Youth (青春)

Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.

青春不是生命的一段時間﹐它是一種心理狀態;它不是有關紅顏櫻唇或手靈腳敏﹐而是有關意志﹑想像力的品質﹑豐富的情感﹔它是從生命深處湧出的一股清流。

Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity of the appetite, for adventure over the love of ease. This often exists in a man of sixty more than a boy of twenty. Nobody grows old merely by a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals.

青春是以率性的勇氣凌駕想望的畏懼﹐寧願冒險犯難而不樂於安逸。具備這種精神的往往是六十歲的大人﹐而不是二十歲的小孩。沒有人因歲月的增加而變老,我們因放棄理想而變老。

Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, fear, self-distrust bows the heart and turns the spirit back to dust.

歲月能使皮膚起皺﹐但失去熱情會使靈魂起皺。擔憂﹑恐懼及缺乏信心,會使人灰心喪志及失去精神。

Whether sixty or sixteen, there is in every human being’s heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing child-like appetite of what’s next, and the joy of the game of living. In the center of your heart and my heart there is a wireless station; so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, courage and power from men and from the infinite, so long are you young.

六十歲也好﹐十六歲也好﹐人心都會被奇異的事物所吸引、都肯定存有如小孩對未來的想像、都有遊戲人間的喜悅。在你我心中都有一個無線電台﹐只要它從人間或宇宙的無盡之處收到美麗﹑希望﹑欣喜﹑勇氣及力量的訊號﹐你就會是年輕的。

When the aerials are down, and your spirit is covered with snows of cynicism and the ice of pessimism, then you are grown old, even at twenty, but as long as your aerials are up, to catch the waves of optimism, there is hope you may die young at eighty.

當天線下垂,而你的精神被憤世悲觀的冰雪所覆蓋時﹐那麼你就老了﹐哪怕你只有二十歲﹔但只要你的天線向上去捕捉樂觀的聲波﹐你便有希望以年輕的心境在八十歲逝世。

Samuel Ullman, Poet
塞繆爾.烏爾曼 (詩人)

塞繆爾.烏爾曼 (1840-1924) 生於一個德國的猶太人家庭,11 歲時移居美國,70 多歲才開始寫作,其中以本詩《青春》最為知名。美國麥克阿瑟將軍成為二次世界大戰盟軍最高指揮官時,這首詩就在他日本東京的辦公室的牆上,做為自己的座右銘,並經常引用在其演講裡。

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