The New Colossus – Emma Lazarus

Written in 1883 to help raise money for the construction Statue of Liberty‘s pedestal. The monument was dedicated on October 28, 1886. The poem was added in 1903, 16 years after Lazarus died.

Visitors on the way to the Statue of Liberty. Photo: National Park Service.
Statue of Liberty. Photo: National Park Service.

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
The 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!”

Emma Lazarus (1849–1887)