mon madonna ❦ poème et peinture

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Madonna With The Infant Christ And St John The Baptist 1540

Domenico Beccafumi

 

My Madonna

BY ROBERT W. SERVICE

I haled me a woman from the street,
   Shameless, but, oh, so fair!
I bade her sit in the model’s seat
   And I painted her sitting there.
I hid all trace of her heart unclean;
   I painted a babe at her breast;
I painted her as she might have been
   If the Worst had been the Best.
She laughed at my picture and went away.
   Then came, with a knowing nod,
A connoisseur, and I heard him say;
   “’Tis Mary, the Mother of God.”
So I painted a halo round her hair,
   And I sold her and took my fee,
And she hangs in the church of Saint Hillaire,
   Where you and all may see.
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