Riley welch is a poet from texas living in colorado. She posts three original poems a week. 

Favorite Fridays

In honor of a current project I am doing about Medusa:

On the Medusa of Leonardo Da Vinci


It lieth, gazing on the midnight sky, 
Upon the cloudy mountain peak supine;  
Below, far lands are seen tremblingly; 
Its horror and its beauty are divine. 
Upon its lips and eyelids seems to lie 
Loveliness like a shadow, from which shrine,  
Fiery and lurid, struggling underneath,  
The agonies of anguish and of death. 
Yet it is less the horror than the grace  
Which turns the gazer’s spirit into stone;
Whereon the lineaments of that dead face  
Are graven, till the characters be grown  
Into itself, and thought no more can trace; 
‘Tis the melodious hue of beauty thrown  
Athwart the darkness and the glare of pain,
Which humanize and harmonize the strain. 
And from its head as from one body grow, 
As [   ] grass out of a watery rock, 
Hairs which are vipers, and they curl and flow  
And their long tangles in each other lock,
And with unending involutions shew  
Their mailed radiance, as it were to mock  
The torture and the death within, and saw  
The solid air with many a ragged jaw. 
And from a stone beside, a poisonous eft
Peeps idly into those Gorgonian eyes; 
Whilst in the air a ghastly bat, bereft  
Of sense, has flitted with a mad surprise  
Out of the cave this hideous light had cleft, 
And he comes hastening like a moth that hies
After a taper; and the midnight sky  
Flares, a light more dread than obscurity. 
‘Tis the tempestuous loveliness of terror;  
For from the serpents gleams a brazen glare  
Kindled by that inextricable error, 35 
Which makes a thrilling vapour of the air  
Become a [ ] and ever-shifting mirror  
Of all the beauty and the terror there— 
A woman’s countenance, with serpent locks, 
Gazing in death on heaven from those wet rocks.

Straight Lines