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!"
Written for the occasion of an auction to raise money for a pedestal for the Statue of Liberty, "The New Colossus" was chosen by the organizers of the event to appear in the Catalogue of the Pedestal Fund Art Loan Exhibition at the National Academy of Design, in the belief that it would inspire fresh enthusiasm for the project. After the author's death, a metal plaque bearing the text of the poem was placed within the pedestal in her memory. Originally affixed to an inner wall, it was later moved to an exhibit room within the pedestal.