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托马斯·德·昆西（Thomas De Quincey，1785-1859年），英国散文家。他的散文作品热情洋溢，经常达到语气庄重，韵律优美如诗的效果，与弥尔顿等伟大诗人的作品相似。在这方面，他的代表作《一个吸食鸦片者的自白》（Confessions of an English Opium Eater）表现突出，其中最动人的篇章就来自作者吸食鸦片后所产生的狂热梦境。德·昆西写了很多散文作品，题材涉及文学、哲学、神学、政治学等领域。
Sweet funeral bells from some incalculable distance, wailing over the dead that die before the dawn, awakened me as I slept in a boat moored to some familiar shore.
The morning twilight even then was breaking; and, by the dusky revelations which it spread, I saw a girl, adorned with a garland of white roses about her head for some great festival, running along the solitarystrand in extremity of haste. Her running was the running of panic; and often she looked back as to some dreadful enemy in the rear. But when I leaped ashore, and followed in her steps to warn her of a peril in front, alas! from me she fled as from another peril, and vainly I shouted to her of quicksands that lay ahead. Faster and faster she ran; round a promontory of rocks she wheeled out of sight; in an instant I also wheeled round it, but only to see the treacherous sands gathering above her head. Already her person was buried; only the fair young head and the diadem of white roses around it were still visible to the pitying heavens; and, last of all, was visible one white marble arm. I saw by the early twilight this fair young head, as it was sinking down to darkness—saw this marble arm, as it rose above her head and her treacherous grave, tossing, faltering, rising, clutching, as at some false deceiving hand stretched out from the clouds—saw this marble arm uttering her dying hope, and then uttering her dying despair. The head, the diadem, the arm, —these all had sunk; at last over these also the cruel quicksand had closed; and no memorial of the fair young girl remained on earth, except my own solitary tears, and the funeral bells from the desert seas that, rising again more softly, sang a requiem over the grave of the buried child, and over her blighted dawn.
I sat, and wept in secret the tears that men have ever given to the memory of those that died before the dawn, and by the treachery of earth, our mother. But the tears and funeral bells were hushed suddenly by a shout as of many nations, and by a roar as from some great king’s artillery advancing rapidly along the valleys, and heard afar by its echoes among the mountains. “Hush!” I said, as I bent my ear earthwards to listen—“hush!—this either is the very anarchy of strife, or else”—and then I listened more profoundly, and said as I raised my head—“or else, oh heavens! It is victory that swallows up all strife.”
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