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."
Percy Bysshe Shelley - 1792-1822
Stanzas Written in Dejection, Near Naples
I The sun is warm, the sky is clear, The waves are dancing fast and bright, Blue isles and snowy mountains wear The purple noon's transparent might, The breath of the moist earth is light, Around its unexpanded buds; Like many a voice of one delight, The winds, the birds, the ocean floods, The City's voice itself, is soft like Solitude's. II I see the Deep's untrampled floor With green and purple seaweeds strown; I see the waves upon the shore, Like light dissolved in star-showers, thrown: I sit upon the sands alone,— The lightning of the noontide ocean Is flashing round me, and a tone Arises from its measured motion, How sweet! did any heart now share in my emotion. III Alas! I have nor hope nor health, Nor peace within nor calm around, Nor that content surpassing wealth The sage in mediation found, And walked with inward glory crowned— Nor fame, nor power, nor love, nor leisure. Others I see whom these surround— Smiling they live, and call life pleasure;— to me that cup has been dealt in another measure. IV Yet now despair itself is mild, Even as the winds and waters are; I could lie down like a tired child, And weep away the life of care Which I have borne and yet must bear, Till death like sleep might steal on me, And I might feel in the warm air My cheek grow cold, and hear the sea Breathe o'er my dying brain its last monotony. V Some might lament that I were cold, As I, when this sweet day is gone, Which my lost heart, too soon grown old, Insults with this untimely moan; They might lament—for I am one Whom men love not,—and yet regret, Unlike this day, which, when the sun Shall on its stainless glory set, Will linger, though enjoyed, like joy in memory yet.