April 5, 2009

Percy Bysshe Shelley: “Ozymandias”

Posted in Poetry at 11:44 am by The Lizard Queen


I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desart. . . . 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.”

—Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1818


1 Comment »

  1. luaphacim said,

    Ah, my first Shelley… it’s funny how the sound of these lines pulls me in like a riptide, surrounding me with memory: dim-lit hallways, squeaky chairs in the basement of the Humanities building at K-State, and the knots of fear in my stomach as I wait outside my professor’s door for my first paper conference. Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair, indeed! 🙂

    Nothing beside remains.

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