Page 42 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 38

Basic HTML Version

In The Sweat Shop
T h e man that sleeps in me begins to waken — the slave that
wakens in me is put to sleep. N ow the righ t hour has come!
An end to misery, and end let it be! . . . But suddenly — the
whistle, the boss, an alarm! I lose my reason, fo r g e t where I
am; — there is a tumult, they battle, oh, my ego is lost! — I
know not, I care not, I am a machine! . . ,46
But Rosenfeld the poet, who sees the laborer indentured by the
system into a machine, urges him to hear the song o f the n ightin­
T h e N igh tinga le to the Laborer
Summer is today, summer is today! . . .
Your part is there, there is a share f o r you, —
So take it, oh, take it, you working man.
Summer is now, summer is now! . . .
Let the wheel be silent f o r a while!
You have worked so long so painfully . . .
L if t up with pleasure the cup o f enjoyment!
Summer is here, summer is here!
I shall not sing it to you eternally . . .
As long as I sing to you . . . the golden
dreams o f freedom . . . rise and let
me not urge you any longer! The
heaven will not remain eternally blue! . . .
You, who are fad ing at your machine . . .
Life is composed but o f moments,
And a moment unused is a battle lost
! 47
T h e east European-Jewish imm igrant heard the call o f the
nightingale, the go lden dream ; and he rose up from his machine,
seized the day and won the battle. But only a ha lf century later did
Am erica finally discover him, in and through the literature
created by his children and children ’s children.
Ib id .,
p. 7.
pp. 29-30.