The empty Plain, deserted, bleak and bare
In eerie silence held its secret fast,
Each crumbling brick discarded , scattered there
Revealed the stamp of history long past.
Thick bushy grasses, rampant weed and thorn
Cast creeping tendril fingers every day,
Forming a blanket over scene forlorn,
Hiding from sight the perishing decay.
Paths that had felt the weight of bustling feet
Of myriad numbers scurrying to and fro,
Redundant tools discarded in the heat
Never again to feel a hammer blow.
Gone, gone forever, dreams of glory fair
Abandoned and half sunk in time’s grey mist,
Forsaken towers, stairways that led no where
Cut short before completion could exist.
Unfinished stood the grandiose design
Of towering turret, sculptured portico ,
Of spiral stair, of pillar stood in line,
Of city wall, all built long long ago.
O empty Plain of Shinar tell your tale
Reveal the foolishness of mutinous pride
That shakes its fist at God who cannot fail
To halt rebellion’s sinful great divide.
With one small touch God reached right down among
The bustling, busy, seething habitat
And with His power he quietly touched the tongue,
Thus stopped the building of the ziggurat.
Confusion, babble, Babel it became
And like old Ozymandias, does declare
To any who would proudly act the same -
‘Look on my works, ye mighty and despair.’
So whether all my days be long or few,
Whether I walk a dark or sunny path,
Whether my life is full with ‘much ado’
Help me build Heaven’s treasure that will last.
The Tower of Babel, Genesis 11:1-9.
Ozymandias, poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)
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