白居易與我賞紫薇

IMG_8573 校園中紫薇花盛開。照片中的這一株是在舊總圖旁。
 據說紫薇花原產地是中國,唐朝宮廷中就種著紫薇。證據之一是唐詩。從考證的立場,校園中的紫薇究竟是否同於唐宮廷中的紫薇,是可以討論的,但現在談這個太掃興。關於紫薇花最有名的一首唐詩是白居易的「紫薇花」。其詩曰:
  絲綸閣下文書靜,鐘鼓樓中刻漏長。獨坐黃昏誰是伴,紫薇花對紫微郎。
詩的文面之義甚易解。絲綸閣是指中書省。紫微郎指中書舍人。白居易時任中書舍人。中書舍人的工作是以其出類拔萃的文學才華為天子起草詔書。作為天子最側近的官員,應付天子(制度上)要日理萬機,中書舍人是要一天二十四小時輪班。此詩的場景是白居易正在中書省值班。作為帝國的中樞的中樞的中書省,白天的工作是十分忙碌。到了黃昏時,日常工作也結束,也就沒有要處理的公文了,詩中說是「文書靜」。這一天,白居易要值夜班,所以留宿官舍。由於無事可作,詩人只好沈思以打發時間。相對於白天時時刻刻在與時間競賽,此時卻覺時間悠長,過了好久才聽到一次報時聲。在這幽靜獨處的上班勤務中,才有心情欣賞窗外院中的紫薇花,也體悟紫薇花陪伴紫微郎的一種巧合的趣味,因作此詩。
 一些解詩的人說此詩是白居易在訴說官宦生涯的不順。我是讀不出這個意思。對於唐代文人而言,為天子起草詔書是榮譽之職,中書舍人若不是肥缺,也是個好缺。這也是唐詩中描寫安靜的一類詩,一般是在陳述詩人內心高雅的一面,也在訴說官宦生活中的理想境界。帝國是個繁忙的行政體系。中書省是帝國中樞的中樞。若以巨輪為比喻,帝國是快速轉動的巨輪。位在中樞的中樞的中書省卻似一個不動的中心。這一年白居易五十歲,宦海浮沈二十多年,已是官場老手。他對於進入帝國最中樞任職,側近天子,充滿榮耀,卻又經常能得閒散心境,定有感懷。這是一種歷史上中國士大夫獨有的心境。對於白居易而言,能分享這種心境的是中書省官舍院中的紫薇花。該花是在萬花中有幸生長在帝庭中,也是寂然孤立,一如紫微郎。
 由這首詩可以聯想更有名的一篇文章,劉禹錫「陋室銘」。銘文中的名句:「無絲竹之亂耳,無案牘之勞形。」高級官僚的宴會都有絃樂團與管樂團的音樂表演,所謂「絲竹」。沒有了這種社交活動就「無絲竹之亂耳」。中華帝國是文書行政的一部機器,其中的官員所務就是作不完的文書行政,所謂「案牘」。離開官場的生活自然就「無案牘之勞形」。即使如此,劉禹錫仍告訴他的讀者,他是高貴的士大夫,所以「談笑有鴻儒,往來無白丁」。因此他「何陋之有」。而白居易在「紫薇花」這首詩則述說另一個士大夫的奇妙遭遇。「絲綸閣下文書靜,鐘鼓樓中刻漏長」,所描述的也是無文書行政的忙碌,以及唯聞報時聲的安靜。驚奇的是,這裡不是隱士的「陋室」,而是天子的宮殿。
 而我獨對校園這株紫薇時,只想到繁花似錦,美景當前,當感謝造物主的恩賜。

About 甘懷真

現職:臺灣大學歷史學系教授 研究領域:中國古代史、禮制與皇帝制度研究、東亞古代政治史 通訊處:臺灣大學歷史學系 臺北市106羅斯福路4段1號 電話:886-2-33664710
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