6篇最适合暑假背诵的英语美文,全部摘自权威媒体,语言地道

以下英语美文的精美段落全部摘选自英文网站、权威报纸、名人演讲稿和大学教材,语言地道,适合背诵,如果学会举一反三,就能迅速提高英语作文水平和口头表达能力。

1

Youth 青春

Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.

Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease. This often exists in a man of 60 more than a boy of 20. Nobody grows old merely by a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals.

Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, fear, self-distrust bows the heart and turns the spirit back to dust.

Whether 60 or 16, there is in every human being’s heart the lure of wonders, the unfailing appetite for what’s next and the joy of the game of living. In the center of your heart and my heart, there is a wireless station; so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, courage and power from man and from the infinite, so long as you are young.

When your aerials are down, and your spirit is covered with snows of cynicism and the ice of pessimism, then you’ve grown old, even at 20; but as long as your aerials are up, to catch waves of optimism, there’s hope you may die young at 80.

译文: 青春

青春不是年华,而是心境;青春不是桃面、丹唇、柔膝,而是深沉的意志,恢宏的想象,炙热的恋情;青春是生命的深泉在涌流。

青春气贯长虹,勇锐盖过怯弱,进取压倒苟安。如此锐气,二十后生而有之,六旬男子则更多见。年岁有加,并非垂老,理想丢弃,方堕暮年。

岁月悠悠,衰微只及肌肤;热忱抛却,颓废必致灵魂。忧烦,惶恐,丧失自信,定使心灵扭曲,意气如灰。

无论年届花甲,拟或二八芳龄,心中皆有生命之欢乐,奇迹之诱惑,孩童般天真久盛不衰。人人心中皆有一台天线,只要你从天上人间接受美好、希望、欢乐、勇气和力量的信号,你就青春永驻,风华常存。、

一旦天线下降,锐气便被冰雪覆盖,玩世不恭、自暴自弃油然而生,即使年方二十,实已垂垂老矣;然则只要树起天线,捕捉乐观信号,你就有望在八十高龄告别尘寰时仍觉年轻。

2

Three Days to See(Excerpts)

假如给我三天光明(节选)

All of us have read thrilling stories in which the hero had only a limited and specified time to live. Sometimes it was as long as a year, sometimes as short as 24 hours. But always we were interested in discovering just how the doomed hero chose to spend his last days or his last hours. I speak, of course, of free men who have a choice, not condemned criminals whose sphere of activities is strictly delimited.

Such stories set us thinking, wondering what we should do under similar circumstances. What events, what experiences, what associations should we crowd into those last hours as mortal beings, what regrets?

Sometimes I have thought it would be an excellent rule to live each day as if we should die tomorrow. Such an attitude would emphasize sharply the values of life. We should live each day with gentleness, vigor and a keenness of appreciation which are often lost when time stretches before us in the constant panorama of more days and months and years to come. There are those, of course, who would adopt the Epicurean motto of “Eat, drink, and be merry”. But most people would be chastened by the certainty of impending death.

In stories the doomed hero is usually saved at the last minute by some stroke of fortune, but almost always his sense of values is changed. He becomes more appreciative of the meaning of life and its permanent spiritual values. It has often been noted that those who live, or have lived, in the shadow of death bring a mellow sweetness to everything they do.

Most of us, however, take life for granted. We know that one day we must die, but usually we picture that day as far in the future. When we are in buoyant health, death is all but unimaginable. We seldom think of it. The days stretch out in an endless vista. So we go about our petty tasks, hardly aware of our listless attitude toward life.

The same lethargy, I am afraid, characterizes the use of all our faculties and senses. Only the deaf appreciate hearing, only the blind realize the manifold blessings that lie in sight. Particularly does this observation apply to those who have lost sight and hearing in adult life. But those who have never suffered impairment of sight or hearing seldom make the fullest use of these blessed faculties. Their eyes and ears take in all sights and sounds hazily, without concentration and with little appreciation. It is the same old story of not being grateful for what we have until we lose it, of not being conscious of health until we are ill.

I have often thought it would be a blessing if each human being were stricken blind and deaf for a few days at some time during his early adult life. Darkness would make him more appreciative of sight; silence would teach him the joys of sound.

译文: 假如给我三天光明(节选)

我们都读过震撼人心的故事,故事中的主人公只能再活一段很有限的时光,有时长达一年,有时却短至一日。但我们总是想要知道,注定要离世人的会选择如何度过自己最后的时光。当然,我说的是那些有选择权利的自由人,而不是那些活动范围受到严格限定的死囚。

这样的故事让我们思考,在类似的处境下,我们该做些什么?作为终有一死的人,在临终前的几个小时内我们应该做什么事,经历些什么或做哪些联想?回忆往昔,什么使我们开心快乐?什么又使我们悔恨不已?

