Leonardo da Vinci to His Snakes

by Eugene Lee-Hamilton

Eugene Lee-Hamilton

I love to watch them, trickling on the floor,

Like Evil's very oozings running free;

Now livid blue, now green as green can be,

Now almost white, though black an hour before.

Their undulation, trammelled by no shore,

Might be a ripple upon Horror's sea,

The live meander moves so soundlessly,

Inscrutable as Magic's very core.

What if I painted a Medusa's head,

Fresh severed, lying on its back, with brow

Convulsed in death, and wan as moonlit lead;

And made the snakes, still writhing in a slow

Death struggle round the temples that are dead,

Striving to quit them in a ceaseless flow?

Last updated January 14, 2019