Raul, consider this a postscript to the memories you wrote about today, and which I read tonight. Years ago, years ago… those last three hours of our first journey together, when you, my darling Raul, and dear sleeping A. Bettik and I flew the dropship southwest toward Taliesin West and my long apprenticeship there, I longed to tell you everything that day—the dreams that showed us being lovers of whom the poets would sing, visions of the great dangers that lay ahead, dreams of the discovery of friends, dreams of the deaths of friends, certainty of unspeakable sorrow to be borne, certainty of unimaginable triumphs still unborn.

I said nothing.

Do you remember? We dozed during our flight. How strange life is that way… our last few hours alone together, this ending to one of the most intimate periods of our life together, the end of my childhood and the beginning of our time as equals, and we spent most of our last minutes sleeping. In separate couches. Life is brutal that way… the loss of irrecoverable moments amid trivia and distraction.

But we were tired. It had been a rough few days.

As the dropship was beginning to descend over the southwestern desert toward Taliesin West and my new life, I took a page from my soiled journal—it had survived the water and flames when most of my clothing had not—and wrote a hasty note to you. You were sleeping. Your face was against the vinyl of the acceleration chair and you were drooling slightly. Your eyelashes were burned away, as was a patch of hair at the crown of your head, and the effect was to make you look comical—a clown surprised in the act of sleeping. (We later talked of clowns, remember, Raul? During our Ouster odyssey. You had seen clowns at a circus in Port Romance as a teenager; I had seen clowns in Jacktown during the annual First Settlers Fair.)

The burns and burn ointment we had liberally applied to your cheeks and temples, eyes and upper lip, looked for all the world like clown makeup—red and white. You were beautiful. I loved you then. I loved you backward and forward in time. I loved you beyond boundaries of time and space.

I wrote my note hurriedly, tucked it in what was left of the pocket on your ruined shirt, and kissed you ever so softly on the corner of your mouth, in the one spot that was not burned or salved. You stirred but did not wake. You did not mention the note the next day—nor ever again—and I always wondered if you found it, or if it fell out of the pocket, or was tossed away unread when you threw away the shirt at Taliesin.

The words were my father’s. He wrote them centuries ago. Then he died, was reborn—after a fashion—as a cybrid persona, and died again as a man. But still he lived in essence, his persona roving through metaspace, and eventually leaving Hyperion with the Consul, in the DNA coils of the ship’s AI. His final spoken words to my mother will never be known, despite Uncle Martin’s creative license in the Cantos. But these words were discovered in my mother’s text stylus when she awoke that morning after he left forever, and she kept the original printout for the rest of her life. I know… I used to sneak into her room in Jacktown on Hyperion and read the hurried handwriting on that yellowed slip of vellum, at least once a week from the time I was two.

These were the words that I gave to you with a sleeping kiss that last hour of our last day of our first voyage, my darling Raul. These are the words I leave tonight with a waking kiss. These are the words I will claim from you when I return next, when the tale is complete and our final voyage begins.

A thing of beauty is a joy forever: Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness; but still will keep A bower quiet for us, and a sleep Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

And so, Raul Endymion, until we meet again on your pages, in wild ecstasy, I bid you adieu—

Thou foster-child of silence and slow time, Sylvan historian, who canst thus express A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme: What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape Of deities or mortals, or of both, In Tempe or the tales of Arcady? What men or gods are these? What maidens loth? What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy? For now, my love, I wish you sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.









便笺上的话是我父亲写的。他在几个世纪前写下这些词语。而后他死了又重生了——勉强算是吧——作为一个赛博人格,然后他又作为一个人类死去。但是他本质上还是活着,他的人格漫游于元空间,最终躲在飞船人工智能的DNA线圈中和领事一起离开了海伯利安。谁也不曾知道他最后和我母亲说了什么,无论马丁叔叔在《诗篇》里怎样猜测. 但是便签上的这些词语是母亲在我父亲永远离开的早上发现的,那是她起床在自己的记录板上看到了这些话,她一辈子都留着那份原版。我知道那些话…在海伯利安的杰克镇的时候,我总是溜进她的房间,偷看那牛皮纸上泛黄的笔记,从我两岁开始,至少一周我会去看一次。


一件美好事物永远是一种欢乐: 它的美妙与日俱增;它决不会 化为乌有;而是会使我们永远有 一座幽静的花亭,一个充满美梦, 健康,和匀静的呼吸的睡眠。


 古老的传说,以绿叶为其边缘; 讲着人,或神,敦陂或阿卡狄? 
呵,是怎样的人,或神!在舞乐前 多热烈的追求!少女怎样地逃躲!


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