In a college dorm, in a prison, in a marriage
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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
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!”
In 1883, three years before the Statue of Liberty was completed in New York Harbor, American poet Emma Lazarus wrote “The New Colossus” about the monument. Twenty years later the poem was inscribed on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the pedestal of the statue, where it continues to be displayed today.