Horace Smith

English poet and novelist (1779-1849)

Horace (born Horatio) Smith (December 31, 1779July 12, 1849) was an English poet and novelist (as was his elder brother, James Smith), perhaps best known for his participation in a sonnet-writing competition with Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Horace Smith


  • 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.
    • On a Stupendous Leg of Granite, Discovered Standing by Itself in the Deserts of Egypt, with the Inscription Inserted Below (published February 1, 1818); written in a competition with Percy Bysshe Shelley, for which Shelley wrote "Ozymandius".
  • Thinking is but an idle waste of thought,
    And nought is everything and everything is nought.
    • Rejected Addresses. Cui Bono?, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • In the name of the Prophet—figs.
    • Johnson's Ghost, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • And thou hast walked about (how strange a story!)
    In Thebes's streets three thousand years ago,
    When the Memnonium was in all its glory.
    • Address to the Mummy at Belzoni's Exhibition, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).


  • Is it not odd that the only truly generous person I ever knew who had money enough to be generous with should be a stockbroker? He writes poetry and pastoral dramas and yet knows how to make money, and does make it, and is still generous.
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