Liberty’s Lament

“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.”

liberty back

I stand alone agape in horror, my heart beat racing as voices o’er the sea and land decry in throes, “Liar! Temptress!” sustained echoes that bend their eyes upon my stead, recounting words I’ve loved and said, “Give me your tired, your poor, your tost”, meant in truth but somehow lost.


Their eyes on me in deep mistrust, regardless of these words in rust, as families weep and children cry, my God, compassion, somehow denied. I feel their struggles’ burdened weight. I know their pains but not their fate. I sense their road, their oppressive trail. I long to save their lost, their frail.

But something’s wrong, some truth’s misplaced, their hopes are dashed upon my gate. Their jeers come forth, their hopes are lost, as here they find again they’re tossed at threshold of the golden door, as burgeoned hopes fall flat once more, as children weep and mothers cry, my heart’s compassion cast as lie!

My God! Why???

I stand in hope that good prevail, that men of courage will rise to tell the story of our history in terms of truth and liberty. I pray our strength in spirit grows against our selfish interests’ blows, and welcomes to our golden door, the burdened hopeful, the tired and poor.

In every ounce of who we are, in every grain of soul collective, we stand united states as one, as through our history we’re reflective images of those suffering now, for we were they with hopes in how our lives could gain a freedom’s breath. We sacrificed through life and death, became collective, many, one, that through our love and faith we’ve summed the vey best in all of us. We fought oppression, we fought the lust, we stood for truth and knew what must be done to keep a free man free, to stand against the tyranny. We wear compassion on our sleeve, yet stand with strength in values, these, that all men are created equal, we’re born with God’s unalienable rights, our truths are life and liberty, pursuing happiness in our sight.

For not a single one of us can in truth claim or deny that we are something different, that we claim solely, that we’re the “high”. We, collective brethren, who, traversed the sea to come here, true, to wear our values, born in creed, to live an honest life in deed, to show the past our strength is summed in compassion, love, for all bar none, have built this shining star of hope, where others come to work and cope, to use their values truest song, building unity and history long. We are the products of immigrants, we the children of other lands, have come to stand united, compassion dealt with strength in hand.

Liberty crying

So I weep, I mourn this time. I bleed in colors that are not mine. I beg forgiveness to those who trust, and pray our better angels must but rise to mend this broken day, and from it form collective clay to forge anew these values, ours, heal these wretched wounds of scars. I pray we come to rise above, to show compassioned strength in love.

I stand in truth as this!

liberty front

“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.”


Filed under History, LIberty, Perspective, Poetry

18 responses to “Liberty’s Lament

  1. History of mankind is filled with tears and smeared with blood. A heartfelt write.

  2. scotthastiepoet

    Such vivid and strong writing Jay – there is much to admire here, both in your craft and your spirit.

  3. Nice lines: “Their jeers come forth, their hopes are lost, as here they find again they’re tossed”

  4. We seem to forget that most of our ancestors came to America this way!

    • Exactly. Aren’t we all immigrants in one form or another? This beautiful melting pot of cultures has formed the very fabric that enables beautiful life and opportunity to be free. It will certainly die without continued renewal.

  5. Beverly Crawford

    Liberty’s Lament is so beautifully written, I’ve copied it to my Keepers file to savor again and again. I’m enamored of your writing style, couching rhyme in prose such that your words have a delightful rhythm. BRAVO my friend. I salute your talent.

    • Thank you Beverly! I’ve been a drummer for 50 years and it seems most everything in my life carries some form of rhythm. These lines just seem to come out in this format. Thanks for your very kind comments.

  6. Just recently I used the same inscription denouncing the way immigrants children were being taken from their parents. It is true, our history is such we have all been immigrants. So sad the way things have progressed in how we treat those coming to our shores seeking comfort and solace. Strong powerful words skillfully spun Jay.

    • Thank you. It’s truly a sad state we’re in… i can’t Express the anger that comes when i realize that the very fabric of who we are ( immigrants forming a unique union) is being threatened and forced to suffer by the hope that led them here. God bless…

  7. It is extremely hard to stomach. As a Canadian, diversity is what our country is all about. Without it, we wouldn’t exist. To see this type of treatment, it feels so archaic to me. I truly hope that those whose minds have regressed into this mentality will lose power quickly and evolution of humanity can progress without ridiculous obstacles.

  8. That verse has been recited as way of us turning against each other… yet we have been through worse times before… so I still have hope.

  9. Important, has a Wordsworth feeling. Hope we can find those better angels

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