by Emma Lazarus (1849 - 1887)

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame
Language: English 
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]1 to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

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Confirmed with The Poems of Emma Lazarus, Vol 1, Houghton, Mifflin and Company, Riverside Press Cambridge (Boston and New York), 1889 (copyright 1888 by Mary Lazarus and Annie Lazarus), pages 202-203. Note: this was engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the Statue of Liberty in 1903.

Note: the second piece in Hoiby's song cycle was originally a setting of Thornton Wilder's "Goodbye, Goodbye, World," but after difficulty obtaining international publication rights from the Wilder family, Hoiby withdrew the song and replaced it with this one. Only the words in quotes are set to music.

1 Hoiby (and many later editions of the poem): "tempest-tossed"


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , David Sims [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2009-10-08
Line count: 14
Word count: 105