Until I just now looked it up, I didn't realize that Shelley wrote his Ozymandias poem in competition with his friend Horace Smith. According to the Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozymandias), Smith's version "...takes the same subject, tells the same story, and makes a similar moral point, but one related more directly to modernity, ending by imagining a hunter of the future looking in wonder on the ruins of an annihilated London." Here's Smith's version:
In Egypt's sandy silence, all alone, Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws The only shadow that the Desert 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.
"The mistakes, they 'appen", he says with a Gallic shrug.
Having ridden on French trains and subways (albeit a long time ago) I suspect the new trains are really nice and well worth the cost to modernize the stations. A lot of the work is fairly simple according to the article: "It can involve chipping a few centimetres off the edge of a platform, or moving an electricity power box located a bit too close to the platform edge," said RFF.
Besides, the French economy is in a bit of malaise these days and could use some some extra job creation.