Saturday 12 November 2011

Oswald McDuff

The official Ozymandias is a classic and well received all round, but it's not very realistic. So I've done my own version which I think answers the deficiencies of realism in the classic. Apologies to Shelly.

Oswald McDuff

I met, whilst travelling in an antique land,
a stranger, smartly dressed and on his own
who beckoning, drew near me, with his hand
a welcome bidding, and a winning smile,
a twinkling eye, an aspect oh so grand,
Then in his foreign tongue these words he read:
"You've just arrived in this historic place
the home of kings and queens though now long dead"

And on his shiny badge, the words inscribed
(lest there be any doubt in those who seek)
"official metropolitan tour guide"
but no-one listened... and I heard him say
that if I had the extra time to spare
the five pounds special guided tour today

Sam Liddicott 2011

The original is below, which I am sure you will agree was in need of improvement, as well as desart spelling properly. Old poets can get away with anything these days.


I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desart. 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.

Shelley 1819

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