Time for Ozymandias Again

I’m still surfing through poets.org. This morning I stumbled upon this irresistible poem. How great it is! The poem, that is. Not the king who maybe some day would be Bashar al-Assad of Syria.

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Ah, Shelley! Was it true he was want to run naked through drawing rooms? But the poor guy perished at not quite the mere age of thirty in his schooner the Don Juan while attempting to sail to Italy. (Thank you for the factoid, poets.org)

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  1. Thomas’s avatar

    I’ve thought about buying this little trophy from time to time, but $18 seems like a lot for a joke: LINK.

    It would be fun to have, just to see who recognizes the poem and who doesnt. 😉

  2. Mardé’s avatar

    Thanks for the link, Thomas. But yes, it does seem like a lot to spend just for a joke. :-) But it would be fun to have.

  3. MadPriest’s avatar

    Definitely one of the greatest poems of all time with a subject and moral that guarantees eternal fame. It’s also one of the few poems I learned as a kid that I can still recite from memory.

  4. Mardé’s avatar

    Thanks, MadPriest! Eternal fame, boundless and bare and lone, only discovered centuries later by a random traveler in that antique land.


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