Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Jul 13 2012 - Ozymandias

The poem, Ozymandias, by Percy Bysshe Shelley is a wonderful reminder that the things we build turn to dust and that all the power and pomp of empires is a passing vanity.

I met a traveler 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.

But there is a kingdom that shall last for ever and a king whose glory will never fade. The hymn, "The day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended" itself ends with this glorious affirmation:

So be it, Lord; Thy throne shall never,
Like earth’s proud empires, pass away:
Thy kingdom stands, and grows forever,
Till all Thy creatures own Thy sway.

Peter Misselbrook