I hiled 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 Hilaire,
Where you and all may see.