William L Roberts

One Night I Dreamt I Stood Alone - Poem by William L Roberts

One night I dreamt I stood alone,
Alone in the ruined relic of a poem
That I'd hated back in school.

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Lay prone amid the desert rubble
And at my feet, a marble eye and broken lips,
Disdainful despite their covering of sand.
Up a cliff clung the ruined pedestal
From which the statue'd been blown.
Despite its awful ruined and defiled state,
Something of the sculptor's art remained.
Blasted in the sand, those lips retained
In their sneer of cold command,
The casual cruelty that'd been the man.

The lips spoke in a voice harsh as the barren air,
'I am Ozymandias, King of Kings,
Look on my works, mortal, and despair! '

Getting up my courage I prepared
To falter out the poem's remembered moral
But those lips sneered a contemptuous dismissal,
'Look on what flowed from my loins
Through all my wives, across all the generations,
What do I care for stone,
When the eyes that look upon it are my own.'

With that I found myself awake
Sweating with remembered despair.
I rose and went down the hall
To look upon my own still innocent sleeping pair.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 12, 2008

Poem Edited: Saturday, July 11, 2009

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