May 19, 2015
On today’s program we are going hear all about how a land baron ruled his world in the old west and how that ties in to a poem written in the 1800s. Mat Dillon is here to take us to Dodge City and clue us in.
Our story for this episode involves a famous poem by Percy Shelley written in 1817. It is called Ozymandias. John Meston, one of the writers and creator of Gunsmoke, liked thought of fallen empires and ancient history and created an episode to embody Shellie’s work. The end result is a western version of Ozimandias, which first aired on January 15, 1957.
Ozymandias By Percy Shelley
I met a traveller 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 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".