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 lips, 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.” —
More P. B. Shelley for you poetry lovers. “Ozymandias,” first published January 11, 1918, is here in its entirety. See our exhibition Shelley’s Ghost for more, including an original manuscript of this poem, which has never been exhibited in the United States before.
What’s that you say? You can’t make it to the library this spring? Well, fortunately for you - here’s the manuscript online.
Happy National Poetry Month!
Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day!