Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) came to prominence in England's Romantic Period and led a life of wide travel and dramatic outspokenness until an untimely drowning death in Italy. "Ozymandias" is his tribute to an ancient leader by that name, who once hailed himself "King of Kings" but now stands only as a crumbling statue to himself, remembered by "a traveler from an antique land." The poem invites us to wonder just what it is that memorials immortalize.
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The Poems of Shelley by Percy Bysshe Shelley (Oxford University Press, 1960) page 550
Reading - Short Enough to Read Aloud.