My lesson from that Shelley rhyme,
That sonnet warning us of Time,
The one called “Ozymandias”
Is not the one that’s obvious.
Though King of Kings has lost his neck,
His Works decayed, become a Wreck,
Though not a thing beside remains,
One thing’s escaped Temporal chains.
It’s travelled with the travellers
Into the art of sonneteers.
Erased from stone, it still survives,
Reborn through many readers’ eyes:
Though empty of its pompous air,
The Written Word’s still written there.