The New Colossus

A poem by Emma Lazarus on the base of the Statue of Liberty.

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Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
statue of libertyThe air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

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Emma Lazarus (1849-1887) was a disciple of Ralph Waldo Emerson and a great poet in her own right. "The New Colossus" was written in 1883 to raise funds for the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. It was added to the base of the statue in 1903.

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