The Aged Colossus

Like the crumbled guardian of aeons past,
submerged beneath the scarlet wave of time,
she stands, battered by the wind, edged in rime
thick as glass, spun from across the cold vast
Atlantic. Her lamp is dim, her lot cast
among barbarians who, ruthless, climb
the alabaster tower now to chime
the lych bell, here at America’s last.
“Remain ye there in ancient lands,” she cries,
“Keep still the huddled masses on your prow,
for no aid shall I give should it capsize.
Pluck not the ripe fruit from my golden bough,
nor eat my rotten bounty where it lies.
This is the abnegation of my vow.”

One Comment

  1. J. Patrick Hanley

    The New Colossus

    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

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