Ozymandias (Percy Bysshe Shelley)

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.’

_____________________________________________________

Dear diary,

Today something really strange happened. I was just walking to my work when someone suddenly began to talk to me. It was probably a traveler, I think he said he was from Egypt. But the strange thing was what he said, I do not remember it very clearly, it all happened so fast. But I will try to write it down.

“Two large legs without a body on top of them, build from stone, were standing in the desert. Close to those two legs lay a damaged face, nearly buried by the sand. You could tell by the angry look, the creased lips and grin on its face that the sculptor knew what he was doing when he tried to give the statue its personality. The man defied his underlings in many ways and was very cruel to them, but he did take care of them in a way. On the support of the statue was the following written: ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’ It was a great king a long time ago, but nothing of what he built is still standing, everything is gone, except for the few parts of his colossal statue. And a lot of sand.”

It was really weird when he suddenly said this, but I think I know what he was trying to say. That you shouldn’t focus too much achieving something that is temporary, because in time it will be gone and no one will remember. And bragging about something that is in your possession now is maybe cool at the moment, but in time it will only make people laugh, like they will laugh at this statue. It was once the statue of a great man, but everything he had is now gone and doesn’t impress anyone. Instead try to achieve something timeless, like an invention.

by Anonymous

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