Sunday, July 3, 2011

The New Colossus - Emma Lazarus

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 might 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!"

For the 4th of July, I thought the poem gracing the inside of our very own Statue of Liberty appropriate.  It's the rejection of the old guard, the stuffy, exclusive, pompous continent from which we sought to break mentally.  And for a long time, we governed by this poem, more or less.  We were the refuge of the weary and those yearning to be free.

It's time to make good on those promises again, America.