Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Again with the legs of granite.

After a quick poll I decided most people don't associate the "despair" with the broken statue. If you want to get emotional over broken granite legs, here's the poem for you: - Horace Smith's sonnet (inspired by the same news article that inspired Shelley)

"On a Stupendous Leg of Granite":

In Egypt's sandy silence, all alone,
Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
The only shadow that the Desart knows:--
"I am great OZYMANDIAS," saith the stone,
"The King of Kings; this mighty City shows
"The wonders of my hand." -- The City's gone, --
Nought but the Leg remaining to disclose
The site of this forgotten Babylon.
We wonder,-- and some Hunter may express
Wonder like ours, when thro' the wilderness --
Where London stood, holding the Wolf in chase,
He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess
What powerful but unrecorded race
Once dwelt in that annihilated place.

I like the reference to a vanished London.

Then again it's easy to see why people quote the Shelley poem more often than Smith's one.

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