Ozymandias

Reader spiffster chastised The Rapid Traveler’s lack of erudition at not knowing the Percy Bysshe Shelley poem Ozymandias (see Wikipedia for background):

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.”

Beautiful contemplation of the ephemerality of power. Tuck it in your pocket to read when next gazing on an ancient ruin or modern monument to human endeavor and folly.

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  • arye

    one of my favorites!