有时我想,把每天都当作生命中的最后一天来边,也不失为一个极好的生活法则。这种态度会使人格外重视生命的价值。我们每天都应该以优雅的姿态,充沛的精力,抱着感恩之心来生活。但当时间以无休止的日,月和年在我们面前流逝时,我们却常常没有了这种子感觉。当然,也有人奉行“吃,喝,享受”的享乐主义信条,但绝大多数人还是会受到即将到来的死亡的惩罚。

在故事中,将死的主人公通常都在最后一刻因突降的幸运而获救,但他的价值观通常都会改变,他变得更加理解生命的意义及其永恒的精神价值。我们常常注意到,那些生活在或曾经生活在死亡阴影下的人无论做什么都会感到幸福。

然而,我们中的大多数人都把生命看成是理所当然的。我们知道有一天我们必将面对死亡,但总认为那一天还在遥远的将来。当我们身强体健之时,死亡简直不可想象,我们很少考虑到它。日子多得好像没有尽头。因此我们一味忙于琐事,几乎意识不到我们对待生活的冷漠态度。

我担心同样的冷漠也存在于我们对自己官能和意识的运用上。只有聋子才理解听力的重要,只有盲人才明白视觉的可贵,这尤其适用于那些成年后才失去视力或听力之苦的人很少充分利用这些宝贵的能力。他们的眼睛和耳朵模糊地感受着周围的景物与声音,心不在焉,也无所感激。这正好我们只有在失去后才懂得珍惜一样,我们只有在生病后才意识到健康的可贵。

我经常想,如果每个人在年轻的时候都有几天失时失聪,也不失为一件幸事。黑暗将使他更加感激光明,寂静将告诉他声音的美妙。

3

Companionship of Books

以书为伴

A man may usually be known by the books he reads as well as by the company he keeps; for there is a companionship of books as well as of men; and one should always live in the best company, whether it be of books or of men.

A good book may be among the best of friends. It is the same today that it always was, and it will never change. It is the most patient and cheerful of companions. It does not turn its back upon us in times of adversity or distress. It always receives us with the same kindness; amusing and instructing us in youth, and comforting and consoling us in age.

Men often discover their affinity to each other by the mutual love they have for a book just as two persons sometimes discover a friend by the admiration which both entertain for a third. There is an old proverb, ‘Love me, love my dog.” But there is more wisdom in this:” Love me, love my book.” The book is a truer and higher bond of union. Men can think, feel, and sympathize with each other through their favorite author. They live in him together, and he in them.

A good book is often the best urn of a life enshrining the best that life could think out; for the world of a man’s life is, for the most part, but the world of his thoughts. Thus the best books are treasuries of good words, the golden thoughts, which, remembered and cherished, become our constant companions and comforters.

Books possess an essence of immortality. They are by far the most lasting products of human effort. Temples and statues decay, but books survive. Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh today as when they first passed through their author’s minds, ages ago. What was then said and thought still speaks to us as vividly as ever from the printed page. The only effect of time have been to sift out the bad products; for nothing in literature can long survive e but what is really good.

Books introduce us into the best society; they bring us into the presence of the greatest minds that have ever lived. We hear what they said and did; we see the as if they were really alive; we sympathize with them, enjoy with them, grieve with them; their experience becomes ours, and we feel as if we were in a measure actors with them in the scenes which they describe.

The great and good do not die, even in this world. Embalmed in books, their spirits walk abroad. The book is a living voice. It is an intellect to which on still listens.

译文: 以书为伴(节选)

通常看一个读些什么书就可知道他的为人,就像看他同什么人交往就可知道他的为人一样,因为有人以人为伴,也有人以书为伴。无论是书友还是朋友,我们都应该以最好的为伴。

好书就像是你最好的朋友。它始终不渝,过去如此,现在如此,将来也永远不变。它是最有耐心,最令人愉悦的伴侣。在我们穷愁潦倒,临危遭难时,它也不会抛弃我们,对我们总是一如既往地亲切。在我们年轻时,好书陶冶我们的性情,增长我们的知识;到我们年老时,它又给我们以慰藉和勉励。

人们常常因为喜欢同一本书而结为知已,就像有时两个人因为敬慕同一个人而成为朋友一样。有句古谚说道:“爱屋及屋。”其实“爱我及书”这句话蕴涵更多的哲理。书是更为真诚而高尚的情谊纽带。人们可以通过共同喜爱的作家沟通思想,交流感情,彼此息息相通,并与自己喜欢的作家思想相通,情感相融。

