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            Horace Smith (1779-1849)


    IN Egypt's sandy silence, all alone,
      Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
      The only shadow that the Desart 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 chace,
    He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess
      What powerful but unrecorded race
      Once dwelt in that annihilated place.


Horace Smith was a friend of Percy Bysshe Shelley, and helped to manage his finances. Inspired by Diodorus Siculus (Book 1, Chapter 47), they each wrote and submitted a sonnet on the subject to The Examiner. Shelley's was published on January 11, 1818 under the pen name Glirastes, and Smith's was published on February 1, 1818 with the initials H.S.

Smith's poem was later published under the title On A Stupendous Leg of Granite, Discovered Standing by Itself in the Deserts of Egypt, with the Inscription Inserted Below. in his collection Amarynthus.

The poem can be found in:

  • Original Poetry. (1818, February 1). The Examiner (London), p. 73.
  • Smith, Horace. Amarynthus, The Nympholet: A Pastoral Drama, In Three Acts. With Other Poems. London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, & Brown, 1821. (as found in the facsimile edition: Smith, Horace. Amarynthus. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1977.)