“Ozymandias” 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.”


The Ozymandias Colossus at the Ramesseum

The Ozymandias Colossus at the Ramesseum




Filed under Poetry

2 responses to ““Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley

  1. Percy Bysshe Shelley was born in Horsham, Sussex, England on 4 August 1792, and died at sea due to a boating accident after a sudden storm while en route from Livorno to Lerici, Sardinia on 8 July 1822, aged 29 years.

  2. The toppled torso lies at the Ramesseum. It was a seated colossal statue of Ramesses II carved in red granite, originally about 20 meters high and weighing a 1,000 tons. The poem is derived from a description by the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus of words carved on the pedestal of a statue of Ramses II: ‘King of Kings am I, Osymandias. If anyone would know how great I am and where I lie, let him surpass one of my works.’

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