Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
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Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
 
At Ellis Island
By Margaret Chanler Aldrich
 
ACROSS the land their long lines pass;
  More souls come to us sun by sun—
Each ship a city as she rides,—
  Than manned the march of Washington.
 
From ancient States where burdens lie        5
  Extortionate upon the poor,
Men rise like flocks from leafless woods,
  Their flight a shadow at our door.
 
A shadow passing life by life,
  Into the morrow of our race;        10
What know we of the unseen minds?
  These hands are riches, we embrace.
 
What common thought so many moves!
  Our laws with Liberty are brave;
Beneath them men will take content        15
  A wage, a lodging, and a grave.
 
Strange to each other as to us,
  The races of the world are ours;
No sleepless frontiers here impede
  A secret ballot’s sacred powers.        20
 
Ye patient aliens! Sifting in
  Where trades a fateful welcome burn
Bequeath your children what you find—
  A land to which all peoples turn.
 
 
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