好书常如最精美的宝器,珍藏着人生的思想的精华,因为人生的境界主要就在于其思想的境界。因此,最好的书是金玉良言和崇高思想的宝库,这些良言和思想若铭记于心并多加珍视,就会成为我们忠实的伴侣和永恒的慰藉。

书籍具有不朽的本质,是为人类努力创造的最为持久的成果。寺庙会倒坍,神像会朽烂,而书却经久长存。对于伟大的思想来说,时间是无关紧要的。多年前初次闪现于作者脑海的伟大思想今日依然清新如故。时间惟一的作用是淘汰不好的作品,因为只有真正的佳作才能经世长存。

书籍介绍我们与最优秀的人为伍,使我们置身于历代伟人巨匠之间,如闻其声,如观其行,如见其人,同他们情感交融,悲喜与共,感同身受。我们觉得自己仿佛在作者所描绘的舞台上和他们一起粉墨登场。

即使在人世间,伟大杰出的人物也永生不来。他们的精神被载入书册,传于四海。书是人生至今仍在聆听的智慧之声,永远充满着活力。

4

If I Rest,I Rust

如果我休息,我就会生锈

The significant inion found on an old key---“If I rest, I rust”---would be an excellent motto for those who are afflicted with the slightest bit of idleness. Even the most industrious person might adopt it with advantage to serve as a reminder that, if one allows his faculties to rest, like the iron in the unused key, they will soon show signs of rust and, ultimately, cannot do the work required of them.

Those who would attain the heights reached and kept by great men must keep their faculties polished by constant use, so that they may unlock the doors of knowledge, the gate that guard the entrances to the professions, to science, art, literature, agriculture---every department of human endeavor.

Industry keeps bright the key that opens the treasury of achievement. If Hugh Miller, after toiling all day in a quarry, had devoted his evenings to rest and recreation, he would never have become a famous geologist. The celebrated mathematician, Edmund Stone, would never have published a mathematical dictionary, never have found the key to science of mathematics, if he had given his spare moments to idleness, had the little Scotch lad, Ferguson, allowed the busy brain to go to sleep while he tended sheep on the hillside instead of calculating the position of the stars by a string of beads, he would never have become a famous astronomer.

Labor vanquishes all---not inconstant, spasmodic, or ill-directed labor; but faithful, unremitting, daily effort toward a well-directed purpose. Just as truly as eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, so is eternal industry the price of noble and enduring success.

译文: 如果我休息,我就会生锈

在一把旧钥匙上发现了一则意义深远的铭文——如果我休息,我就会生锈。对于那些懒散而烦恼的人来说,这将是至理名言。甚至最为勤勉的人也以此作为警示:如果一个人有才能而不用,就像废弃钥匙上的铁一样,这些才能就会很快生锈,并最终无法完成安排给自己的工作。

有些人想取得伟人所获得并保持的成就,他们就必须不断运用自身才能,以便开启知识的大门,即那些通往人类努力探求的各个领域的大门,这些领域包括各种职业:科学,艺术,文学,农业等。

勤奋使开启成功宝库的钥匙保持光亮。如果休•米勒在采石场劳作一天后,晚上的时光用来休息消遣的话,他就不会成为名垂青史的地质学家。著名数学家爱德蒙•斯通如果闲暇时无所事事,就不会出版数学词典,也不会发现开启数学之门的钥匙。如果苏格兰青年弗格森在山坡上放羊时,让他那思维活跃的大脑处于休息状态,而不是借助一串珠子计算星星的位置,他就不会成为著名的天文学家。

劳动征服一切。这里所指的劳动不是断断续续的,间歇性的或方向偏差的劳动,而是坚定的,不懈的,方向正确的每日劳动。正如要想拥有自由就要时刻保持警惕一样,要想取得伟大的,持久的成功,就必须坚持不懈地努力。

5

Ambition 抱负

It is not difficult to imagine a world short of ambition. It would probably be a kinder world: with out demands, without abrasions, without disappointments. People would have time for reflection. Such work as they did would not be for themselves but for the collectivity. Competition would never enter in. conflict would be eliminated, tension become a thing of the past. The stress of creation would be at an end. Art would no longer be troubling, but purely celebratory in its functions. Longevity would be increased, for fewer people would die of heart attack or stroke caused by tumultuous endeavor. Anxiety would be extinct. Time would stretch on and on, with ambition long departed from the human heart.

Ah, how unrelieved boring life would be!

There is a strong view that holds that success is a myth, and ambition therefore a sham. Does this mean that success does not really exist? That achievement is at bottom empty? That the efforts of men and women are of no significance alongside the force of movements and events now not all success, obviously, is worth esteeming, nor all ambition worth cultivating. Which are and which are not is something one soon enough learns on one’s own. But even the most cynical secretly admit that success exists; that achievement counts for a great deal; and that the true myth is that the actions of men and women are useless. To believe otherwise is to take on a point of view that is likely to be deranging. It is, in its implications, to remove all motives for competence, interest in attainment, and regard for posterity.

