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Poem by Robert William Service


My Madonna


I haled me a woman from the street,
   Shameless, but, oh, so fair!
I bade her sit in the models 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.



Robert William Service


Robert William Service's other poems:
  1. Village Don Juan
  2. Retired Shopman
  3. The Centenarian
  4. Surtax
  5. Prelude (I sing no idle songs of dalliance days)


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