陶傑:The Second Coming

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圖片來源:路透社
圖片來源:路透社

法國尼斯恐怖襲擊,土耳其軍隊起義維護伊斯蘭世俗化失敗,南海問題裁決之後引起中國民族主義極右情緒⋯⋯西方文明陷入不止是冷戰以來最大的危機,而且生存也有問題。
一百年前的愛爾蘭詩人葉慈(WB Yeats)早有預言。他的名詩 The Second Coming 流傳甚盛。這首詩預測了邪惡勢力高漲,基督教預言中的末日審判,到底是耶穌重臨,還是撒旦回歸?葉慈表示悲觀:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

漩渦在擴大,土崩瓦解,西方文明的中央失去了向心,無政府主義降臨。

尼斯的法國人慶祝國慶而遇襲,正是 The ceremony of innocence is drowned。自由世界的領袖六神無主:The best lack all conviction, 邪惡的氣燄極為囂張:while the worst are full of passionate intensity。葉慈準確的預示,令人怵然以驚:

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

黑暗重臨,二千年石頭般的啞眠,在搖籃裏融入夢魘。一頭猛獸的時辰到了,一步步向伯利恆進逼,即將降生。那是何等的一種復興?

葉慈沒有講明白,由讀者自行領悟。讀文學不會令人暴富,如果讀通,可以趨吉避凶。