My Madonna

by Robert W. Service

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.