The poem was forgotten for years, but it eventually came to be strongly associated with the statue in the public mind.
The words of Emma Lazarus made the Statue of Liberty a profound symbol of immigration to the United States.
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-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
by Emma Lazarus, New York City, 1883
"The New Colossus" was published in Poems of Emma Lazarus in 1888, a collection edited by two of the poet's sisters after her tragic death at the age of 38.
The text of the poem, on a bronze plaque, was placed inside the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty in 1903, after a campaign by a friend of Emma Lazarus.