Sunday, 8 February 2009
The Statue of Liberty
Cartoon by Dave Cagle; published on MSNBC.com
The Statue of Liberty has stood at the entrance to New York harbour since being gifted by the French in 1886. It has the most beautiful poem engraved on it, from which the contrast between America's attitude to immigrants in those not so far off days with the appalling treatment being given to many of them today could not be more stark.
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, 1883