Today's Beautiful Gem: `Ozymandias' 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 shrunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lips, and snear 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 collosal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.""

Note: This is one of my favourite sonnets. The ephemerality
of life and the ambition of despots are very nicely described
in this Shelley's poem. The name of Ozymandias may be
substituted for any number of tyrants with the same chilling
effect. The moral is: ars longa, vita brevis (Art is long,
life is short)!

om s'aantih: Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao