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Chapter 9 Wayfarers All_柳林风声 The Wind in the Willows_双语小说



The Water Rat was restless, and he did not exactly know why.  To all appearance the summer’s pomp was still at fullest height, and although in the tilled acres green had given way to gold, though rowans were reddening, and the woods were dashed here and there with a tawny fierceness, yet light and warmth and colour were still present in undiminished measure, clean of any chilly premonitions of the passing year.  But the constant chorus of the orchards and hedges had shrunk to a casual evensong from a few yet unwearied performers; the robin was beginning to assert himself once more; and there was a feeling in the air of change and departure.  The cuckoo, of course, had long been silent; but many another feathered friend, for months a part of the familiar landscape and its small society, was missing too and it seemed that the ranks thinned steadily day by day.  Rat, ever observant of all winged movement, saw that it was taking daily a southing tendency; and even as he lay in bed at night he thought he could make out, passing in the darkness overhead, the beat and quiver of impatient pinions, obedient to the peremptory call.
河鼠心烦意乱,焦躁不安,也不知究竟因为什么。从表面看,大自然还保持着盛夏欣欣向荣的气象,尽管庄稼地的翠绿已让位给金黄,花楸树变红了,丛林已有多处染上了烈焰般的赤褐,然而光照、气温和色彩依旧没有减退,看不出一年行将逝去的萧瑟迹象。不过,果园里树篱间那弦歌不辍的大合唱已削减,只剩下几个不知疲倦的演唱者,偶尔表演一曲黄昏之歌。知更鸟又开始大出风头。空气里荡漾着一种变迁和别离的意蕴。杜鹃自然早就沉默了,许多别的羽毛界朋友,几个月来一直是这幅熟悉的风景画和那个小小社会的一部分,也逐渐隐没不见,他们的队伍看来正一天天减员。河鼠向来密切关注着所有羽翼界的活动,看到他们正日渐趋向南迁。甚至夜间躺在床上,他也能听出那急于南行的鸟儿们听从造化的指令,扑打着翅膀掠过夜空。

Nature’s Grand Hotel has its Season, like the others.  As the guests one by one pack, pay, and depart, and the seats at the table-d’hote shrink pitifully at each succeeding meal; as suites of rooms are closed, carpets taken up, and waiters sent away; those boarders who are staying on, en pension, until the next year’s full re-opening, cannot help being somewhat affected by all these flittings and farewells, this eager discussion of plans, routes, and fresh quarters, this daily shrinkage in the stream of comradeship.  One gets unsettled, depressed, and inclined to be querulous.  Why this craving for change?  Why not stay on quietly here, like us, and be jolly?  You don’t know this hotel out of the season, and what fun we have among ourselves, we fellows who remain and see the whole interesting year out.  All very true, no doubt the others always reply; we quite envy you—and some other year perhaps—but just now we have engagements— and there’s the bus at the door—our time is up!  So they depart, with a smile and a nod, and we miss them, and feel resentful.  The Rat was a self-sufficing sort of animal, rooted to the land, and, whoever went, he stayed; still, he could not help noticing what was in the air, and feeling some of its influence in his bones.

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