Medusa (Sonnet for a Picture)

A SHAPE in whose voluptuous bloom there lies
Olympian faultlessness of mold and hue;
Lips that a god were worthy alone to woo,
Round chin, and nostrils curved in the old Greek wise.
But there is no clear pallor of Arctic skies,
Fathom on crystal fathom of livid blue,
So bleakly cold that one might liken it to
The pitiless, icy splendors of her eyes!
Her bound hair, colored lovelier than the sweet,
Rich halcyon yellow of tall harvest wheat,
Over chaste brows a glimmering tumult sheds;
But through the abundance of its warm, soft gold,
Coils of lean horror peer from many a fold,
With sharp tongues flickering in flat, clammy heads!
Edgar Fawcett.