See, as the carver carves a rose,A wing, a toad, a serpent's eye,In cruel granite, to discloseThe soft things that in hardness lie,So this one, taking up his heart,Which time and change had made a stone,Carved out of it with dolorous art,Laboring yearlong and alone,The thing there hidden-rose, toad, wing?A frog's hand on a lily pad?Bees in a cobweb?-no such thing!A girl's head was the thing he had,Small, shapely, richly crowned with hair,Drowsy, with eyes half closed, as theyLooked through you and beyond you, clearTo something farther than Cathay:Saw you, yet counted you not worthThe seeing, thinking all the whileHow, flower-like, beauty comes to birth;And thinking this, began to smile.Medusa! For she could not seeThe world she turned to stone and ash.Only herself she saw, a treeThat flowered beneath a lightning-flash.Thus dreamed her face-a lovely thingTo worship, weep for, or to break . . .Better to carve a claw, a wing,Or, if the heart provide, a snake.
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