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#47: A National Anthem Is Born From the War of 1812

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Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION – American history in VOA Special English.

As we described last week, British forces attacked Washington in the summer of eighteen fourteen. They burned the Capitol building, the White House and other public buildings before withdrawing to their ships in the Chesapeake Bay. Today, Harry Monroe and Maurice Joyce tell the story of how a British attack on Fort McHenry in the port of Baltimore led to "The Star-Spangled Banner," America's national anthem.

1814年夏天,英军入侵美国首都华盛顿,放火焚烧了国会、白宫和其他一些政府大楼,然后撤回切萨皮克湾。今天我们就来讲讲美国国歌“星条旗”诞生的故事。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

British General Robert Ross and Admiral Sir George Cockburn led the attack on Washington. They planned next to attack Baltimore. But the people of Baltimore expected the attack, and began to prepare for it. Fifty thousand of them built defenses around the city.

英军统帅罗伯特.罗斯和海军上将乔治.科伯恩火烧华盛顿后,下一个进攻目标是巴尔的摩。但是巴尔的摩五十万居民积极备战,在城市四周构筑了防御工事。

The port of Baltimore was protected by Fort McHenry. The guns and cannon of the fort could prevent British ships from reaching the city.

巴尔地的摩港口在麦克亨利堡的保护之下,麦克亨利堡的大炮可以抵挡英军舰队。

VOICE TWO:

The British began with a land attack against Baltimore. General Ross, Admiral Cockburn, and about four thousand British soldiers landed at North Point, a finger of land reaching into the Chesapeake Bay.

From North Point, it was a march of about twenty-two kilometers to Baltimore. The march began about seven in the morning. General Ross and Admiral Cockburn stopped their men after an hour. The two commanders and several of their officers rode to a nearby farmhouse and forced the family living there to give them breakfast.

英军首先对巴尔的摩发动地面攻击。英军统帅罗斯和科伯恩率领一支大约四千人的部队,在距离巴尔的摩大约22公里的地方登陆,大约早上七点开始向巴尔的摩进发。行军一小时后,罗斯和科伯恩下令休息。他们率领部下骑马到附近的一个农场上,要求住家为他们提供早餐。

When the British officers had finished eating, the farmer asked General Ross where the British were going. "To Baltimore," answered Ross. The farmer told Ross that he might have some difficulty getting there, because of the city's strong defenses. "I will eat supper in Baltimore...or in hell," answered the British general.

饭后,这户农民问罗斯将军要到哪里去。罗斯回答说,“巴尔的摩”。农民警告罗斯说,巴尔地摩防守严密,固若金汤。罗斯回答说,“今天的晚饭不是在巴尔的摩吃,就是在地狱。”

VOICE ONE:

Ross and Cockburn moved far in front of the British forces. A group of several hundred Americans opened fire on the British officers. Ross was hit and died soon afterwards.

罗斯和科伯恩快马加鞭,把大部队远远落在了后面,谁知中途遭遇了一股几百人的美军部队,罗斯被美军击中,不久就命丧黄泉。

The battle at Fort McHenry
The battle at Fort McHenry

The Americans retreated, but slowed the progress of the British soldiers. It was late the next day before the British force arrived to face the army of Americans near Baltimore. The Americans were on high ground and had about one hundred cannon to fire down on the British. The British commander ordered his men to rest for the night. He sent a message to the British warships to attack the city with guns and mortars. Such an attack, he felt, might cause the Americans to fall back.

这场遭遇战结束后美军后撤。他们有效延缓了英军的进程。直到第二天晚上,英军部队才在巴尔的摩附近跟美军碰面。美军占据高地,一百门火炮直对着英军部队。英军指挥官下令部队安营扎寨,并向英国战舰传递消息,要求他们炮轰巴尔的摩,希望炮火能迫使美军后撤。

But the British ships already had been firing since early morning at Fort McHenry. The British guns were more powerful than those of the fort. This let the ships fire from so far away that the American guns could not hit them.

其实,英军战舰一大早就已经开始攻打麦克亨利堡了。英国的火炮比美国射程远,能从美国火炮打不到的地方发动进攻。

Shells and bombs from British mortars fell like rain over Fort McHenry. But few Americans in the fort were hurt or killed. Most of the rockets and shells exploded in the air or missed. Many of them failed to explode.

