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#1 Feb 22, 2019 10:02 pm

Real Distwalker
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Percy Shelley's "Ozymandias"

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunk-less 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.

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#2 Feb 23, 2019 6:56 am

Calypso
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Re: Percy Shelley's "Ozymandias"

Real Distwalker wrote:

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunk-less 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.

Where the bloody hell is King Ozymandias now? There is no sign of his glory; all that remained is a helpless stone with his name written on it.
The theme is trite for if we could compare it to all world powers that came and went.  A thousand years from now, what will we think of China as she wheels her web around to engulf other world powers.

Last edited by Calypso (Feb 23, 2019 8:28 am)

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#3 Feb 23, 2019 11:05 am

New Historian
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Re: Percy Shelley's "Ozymandias"

LOVE this poem, was my father's favourite. And such a great message for the high and "mighty": All your so-called greatness will end up as no more than grains of sand in the desert. Thanks for the reminder RD!

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#4 Feb 23, 2019 5:31 pm

Real Distwalker
Active

Re: Percy Shelley's "Ozymandias"

He was competing with his friend Horace Smith who also wrote a version on the same theme.

Horace Smith's "Ozymandias"

In Egypt's sandy silence, all alone,
Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
The only shadow that the Desert knows:—
"I am great OZYMANDIAS," saith the stone,
"The King of Kings; this mighty City shows
"The wonders of my hand."— The City's gone,—
Naught but the Leg remaining to disclose
The site of this forgotten Babylon.

We wonder,—and some Hunter may express
Wonder like ours, when thro' the wilderness
Where London stood, holding the Wolf in chace,
He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess
What powerful but unrecorded race
Once dwelt in that annihilated place.

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#5 Feb 23, 2019 7:20 pm

houston
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Re: Percy Shelley's "Ozymandias"

New Historian wrote:

LOVE this poem, was my father's favourite. And such a great message for the high and "mighty": All your so-called greatness will end up as no more than grains of sand in the desert. Thanks for the reminder RD!

One of my dad's favourites from Shakespeare..

He swears that when you kill the deer, you're a worse usurper than your brother was for banishing you. Today, Lord ... “Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens.

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#6 Feb 23, 2019 7:56 pm

Real Distwalker
Active

Re: Percy Shelley's "Ozymandias"

New Historian wrote:

LOVE this poem, was my father's favourite. And such a great message for the high and "mighty": All your so-called greatness will end up as no more than grains of sand in the desert. Thanks for the reminder RD!

It is also the message of Solomon in Ecclesiastes.   Have a re-read.  In the King James version, some of the greatest prose in the English language.

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#7 Feb 24, 2019 11:16 am

New Historian
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Re: Percy Shelley's "Ozymandias"

Real Distwalker wrote:

He was competing with his friend Horace Smith who also wrote a version on the same theme.

Horace Smith's "Ozymandias"

In Egypt's sandy silence, all alone,
Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
The only shadow that the Desert knows:—
"I am great OZYMANDIAS," saith the stone,
"The King of Kings; this mighty City shows
"The wonders of my hand."— The City's gone,—
Naught but the Leg remaining to disclose
The site of this forgotten Babylon.

We wonder,—and some Hunter may express
Wonder like ours, when thro' the wilderness
Where London stood, holding the Wolf in chace,
He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess
What powerful but unrecorded race
Once dwelt in that annihilated place.

Well I never. Thanks again

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#8 Feb 24, 2019 8:19 pm

Real Distwalker
Active

Re: Percy Shelley's "Ozymandias"

Ozymandias was Ramses II and at the time Shelley wrote the poem that statue of Ramses was being brought to the British Museum.  It likely inspired he and Smith to write their poems.  I got to see that statue when I took the boy to London in 2016.

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#9 Feb 25, 2019 12:04 pm

Expat
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Re: Percy Shelley's "Ozymandias"

Phew, I thought I had a bad spell moment, but is seems I was not wrong, also spelled.....Ramesses or Rameses

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#10 Feb 25, 2019 3:11 pm

Real Distwalker
Active

Re: Percy Shelley's "Ozymandias"

I stand corrected on the spelling.

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