In Egypt’s sandy silence, all alone,
Stands a gigantic leg, which far off throws
The only shadow that the desert knows:—
“I am great OZYMANDIAS,” saith the stone,
“The King of Kings; this mighty City shows
“The wonders of my hand.”— The City’s gone,—
Nought but the leg remaining to disclose
The site of this forgotten Babylon.
We wonder,—and some hunter may express
Wonder like ours, when thro’ the wilderness
Where London stood, holding the wolf in chase,
He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess
What powerful but unrecorded race
Once dwelt in that annihilated place.
Compare this poem with it’s more famous contemporary, Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley. They were written at the same time as a bit of a friendly challenge between poets.