Emile Zola Esq.
Most honorable Sir :_
With beating heart and trembling hand do I write these lines to you, the greatest luminary in the sky of literature.
Your present attitude in regards to the Dreyfus case is the most heroic noble and inspiring.
When the Dreyfus case will be added to the heart-breaking, pitiful history of the ever-suffering Jews, your name will shine forth with unsurpassed brilliancy and will stand out as that of an Angel -guardian of Just Justice and of champion of human rights.
Your most forcible letter in the Aurora has made every Jewish heart beat with gratitude to you.
The same has inspired me to write the enclosed poem and encouraged me to dedicate it to you.
Signature : Herman Berustein,
366 Cherry Str. New York City.
Dedicated to Zola
The ocean is furiously raging
Uplifting the bellows with night ;
No star is there sparkling in heaven
And colder than death is there night.
No ship ever carries there freemen,
No fruit over there out mother-earth,
A step-child of Nature, that Island
Has erased at the moment of birth.
And there on a rock sits a martyr
With heart like a tomb for despair.
So bent are his head and his shoulders,
So gray and so thin is his hair.
And watching the ocean enraged,
He finds in that fury repose...
He constantly stares into distance-
With longings his heart overflows...
And anteast of France the enlightened,
Forsaken by Justice of man,
He bears on his wretched existence,
Existence which is but as span.
A being once idolized, honored,
Respected and trusted by all,
The pride of his nation uplifting,
He, herolike, let it not fall...
But envy, humanitys serpent,
Those mission is but to destroy,
Awake to conspire and to murder
His greatness, his honor, his Joy.
The nightiest armed with Justice,
With Justice that flatters their night,
Had men as web for the noble,
And gave him their poisonous bite...
His sword and his armor they shattered,
His guiltless hands tightened in chains ;
The brow of his honor they spotted :
They stamped it with false bloody stains...
He seens now his nation oppressed,
In misery, woe and disgrace ;
The horrible lot of his kindred
In friendlessness' marble embrace.
Then shrinking, his lips he respens, (?)
And calls in a heart-breaking tone ;
He listens... His heart ceases beating,
He hears but reechoed his moan.
His friends' ears are deaf to his prayer
They see not his pains and his woes ;
Their heart is as dwelling of serpents -
They are now his bitterest foes.
And breading to Right for assistance
He Justice implore for relied _
Their eyes are alas 'neath a bandage
They're blind to his mounds and his grief.
Alone on that rock he is sitting,
Awaiting the break of the dawn...
His sad heart grows lighter and hopeful-
It feels the approach of the Sun...
The sunbeams, he sees now, are burning
The bandage off Justices' eyes
And visions inspiring and pleasant
Before him so vividly rise....
He thinks then of France the enlightened
His nations' and kindred's embrace ;
While eagerly waiting and waiting,
Hot tears trickle over his face...
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Berustein, Herman, Lettre d'Herman Berustein à Émile Zola datée du 21 janvier 1898, 1898-01-21. Édition des lettres internationales adressées à Émile Zola.
Centre d'Étude sur Zola et le Naturalisme & Institut des textes et manuscrits modernes, CNRS-ENS ; projet EMAN (CNRS-ENS-Sorbonne Nouvelle)..
Consulté le 06/12/2023 sur la plate-forme EMAN : https://eman-archives.org/CorrespondanceZola/items/show/6521