I MET a Traveler from an antique land,
Who said, “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desart. 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!
No thing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that Colossal Wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
First published in 1818
The poem above was used to launch the second half of season 5 of Breaking Bad – one of the oddest, most compelling and addictive TV series. The internet is already rife with speculation as to what it all means. Me? I just can’t wait for the remaining episodes to air!
PERCY B SHELLEY
Also posted on Leeds Book Club.