We do not choose to be born. We do not choose our parents. We do not choose our historical epoch, the country of our birth, or the immediate circumstances of our upbringing. We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time or conditions of our death. But within all this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we shall live: courageously or in cowardice, honorably or dishonorably, with purpose or in drift. We decide what is important and what is trivial in life. We decide that what makes us significant is either what we do or what we refuse to do. But no matter how indifferent the universe may be to our choices and decisions, these choices and decisions are ours to make. We decide. We choose. And as we decide and choose, so are our lives formed. In the end, forming our own destiny is what ambition is about.

译文: 抱负

一个缺乏抱负的世界将会怎样,这不难想象。或许,这将是一个更为友善的世界:没有渴求,没有磨擦,没有失望。人们将有时间进行反思。他们所从事的工作将不是为了他们自身,而是为了整个集体。竞争永远不会介入;冲突将被消除。人们的紧张关系将成为过往云烟。创造的重压将得以终结。艺术将不再惹人费神,其功能将纯粹为了庆典。人的寿命将会更长,因为由激烈拼争引起的心脏病和中风所导致的死亡将越来越少。焦虑将会消失。时光流逝,抱负却早已远离人心。

啊,长此以往人生将变得多么乏味无聊!

有一种盛行的观点认为,成功是一种神话,因此抱负亦属虚幻。这是不是说实际上并不丰在成功?成就本身就是一场空?与诸多运动和事件的力量相比,男男女女的努力显得微不足?显然,并非所有的成功都值得景仰,也并非所有的抱负都值得追求。对值得和不值得的选择,一个人自然而然很快就能学会。但即使是最为愤世嫉俗的人暗地里也承认,成功确实存在,成就的意义举足轻重,而把世上男男女女的所作所为说成是徒劳无功才是真正的无稽之谈。认为成功不存在的观点很可能造成混乱。这种观点的本意是一笔勾销所有提高能力的动机,求取业绩的兴趣和对子孙后代的关注。

我们无法选择出生,无法选择父母,无法选择出生的历史时期与国家,或是成长的周遭环境。我们大多数人都无法选择死亡,无法选择死亡的时间或条件。但是在这些无法选择之中,我们的确可以选择自己的生活方式:是勇敢无畏还是胆小怯懦,是光明磊落还是厚颜无耻,是目标坚定还是随波逐流。我们决定生活中哪些至关重要,哪些微不足道。我们决定,用以显示我们自身重要性的,不是我们做了什么,就是我们拒绝做些什么。但是不论世界对我们所做的选择和决定有多么漠不关心,这些选择和决定终究是我们自己做出的。我们决定,我们选择。而当我们决定和选择时,我们的生活便得以形成。最终构筑我们命运的就是抱负之所在。

6

What I have Lived for 我为何而生

Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a deep ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.

I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy---ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of my life for a few hours for this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness---that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it, finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what---at last---I have found.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.

Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always it brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a hated burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.

This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.

译文: 我为何而生

我的一生被三种简单却又无比强烈的激情所控制:对爱的渴望,对知识的探索和对人类苦难难以抑制的屿。这些激情像狂风,把我恣情吹向四方,掠过苦痛的大海,迫使我濒临绝望的边缘。

我寻求爱,首先因为它使我心为之着迷,这种难以名状的美妙迷醉使我愿意用所有的余生去换取哪怕几个小时这样的幸福。我寻求爱,还因为它能缓解我心理上的孤独中,我感觉心灵的战栗,仿如站在世界的边缘而面前是冰冷,无底的死亡深渊。我寻求爱,因为在我所目睹的结合中,我仿佛看到了圣贤与诗人们所向往的天堂之景。这就是我所寻找的,虽然对人的一生而言似乎有些遥不可及,但至少是我用尽一生所领悟到的。

我用同样的激情去寻求知识。我希望能理解人类的心灵,希望能够知道群星闪烁的缘由。我试图领悟毕达哥拉斯所景仰的“数即万物”的思想。我已经悟出了其中的一点点道理,尽管并不是很多。

爱和知识,用它们的力量把人引向天堂。但是同情却总把人又拽回到尘世中来。痛苦的呼喊声回荡在我的内心。饥饿的孩子,受压迫的难民,贫穷和痛苦的世界,都是对人类所憧憬的美好生活的无情嘲弄。我渴望能够减少邪恶,但是我无能为力,我也难逃其折磨。

这就是我的一生。我已经找到它的价值。而且如果有机会,我很愿意能再活它一次。
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