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My Madonna

by
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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