By: Percy Bysshe Shelley (1818)
I met a traveler 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 upon 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.
"On a Stupendous Leg of
Granite Discovered Standing
by Itself in the Deserts of
Egypt, with the Inscription
By: Horace Smith (1818)
In Egypt's sandy silence, all alone,
Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws,
The only shadow that the desert knows:--
"I am the great Ozymandias," saith the stone.
"The King of Kings; this mighty City shows
The wonders of my hand.-- The City's gone,--
Nought 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.
A block of marble stood
Before the sculptor where he would,
He smote with hand well skilled
And thus with blow on blow fulfilled
The vision of His mind.
At first with chisel coarse and stroke
Unspared, the corners off He broke
And soon the form appeared.
And then, with finer tools He wrought
And finer yet, until He brought
The perfect image forth.
So, with unerring skillfulness
With cunning hand and sure'
'Tis as the marble growth less
The likeness growth more.
So God divinely works with those
He, in eternal ages chose
To show His work of grace,
And thus with blow on blow to trace
The image of His Son.
How blessed to know that He who holds
His tools, before His eyes beholds
His own beloved one!
The cares and sorrows day by day
The troubles that o'ershade the way,
Together work for good;
And nothing e'erby chance befalls
The one whom God in purpose calls,
In him whose love is found.
And when we have the Glory gained,
And Christ's full image have attained,
We'll praise his sovereign grace,
And bless the hand that dealt each blow
Upon the marble here below
In working out his will.
( This poem was inscribed in the Bible
of a martyred missionary in China.)