英军的炮弹象雨点一样飞来,但是麦克亨利堡里的美国人却没有多少伤亡。英国的火炮大部分都在半空爆炸,或是错过了目标,还有不少没有爆炸的哑弹。

VOICE TWO:

On a tall staff from the center of the fort flew a large American flag. The flag could be seen by the soldiers defending the city and by the British warships. The flag also was seen by a young American. His name was Francis Scott Key.

麦克亨利堡中心的一个旗杆上,飘扬着一面巨大的美国国旗。守城官兵和攻城的英军都能清楚地看到。关心这面旗帜命运的另外还有一个年轻人,他就是弗朗西斯.斯科特.克伊。

Key was a lawyer who once had thought of giving his life to religious work. He was a poet and writer. Key opposed war. But he loved his country and joined the army in Washington to help defend it.

克伊是律师、诗人和作家,以前还曾想去当牧师。克伊反对战争,但是他热爱自己的国家,并参军卫国。

When the British withdrew from Washington, they took with them an American doctor, Wiliam Beanes. Key knew Beanes. And he asked President Madison to request the British commander to release the doctor. President Madison wrote such a request, and Key agreed to carry it to Admiral Cockburn.

英军从华盛顿撤走时,带走了美国医生威廉.比恩斯。克伊认识比恩斯,因此请麦迪逊总统出面,要求英军统帅释放比恩斯。克伊同意带着麦迪逊的亲笔信去见科伯恩将军。

Key also carried letters from wounded British soldiers in American hospitals. In one of the letters, a British soldier told of the excellent medical care he was being given.

克伊随身还带去了英军伤员的书信。其中一个伤员在信中说,他在美国医院里得到了很好的治疗和照顾。

Cockburn agreed to free the doctor after he read the reports of good medical care given his wounded men. But Cockburn would not permit Key, the doctor, or a man who came with Key to return to land until after the attack.

科伯恩得知这种情况后,同意释放美国医生比恩斯,但是一定要等进攻结束后才行。

VOICE ONE:

Francis Scott Key
Francis Scott Key

Francis Scott Key watched as the shells and rockets began to fall on Fort McHenry.

"I saw the flag of my country," Key said later, "waving over a city -- the strength and pride of my native state. I watched the enemy prepare for his assault. I heard the sound of battle. The noise of the conflict fell upon my listening ear. It told me that the `brave and the free' had met the invaders."

克伊眼睁睁地看着炮弹象雨点般飞向麦克亨利堡。他后来说,“我看到国旗在城市上空飘扬,象征着祖国的力量和骄傲。我看到敌人准备进攻,听到炮火声,冲突的嘈杂充斥了我的双耳,我知道,‘自由的勇士’跟入侵者交火了。”

All through the rainy day, the attack continued. Doctor Beanes, watching with Key, had difficulty seeing the flag. He kept asking Key if the "stars and stripes" still flew above the fort. Until dark, Key could still see it. After then, he could only hope.

雨整整下了一天,英军的进攻也始终没有中断。比恩斯医生看不清城堡上空的旗帜,所以不断询问克伊,“星条旗”是否还在麦克亨利堡的上空飘扬。天黑前,克伊一直能看到飘舞的国旗,但是夜幕降临后,他们只能在黑暗中期盼了。

VOICE TWO:

Britain tried to land another force of men near the fort. But the Americans heard the boats and fired at them. The landing failed. Shells and rockets continued to rain down on Fort McHenry. At times, the fort's cannon answered. And Key knew the Americans had not surrendered.

与此同时,英军派遣另外一股部队在麦克亨利堡附近登陆,但是美国人听到了船只的动静,开枪射击,英国部队无功而返。英军继续炮轰麦克亨利堡,有时也能断断续续地听到美军的炮火声。克伊因此知道,美国人并没有投降。

The British land force east of Baltimore spent most of the night trying to keep dry. Commanders could not decide if they should attack or retreat. Finally, orders came from the admiral: "Withdraw to your ships." A land attack against Baltimore's defenses would not be attempted.

巴尔的摩以东的英军地面部队在雨中渡过了大半夜。英军指挥官无法决定是进攻还是撤退。最后,海军上将科伯恩下令,让他们“撤回战舰”,取消对巴尔的摩的地面进攻。

At first light of morning, British shells were still bursting in the air over the fort. The flag had holes in it from the British shells. But it still flew. The British shelling stopped at seven o'clock. Key took an old letter from his pocket and wrote a poem about what he had seen.

