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,
This poem is written in first hand narration.
~ Here the poet meets a traveller who has visited the tomb of King Ozymandias.
~ The traveller narrates the whole incident to the poet.
~The traveller once comes across two vast stone legs with out the upper body in a desert.
.The stone sculpture’s head was half sunk in the sand.
.It had a frown and sneer on his lips which told that he was a cold hearted person.
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.’
~The sculptor who made the sculpture had his emotions displayed in his work. His subject was his King.
~ And the message rang loud and clear even after he died. That the King was a dominant leader. He was cruel to his people. And the sculptor did not like the King.
~His hands that did all the cruel deeds to his people. But also his heart which had a soft spot for them fed those people.
~ The pedestal on which the statue of the king once stood,read about the works of the king.
It also displayed the extreme narcissism the King possessed.
~The King wanted to mark his name in the history by erecting the statue. He wanted people to remember his works.
~ But the irony is that the statue which was his medium of representing his works and boasting about his victories. Is now a victim of time and is reduced to nothing but ruins.
~ The message the poet conveys is that nothing is permanent. We are sole visitors in this world. Time leads and rules us all.