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.
This is the first poem I memorized in my goal of memorizing more poetry as part of my self-directed bardic studies. I had a failed start with the ‘Spell of Creation’ by Kathleen Raine, but quickly realized I didn’t care for that poem enough to carry it around inside me. Now, I’m working on a poem my kids would like (I think it’s nice to have an audience in mind) and will return to ‘classics’ after that.