse or restaurant! Those who love deafening gongs and drums as well as noisy wind and string instruments, please go to the opera house or theatre! Those who are given to profound meditation and a quiet life without worldly desires, welcome to the lane!
〔1〕 “飘逸恬静”译为gentle gracefulness，把原文两个并列形容词转变为英语“定语＋抽象名词”的形式，内容不变。这是文学翻译时的常用方法。
〔2〕 “常在江南的小城市中”译为Often tucked away in a small town south of the Yangtse River，其中动词短语to tuck away作“使隐藏”、“把……置放在隐蔽的地方”解，是添加成分，原文虽无其词而有其意。
〔3〕 “它不是乡村的陋巷”意即“它和乡村的陋巷不同”，因此全句译为The lane has nothing in common with the mean rural alleys，其中成语in common的意思是“共同”。
〔4〕 “湫隘破败”译为narrow and low-lying，未交代“破败”，因它的意思已包含在句中“陋”、“坎坷”等形容词中。但如照译不误，也无不可：narrow, low-lying and in bad condition (out of repair)。
〔5〕 “头发乱似临风飞舞的秋蓬”中的“蓬”是一种草，即“蓬蒿”，秋时干枯，临风飞舞，现将此句译为dishevelled like wind-blown withered grass in autumn。
〔7〕 “好像已经堵塞了”意即“好像是死胡同”，故译为it seems to be a blind alley。
〔8〕 “那里常是寂寂的，寂寂的”语气强调，故相应译为There is nothing but stillness there。
〔9〕 “修竹森森，天籁细细”中的“修”作“高”解；“森森”作“茂密”解；“天籁”作“自然界的音响”解。两句一并译为dense groves of tall bamboos as well as soft sounds of nature。
〔10〕 “阴森和肃杀”译为gloomy sternness，也是把原文两个并列形容词转化为英语“定语＋抽象名词”的形式。
〔11〕 “乌衣巷”在今南京市东南，东晋时为望族居住的地方，现采取释义法把它译为Wu Yi Xiang, a special residential area of nobility in the Jin Dynasty southeast of today’s Nanjing。
〔12〕 “你是否觉得劳生草草”中的“劳生”作“辛劳的生活”解；“草草”作“忧虑”解。现全句译为Aren’t you weighed down with cares in this life of hard toil…，其中动词短语to weigh down作“使苦恼”解。
〔14〕 “洞天幽境”中的“洞天”本指上天群仙居住之处，现按“超凡的住所”把全文译为heavenly abode。
〔15〕 “阁道”指古代皇家楼阁之间以木架空的通道，现以释义法把它译为the erstwhile plank-paved path used exclusively by the imperial family for their vehicles to move smoothly。打赏