YOUTH
by Samuel Ullman (1840-1924)
Youth is not a time of life—it is a state of mind.
It is not a matter of red cheeks, red lips and supple knees.
It is a temper of the will; a quality of the imagination; a vigor of the emotions;
it is a freshness of the deep springs of life.

Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity,
of the appetite for adventure over a life of ease.
This often exists in a man of fifty, more than in a boy of twenty.
Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years;
people grow old by deserting their ideals.

Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.
Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear and despair—
these are the long, long years that bow the head
and turn the growing spirit back to dust.

Whether seventy or sixteen, there is in every being’s heart a love of wonder;
the sweet amazement at the stars and starlike things and thoughts;
the undaunted challenge of events,
the unfailing childlike appetite for what comes next,
and the joy in the game of life.

You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt;
as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear,
as young as your hope, as old as your despair.

In the central place of your heart there is a wireless station.
So long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, grandeur, courage,
and power from the earth, from men and from the Infinite—so long are you young. When the wires are all down and the central places of your heart are covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism,
then are you grown old, indeed!


  青春
  (作者:Samuel Ullman,中譯:陳之藩)
  青春不是人生的一段時光,
  青春是心情的一種狀況。
  青春不是柔美的膝,
  朱紅的唇
  粉嫩的面龐。
  青春是鮮明的情感,
  豐富的想像,
  向上的願望,
  像泉水一樣的清冽
  激揚。

  青春是勇敢戰勝了怯懦
  冒險代替了苟安
  這種心情在二十歲所有的,
  常不如五十之中年。

  歲月並不能使人老邁,
  使人老邁的是捨棄了理想與信念。

  無情的日月可以使皮膚鬆弛下來,
  而使靈魂頹唐的,卻只有熱情上的認敗。

  疑慮與困惑,
  恐懼與絕望,
  失去了自信與對未來的想像,
  才真正是日月循環的折磨,
  壓低了頭,壓彎了背,
  把精神帶上死亡。

  不論是七十,或是十七,
  每個人都有些對世間的好奇。

  天上的星光,無限神秘,
  哲人的思維,別開天地。
  四面圍來的挑戰,
  古今堆起的難題,
  使人像孩子一樣追問、探索。
  像孩子一樣的捕藏,捉迷,
  像孩子一樣的,在遊戲中,
  帶來狂喜。

  你的信仰象徵著你的年輕,
  你的疑慮表現了你的齒增,
  你的希冀描繪出你的茁壯,
  你的絕望刻劃出你的頹齡。

 

  在你心中有一座電台,
  大地上幽美的、勇敢的、有力的聲音
  從八方播來。
  只要你收聽這些青春的消息
  那麼你的青春即是存在。

  當電台的天線一旦塌壞,
  譏諷的冰與悲觀的雪
  在你心靈上層層覆蓋。
  那麼你的青春已逝去,
  你的年齡確已老邁。

 

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