Percy Bysshe Shelley

(1792-1822 / Horsham / England)

Ozymandias - Poem 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.'

Form: Sonnet


Comments about Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

  • (1/14/2018 9:21:00 PM)


    The Poet’s Soul Is Different,

    Formed By The Fire of Life,

    It Guides His Passions,

    Leads His Heart,

    And Lives Forever

    Copyright June 10,1996

    Daniel J. Lavigne
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • (1/6/2018 12:08:00 AM)


    Very nice (Report) Reply

  • (12/31/2017 10:06:00 AM)


    The paths of gory lead but to the grave, (Report) Reply

  • (11/27/2017 9:47:00 AM)


    hola como estas, moy bein (Report) Reply

  • Subhas Chandra Chakra (9/10/2017 1:09:00 PM)


    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.'

    Everything in the universe perishes.
    Nice poem.
    10
    (Report) Reply

  • (6/8/2017 9:04:00 AM)


    Perhaps the trunk was used as building stone. The fate of many great works. I thought the line..The lone and level sands.. was poor English but I discovered Lone can mean remote, rarely visited. (Report) Reply

  • (4/17/2017 10:26:00 AM)


    This is not a poem of things, or words. It is a poem about humanity and the failure of greed. Life is not a 'thing' to be tagged as wretched. It is a beautiful process that can be enhanced and uplifted or destroyed. If we base our success on self gratification and power hungry greed, then we doom ourselves and all involved.

    Time brings all luxuries of life - based on uplifting life, to a long and enduring existence. Death can only stop 'a' life. Ideas that are based on uplifting 'lives' grow on and become greater. Oxymandias fell because all he had was his tyranny.

    Consider the difference between Hitler and Ghandi. One had an 'Empire' and one had a 'purpose.' Ghandi has a legacy in history we all continue to grow from, even though he is dead. The other one can only offer what we need to avoid. Even though he had an empire, Hitler leaves us with only a bad memory. One man we honor and continue to learn from, the other we sneer and hiss at its evil memory. One stays alive, the other stays dead.

    Shelly teaches us far more than a simplistic lesson of what dies or decays. The fact that we know who Shelly was, and would know absolutely nothing of who Ozymandias was, had he not written that poem, screams his point clearly
    (Report) Reply

    (1/14/2018 9:17:00 PM)

    I thank Mr. Bokchito for an apt description of the process by which Poetry can help ALL learn why we must always consider our existence as Sentient Beings BEFORE doing ANYTHING to assist Governments hold sway over others. http: //ObamasMessage.com http: //FreedomsRage.com

  • (4/13/2017 1:30:00 AM)


    'Boundless and bare'...Thanks for Sharing. (Report) Reply

  • (4/11/2017 11:00:00 AM)


    An ancient King of Egypt , Ramesis II erected a huge statue made of stone to retain his glory even after death. But war demolished the colossus just left a material for study to historians. (Report) Reply

  • Tom Allport (1/1/2017 3:02:00 PM)

    tom allport
    a poem sending us a message that nothing lasts, except maybe words? (Report) Reply

  • Chinedu Dike (12/12/2016 8:09:00 AM)


    My Best poem of all time. A rhetorical masterpiece piece. (Report) Reply

  • R Soos (11/21/2016 7:29:00 AM)

    Nothing beside remains
    Nothing beside remains except the fiction of history. Great poem! (Report) Reply

  • Clients Sefton (10/28/2016 3:40:00 PM)

    Ozymandias
    Ozymandias' work lies buried beneath the sand. Shelley's poem, written on the sand, cannot be buried neither by wind nor rain. (Report) Reply

  • (9/13/2016 6:23:00 AM)


    Megalomania and human pretension turning dust. (Report) Reply

  • Mizzy ........ (9/10/2016 2:02:00 PM)


    A first class Sonnet......Enjoyed! (Report) Reply

  • (7/17/2016 10:44:00 AM)


    It adds a whole other layer to this when you keep in mind Percy Shelley was like 29 when he died. (Report) Reply

  • (3/9/2016 6:17:00 PM)


    This I rate as the best poem Ive ever read. I read this poem at the age of twelve for it was a precribed poem in one of our text books. Since then I have been worried about his untimely death at this very young age. (Report) Reply

  • Moira Cameron (3/9/2016 3:36:00 PM)


    I don't know what I can possibly add to the comments below, except that I loved this. It is one of those 'wow' poems that touches several chords at once. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (3/9/2016 2:29:00 PM)


    He wrote a great scene here to demonstrate the mutability of man''s creation- his poem seems to be lasting at this point (Report) Reply

  • Uzefa Rashida M.a (3/9/2016 12:10:00 PM)


    greatest poem and deepest message delivered. (Report) Reply

Read all 82 comments »

# 42 poem on top 500 Poems

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Read poems about / on: despair, heart, passion, work



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002



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