- by Percy Bysshe Shelley
I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. 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 upon 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.
The is a response to the poem by WB Yeats that Lea Lane used to fortify and strengthen our resolve to investigate then prosecute those responsible for the moral fall of this nation with regard to torture.
What is this nation who has hundreds of military bases girding the globe but empire like those that have come before it? Rule Brittania? Pax Romana?
If Empire America falls then it will be because not for lack of materialistic military power but for the moral decay that has beset this nation with regard to the utilization of fear in the service of power.
Why else would Dick Cheney say that we must "go to the dark side" when it comes to their raising up of a few rag tag terrorists to the level of those few becoming an existential threat to the very existence of America?
Why else would Mr. Bush juxtapose and demagogue the images of the fall of our nation's economic hubris as signified by the WTC towers and our latent fear that some one else would use nuclear weapons on America?
We need to have moral courage now to face our "dark side" that Dick Cheney and Mr. Bush have so eagerly sought to unleash.
Or else we, America, will become like other discarded empires past-
"Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command...."