Walking along the line 'twixt sea and land
I saw a bottle, half hidden by a stone
and buried to the neck in the wet sand.
I picked it up, then, with a puzzled frown,
unstoppered it and, as by mute command
deciphering the note inside, I read:
“The one who finds this will receive all things
his heart desires, his appetites be fed.”
But is this promise what it may appear?
I asked myself. For commoners and kings
alike may find all hope turn to despair;
they all will die; their bodies will decay.
The promise, then, was meaningless and bare.
Grasping the bottle, I hurled it far away.
Note: the last words of each line are the last words of the lines of Shelley's Ozymandias, with which I would not venture to compare it.
For other versions of this exercise by other members, see -
If anyone else would like to try, please feel free, but I'd be glad if you'd let me know.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.