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.”
I met a veteran soldier, home from war
Who told me of a broken burning city
Which has embedded within a memory
Of a suicided man, who most firmly believed
And spoke of things with a curling tongue
That sparked war with pages of hateful lines,
Which still survive in paper, recorded
Into mounds of witnesses, perhaps in film,
And in these words he repeatedly said,
"I am the Fuhr, Leader of Germany;
I will make this country glorious again!"
The city is still burning, the people still cry
And the mounds of rubble upon the streets,
A far stretch from one man's dream.
I met a tweeter on the internet
Who wrote, "There is a land caught in war
In which, there is a shattered mound of stone,
That was toppled by a crowd who thought,
The crumbling of the perpetrator of their pain
Would bring a better life, a stronger one.
And the foreign soldiers come and sneer,
Remembering the time when it said,
"I am the Dictator, the king of the Arabs
And I do not descend to a lower level"
The head of the statue lays unnerved,
Boot on its head, cheek on the mud."