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

  • Sreelakshmi Revikumar (11/30/2018 1:16:00 AM)


    The reality of nothing is permanent is shown here. When the creations of ozymandias got destroyed, the pedestal with these words remained. It shows the everlasting power and nature of words. Poems and writings lasts long. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • (9/29/2018 6:34:00 AM)


    Shelley was right about it all except one thing. ( Nothing beside remains) Before the image was made and after it lay in the sand, The Ancient of Days was and is here...... (Report) Reply

  • (9/4/2018 9:23:00 AM)


    is this the poem (Report) Reply

  • (7/26/2018 8:22:00 PM)


    eh its no good i dont like it that much horace smith wrote a better poem (Report) Reply

  • Britte Ninad (6/4/2018 10:26:00 PM)


    All great or small
    who came
    had to leave this world,
    the death touched them
    softly or crudely
    only their deeds
    tell us
    how they were
    (Report) Reply

  • (5/14/2018 10:46:00 AM)


    Glorious (Report) Reply

  • Robert Murray Smith (5/8/2018 12:49:00 AM)


    This poem needs to be read as a child and towards poethood. Only then do the words become clear. (Report) Reply

  • (3/18/2018 12:20:00 PM)


    Strongest poem i read during long time (Report) Reply

  • (3/10/2018 6:28:00 PM)


    Can anyone through light on the line 'The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed'.I eagerly wants to know whose hand and whose heart is the poet talking about? Please do help me in this matter.I have got confused. (Report) Reply

    (5/5/2018 8:36:00 PM)

    The hand of the sculptor whom inscribed the words from the heart of the king.

  • (2/24/2018 11:48:00 AM)


    Not good but its ok (Report) Reply

  • (2/24/2018 11:47:00 AM)


    not good but its ok (Report) Reply

  • (2/23/2018 9:54:00 PM)


    Not so interesting but nice 😏 (Report) Reply

  • (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

  • (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

    (5/5/2018 8:39:00 PM)

    More than that. Human arrogance to think works of stone endure the fragile nature of existence.

  • (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

  • Joshua Adeyemi (4/13/2017 1:30:00 AM)


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

Read all 95 comments »

# 43 poem on top 500 Poems

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What do you think this poem is about?

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



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002



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