White House aide Stephen Miller caused a stir Wednesday when he argued that “The New Colossus,” the poem written for and featured on the Statue of Liberty, wasn’t relevant to the meaning of the statue because it was “added later.”
A line from the poem ― “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” ― is often praised for symbolizing liberty in the United States.
The poem was never intended to work as a policy statement, and was part of a fundraiser to help pay for a pedestal for the Statue of Liberty to sit upon.
Read more about Emma Lazarus, who penned the poem, at The Washington Post.
Read the full text of the poem below:
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!”