Emma Lazarus's Poem, Progress and Poverty

Emma Lazarus's poem, "Progress and Poverty" was published in the New York Times on October 2, 1881.

Progress and Poverty

(After reading Mr. Henry George's book.)

Oh splendid age when Science lights her lamp

At the brief lightning's momentary flame.

Fixing it steadfast as a star, man's name

Upon the very brow of heaven to stamp,

Launched on a ship whose iron-cuirassed sides

Mock storm and wave. Humanity sails free;

Gayly upon a vast untraveled sea,

O'er pathless wastes, to ports undreamed she rides.

Richer than Cleopatra's barge of gold,

This vessel, manned by demi-gods, with freight

Of priceless marvels. But where yawns the hold

In that deep, reeking hell, what slaves be they

Who feed the ravenous monster, pant and sweat,

Nor know if overhead reign night and day?

Emma Lazarus


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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Emma Lazarus's Poem, Progress and Poverty." (Viewed on May 22, 2024) <http://jwa.org/media/progress-and-poverty>.