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 poem is an Italian sonnet made up of 14 lines. Lines have a regular length and they begin with capital letters. There is a regular punctuation and also a regular rhyme scheme: ABABACDCEDEFEF.
The speaker says about a traveller that he met "from an antique land", who told him a story about the ruins of a statue in the desert of his country.
In this poem a lot of different themes are analysed:
-The insignificance of human beings to the passage of time;
-The ephemeral nature of political power;
-Protest against political power;
-The indiscriminate and often destructive power of nature;
-The pride of humanity;
-Art and Language are what endures.