Friday, August 12, 2005
Look On My Works, Ye Mighty, And Despair!
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
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 shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd 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.
Shelley's words make me hope that one day the Bush Administration will be forgotten; the statue of its arrogance buried in the sands of an unoccupied and peaceful Iraq. One day, the last person to die in this misbegotten war will be honored and remembered for his or her sacrifice, whether American or Iraqi. One day, we, as a nation, will get down on our collective knees and beg forgiveness of our military men and women, their families and the people of Iraq for not taking to the streets in response to this illegal war.
"One Day" can't come soon enough...
(Thanks to Moonbootica for reminding me how much I love this poem!)