佛晓时分,英军炮弹继续在麦克亨利堡上空穿梭,但是弹痕累累的美国国旗,仍旧高高飘扬。英军的炮击早上七点钟结束。克伊掏出口袋里的一份旧信,即兴写出了下面这首诗。

VOICE ONE:

Francis Scott Key's original copy of his
Francis Scott Key's original copy of his "Star-Spangled Banner" poem. It is now on display at the Maryland Historical Society.

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light

啊!在晨曦初现时,你可看见

What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?

是什么让我们如此骄傲?

Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight

在黎明的最后一道曙光中欢呼,

O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?

是谁的旗帜在激战中始终高扬!

And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

烈火熊熊,炮声隆隆,

Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

我们看到要塞上那面英勇的旗帜,在黑暗过后依然耸立!

Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave

啊!你说那星条旗是否会静止,

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

在自由的土地上飘舞,在勇者的家园上飞扬?

For more than one hundred years, Americans sang this song and remembered the attack at Fort McHenry. In nineteen thirty-one, Congress made the "Star-Spangled Banner" the national anthem of the United States.

100多年里,美国人每次唱起这首歌,都会想到麦克亨利堡受到攻击的悲壮场面。1931年,美国国会宣布,“星条旗”为美国国歌。

VOICE TWO:

The unsuccessful British attack on Baltimore was followed by news that Britain also had suffered a defeat to the north.

英军进攻巴尔的摩失败后,北方战线也传来了噩耗。

British General Sir George Prevost led eleven thousand soldiers south from Montreal to New York. At Plattsburgh, on the western shore of Lake Champlain, his army was opposed by less than four thousand Americans. General Prevost believed he should get control of the lake before moving against the American defenders.

英国将军乔治.普雷沃斯特率领一万一千人从加拿大的蒙特利尔南下,向纽约挺进,途中,在尚普兰湖西岸的普拉茨堡遭遇了一支不到四千人的美军部队。普雷沃斯特觉得,应该先拿下尚普兰湖的控制权,再去对付美国守兵。

He requested the support of four British ships and about ten gunboats. A group of American ships of about the same size also entered the lake. In a fierce battle, the American naval force sank the British ships. The large land army of Prevost decided not to attack without naval support. The eleven- thousand British soldiers turned around and marched back to Montreal.

他要求四艘英国战舰和大约十艘炮艇支援。结果,一支规模相当的美国海军在尚普兰湖上跟英军展开激战,击沉了英军战舰,普雷沃斯特率领的地面部队决定放弃进攻计划,一万一千人的部队掉头返回蒙特利尔。

VOICE ONE:

By the time these battles of eighteen f ourteen had been fought, the two sides already had agreed to discuss peace. The peace talks began in the summer at Ghent, in Belgium.

1814年战火纷飞的时候,英美双方已经同意和谈。谈判夏天在比利时城市根特举行。

The British at first were in no hurry to sign a peace treaty. They believed that their forces would be able to capture parts of the United States.

英国起初希望拖延时间,因为他们相信,英军一定能占领美国的部分地区。

Britain demanded as a condition for peace that the United States give large areas of its northwest to the Indians. It also said America must give Canada other areas along the border. And Britain would not promise to stop seizing American seamen and putting them in the British navy.

英国人提出条件,要求美国将西北大部分地区让给印第安人,还要把美国和加拿大交界处的一些地区划拨给加拿大,但是英国拒绝保证不再扣押美国海员,让他们为英国海军服役。

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

British policy at the peace talks changed after the battles of Baltimore and Plattsburgh. That will be our story next week. Join us each week for THE MAKING OF A NATION – an American history series in VOA Special English.

不过,巴尔的摩和普拉茨堡战役的失败,使英国不得不改变了谈判的立场。

(Star-Spangled Banner)

网友的学习评论(2条):
作者:xuding45
The war between Britain and U.S.A continued and the national anthem was born from the war of 1812. British soldiers atttacked many citices, but they were defeated by the Amercian force. At that time Britain and America began to discuss peace.
作者:Alumni
the national anthem of America was born from the war between Britian and America in 1812. Francis Scptt Key, who experienced the war, wrote it, being moved by the waving flag even from Bristish shells and bombs falling like rain over Fort McHenry.
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