Horace Smith (1779-1849) was a London born, English Romantic poet and novelist who participated in a sonnet-writing contest with Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) in 1818.

About his friend, Shelley wrote: “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.”

They wrote competing sonnets on the subject of the Nile River. Shelley’s poem titled ‘Ozymandias’ was published in ‘The Examiner’ of London under the pen name Glirastese. Smith’s poem of the same name was published under the initials H.S.

Later, Smith’s poem was re-named in his collection ‘Amarynthus’, titled ‘On a Stupendous Leg of Granite, Discovered Standing by Itself in the Deserts of Egypt with the Inscription Inserted Below’.

Both poems explored the fate of history and the ravages of time, noting that even the greatest men and the empires they forge are impertinent, plus their legacies are fated to decay into oblivion,

In antiquity, ‘Ozymandias’ was a Greek name for the pharaoh Rameses II (r. 1279-1213 BCE).

After making his fortune, Smith produced a series of historical novels.

Shelley was also a noted English Romantic poet. Unfortunately, he did not achieve fame during his lifetime but recognition of his writings grew steadily following his death.

More Info: en.m.wikipedia.org